We all know that when you make a cake, you can substitute applesauce for the oil right? Well, newsflash! You can sub beans as well. It absolutely, positively DOES NOT change the taste, texture or performance of your cake. I'm not joking. Your family will never know that the beans are in there.
Why would you want to use beans when you can just use applesauce? Well, a couple of reasons, really. Applesauce can sometimes leave an apple-y flavor. It can sometimes seem to have a spongy or gritty texture. And, even unsweetened applesauce has sugar in it, so while you are keeping the fat down your essentially adding more sugar. Beans, on the other hand, do not add sugar or change the flavor/texture. They add loads of fiber. Fiber is good, it fills you up.....and that means that a smaller piece of cake is going to be more satisfying. Think of it as cake with built in portion control.
And it's not just cake that you can add beans to; it's brownies, quick breads and (drum roll please) cookies. If you like cakey brownies, replace all the oil with bean puree, if you like them fudgy only replace 1/2. If you are making chocolate chip cookies, use white bean puree as your shortening or butter and have a lower fat, fiber packed snack to send off with the kids to school.
You simply cook the beans, like we talked about yesterday, and puree them with some of the cooking liquid. Scoop 1/2 cup into baggies and freeze. Next time you want to make cake, or cookies, or brownies, take one out and let it defrost and away you go!
But, which bean do you use? You wouldn't want to use a black bean in a white cake for example. Here is a handy little reference:
- Black beans for chocolate and red velvet
- White beans for white, lemon, and light colored cookies (i.e. chocolate chip)
- Pinto beans for spice cake, applesauce, and most quick breads (i.e. zucchini, pumpkin, applesauce bread)