How to use Food Storage Beans for Butter and/or Oil


We’ve started this month right with the Chocolate Molten Lava Cake.  Mmmm….it makes my mouth water just thinking about it!  Remember, I’m doing this because there is more out there than just cake mixes people! L-O-T-S!  And when you are cooking more from scratch you a) have more control over the ingredients and b) you have more opportunities to use your food storage and c) can do it for a lot cheaper!

But I realized that I have gotten a little ahead of myself because you know I’ll be using a lot of beans in place of butter and oil.  Why? Well beans are CHEAP, from your dry beans you can make the equivalent of a can of beans (which is about a pound) for under 20 cents! Has anyone seen what a pound of butter costs these days?  Last time I checked it was around $3 a pound-good grief.  Plus, beans are virtually fat free, full of protein and fiber which means less calories and they make you feel full!  No joke!  I can eat one piece of cake made with beans instead of oil and feel FULL.  Before I could eat 2 (or 3 or 4) and not feel satisfied.  Plus, beans make a very moist product and I promise there is no bean taste!  And just because I know you’re wondering, I don’t use powdered butter or shortening because for the most part it isn’t cheaper than using fresh plus it lacks the protein and fiber of beans.  So, I want to make sure you all understand how to use the beans and how to be successful at it because I’m BIG on YOU figuring out how to do this with YOUR recipes.


  1. If your recipe calls for oil, you are going to use a bean puree.  What is a bean puree you ask?  It’s simply cooked beans with enough water to whirl in your blender.  If you want a simple way to try this, take a can of beans (the entire can) and dump it in the blender and blend it.  Done.
  2. If your recipe calls for butter, you are going to use cooked, drained beans.
  3. For substituting beans for both butter and/or oil you are going to use a 1:1 ration.  That means if your recipe calls for 3/4 C. oil, you are going to use 3/4 C. bean puree.  If your recipe calls for 1 C. butter you are going to use 1 C. beans.  You’ll use the same measurements for beans as your original recipe says to use for either the oil and/or butter.
  4. When wondering which beans to use-you are going to match color for color.  If it is a chocolate cake, use black beans. If it is a spice cake, use pinto beans.  If it is a white cake, use white beans.  Now, here is the tricky part…you can also use white beans in chocolate cake but you can’t use black beans in your white cake.  Your family will wonder what all of those black specks are. 😉  To be safe, you can use white beans in almost anything.
  5. Now, you’re going to add the beans however your recipe says to use the butter and/or oil.  So, if your recipe says to cream the butter with the sugar-you’re going to cream the beans with the sugar.  If your recipe says to add the oil to the dry ingredients, you’re going to add the bean puree to the dry ingredients.
  6. If you are using beans in something like brownies or cookies that are supposed to be chewy, the beans will not make it chewy-it will be cake like.  So if you’re family is big on chewy that doesn’t mean you have an excuse not to use beans.  It just means you need to use half oil/butter and half beans.  It will still be chewy and you’ll still be saving money and adding fiber and protein!  Remember, I’m not big into all or nothing-even a little or half is better than nothing and it’s important that your family likes what you make!

Use beans for breakfast, dinner and dessert with my Everyday Bean E-Cookbook!

Help Spread the Word!

I love it when you share my tips and recipes for food storage!  Do me a quick favor, if you like what you see please share it on facebook, pinterest, or blog about it!  And make sure if you link to me, either use the word “food storage” or “Everyday Food Storage” to link back to me.  Thanks-it makes all the hard work worth it!

© 2012, Crystal. All rights reserved.

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  • Stephanie

    can you make the bean puree in advance and if so how would you store it?

  • Merry Balen

    This is the neatest thing since sliced bread.  Soooo good!  Our Relief Society sisters were so impressed and could hardly wait to get home to try this out.  THanks so much.

  • Hesternessy

    We made homemade pop tarts, with the recipe from Smitten Kitchen (adapted from king Arthur Flour). The delicious butter laden pastry was delicious, but far too soft to hold in your hand, and very high in fat. I started substituting at least half the butter with white bean puree after reading about beans on your website. We are very pleased with both flavor and texture.

  • Hesternessy

    freeze it in premeasured portions and label. Cook a large pot of beans, puree, and divide in 1/2 cup or 1 cup portions. Freeze flat for ease in defrosting. I keep several small vacuum sealed bags in one large zipper bag in the freezer.

  • We6rock

    Can you use beans for shortening? For example in your graham cracker recipe?

  • ncsaylor

    I’m attempting to cut dairy out of my diet so this will hopefully be a great substitution for me.  

  • Ndyoung01

    can I use beans in place of shortening as well?  For example, in your recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies it calls for shortening not butter or oil.

  • Anonymous


    Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

  • SillyOne

    Exactly how much water do i add to the cooked beans? Thanks!

  • CheyAnneSexton

    terrific idea and will have to try it soon, thank you and I found you on pinterest

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  • Iiofblue958

    My children and their friends are loving the black bean brownies, even asking for seconds…a chuckle each time knowing what I know and they don’t.  I was wondering if you have tried using beans in place of some of the oil in the freezer pizza recipe

  • Lois Shepherd

    I paid the $12.80 for the E-Bean cookbook — and I never received the cookbook to print?????
      Lois Shepherd

  • eatfoodstorage

    You should have received an email with a link to download the book. Did you not receive it?

  • Amy W

    Just pinned this and can’t wait to try it out.  I love to bake but always feel a little guilty with all the butter/oil I use.  Hopefully this will help make my treats a little healthier!

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  • Guest

    Sorry…have to ask the inevitable question. When you use beans as a substitute, do you notice that the resulting food is gas-inducing? I love the idea of using beans as a healthy substitute, but gassy brownies don’t sound ultra-attractive.

  • eatfoodstorage

    Just take an enzyme tablet like beano if you are ultra worried. Otherwise, the more you eat beans the more you body gets used to them and the less gas inducing they become. Plus, it’s a built in portion control because you know the side effects of eating half of the pan.

  • summer

    This is so cool! I had no idea that you could do this.. Thanks

  • Teri

    Thank you so much!  My banana bread turned out much better.  I will be using beans for all my baked goods.  Can’t wait to try oatmeal cookies, brownies, etc.  :) 

  • Patricia

    I second the question. How much water. For example if you’re using 1 cup of cooked pinto beans, how much water would you blend with it to make a puree?

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  • SueG

    Hi.I think this is a brilliant idea – what about the skins on the beans? In the UK, I don’t know about yours, all tinned (and dried) beans come with skins on, but surely this would make bits in the mixtures.

  • eatfoodstorage

    It really doesn’t! As long as they aren’t old tough beans, you’ll be just fine!

  • Deb Van Ness-Martin

    Can I make bean puree in advance and can it rather than freezing? If so, is there a shelf life?

  • PatL

    Try freezing in Ice cube trays or muffin tins then pop them in a freezer bag labled with the amount of each cube or disk.

  • Stephanie

    What if the recipe says melted butter?

  • Adrian Slew

    I used a can of baked beans and my cake tasted funny…

  • eatfoodstorage

    Use the bean purée.

  • Tom

    Can’t okara (soybean pulp after making soymilk) be used for the same purpose?

  • foodpoisoned

    Our question is about bean safety. Once you make cookies with beans, how long can they be safely eaten? with and without refridgeration?

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  • Mackena Kristine Lannes

    We pressure can and store beans/refried beans in the pantry. Couldn’t the same be done here? I noticed you told another responder to freeze the purée, so I thought that was odd. Please clarify?

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