10 Delicious Uses for Canned Beans

Sweet Endings

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that people on a 2,000-calories-a-day diet should eat 3 cups of cooked dry beans each week. But according to The Bean Institute, Americans only eat about a quarter of that amount.

So how can you painlessly increase your intake of beans? Simple. Blend canned navy beans into your next smoothie. Rinse and purée some kidney beans and add them to your breakfast blueberry muffin batter. Tuck smashed black beans into your brownies. Much like applesauce, mashed canned beans can substitute for oil in your baked goods in a 1-to-1 ratio (meaning use 1/2 cup bean purée for 1/2 cup oil, for example). Fruits, nuts and flavorings like vanilla, chocolate and cinnamon in your recipe will cover up any bean taste.

Some Asian desserts use a sweetened paste made from mung beans or red beans to make puddings, dessert soups, pastry fillings and other sweet meal-enders. And while it's hard for many of us to think of beans as a dessert item, consider this: The two most popular ice cream flavors -- vanilla and chocolate -- both come from beans.

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  • American Bean. "Snacks & Desserts Bean Recipes." 2011. (Oct. 27, 2011) http://americanbean.org/snacks-desserts-bean-recipes/
  • Asia Recipe. "Vietnamese Desserts." 2000. (Nov. 2, 2011) http://asiarecipe.com/viedesserts.html
  • Cannellini.com. "Cannellini Beans." (Nov. 2, 2011) http://www.cannellini.com/
  • Davis, Jeanie Lerche. "Antioxidant Superstars: Vegetables and Beans." WebMD. January 2008. (Oct. 19, 2011) http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/antioxidant-superstars-vegetables-and-beans
  • Fat Free Vegan Recipes. "Substitutes and Techniques for Fat Free Cooking." 2011. (Nov. 2, 2011)http://fatfreevegan.com/substitutes-and-techniques-for-fat-free-cooking/
  • Food in Every Country. "United States Native Americans." (Oct. 26, 2011) http://www.foodbycountry.com/Spain-to-Zimbabwe-Cumulative-Index/United-States-Native-Americans.html
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  • Texas Agrilife Extension Service. "Two New Beans from America." Aggie Horticulture. (Oct 25, 2011) http://sustainable.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/publications/vegetabletravelers/beans.html
  • The Food Channel. "The Top 15 Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors." July 30, 2008. (Oct. 27, 2011) http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/the-top-15-most-popular-ice-cream-flavors/
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Foods and Nutrients to Increase." Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. Chapter 4. 2010. (Oct. 27, 2011) http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/Chapter4.pdf
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Starchy Vegetables: Food Pattern Modeling Analysis." Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Appendix E-3.4. (Oct. 26, 2011) http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/DGAC/Report/AppendixE-3-4-StarchyVegetables.pdf
  • Van Nosdol, Dawn. "Ready or Not #172: Substitute Beans for Oil." A Prepared Home. April 2010. (Nov. 2, 2011) http://apreparedhome.com/ready-or-not/substitute-beans-for-oil/


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