“Country Beans” by Rita Bingham

Country Beans (revised 6th printing) says “This book will change the way you use beans! Revolutionary new ideas for “User Friendly Beans” in a hurry– creamy, nutritious soups from Bean Flour in only 3 minutes! Nearly 400 High Protein Dishes that are LOW in fat with NO cholesterol. (Many contain “hidden beans” for those who insist they won’t eat beans.)”

I’ll admit, this reviewer was intrigued! As I looked over the book, I could not believe that all these recipes could be made so quickly using beans or bean flour, be nutritious, low in fat, but most of all TASTE GOOD! If you do not own a grain mill (for grinding dried beans at home) do not fret, Rita gives resources for purchasing high quality bean flour to use in these recipes. I also liked the fact that the author included an excellent information section that covers different types of beans, buying, storing and cooking beans, plus resources for equipment and publications. Country Beans‘ almost 400 recipes run the gamut of cooking tastes and preferences. You won’t believe these are healthy and fast!

Some categories include:

  • Better Breakfasts
  • Breads
  • Salads
  • Dressings, Sauces, Toppings
  • Dips & Sandwich Fillings
  • Patties and Loaves
  • Casseroles and One-Dish Meals
  • Side Dishes
  • Company Dinners
  • Snacks
  • Desserts
  • Homemade Tofu and Okra
  • Home Canning

Moist Nut ‘n Honey Granola

  • 2 cups sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup soy or white bean flour
  • 10 cups rolled oats
  • 3 cups chopped almonds (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups honey
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla

Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine all moist ingredients and heat to melt honey. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Spread thin on baking sheets and bake at 325° for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to break up chunks. Reduce heat to 250° and bake an additional 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

Allow to cool and add raisins or other dried fruit if desired. Store in air-tight container. Makes one gallon.

Overnight Bean Salad

  • 1 cup cooked kidney beans
  • 1 cup cooked white or navy beans
  • 1 teaspoon chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup fresh parsley (for garnish)

Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon light honey

Mix all ingredients except parsley and chill 1 hour or overnight. Serve with fresh parsley garnish.

Creamy Blender Soups, without a grinder!

For pea or lentil soup, cook 3/4 cup dry peas or lentils in 6 cups boiling water for 10 minutes. Blend 2 minutes on HIGH. Return to pan, add 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon or soup base and cook an additional 3 minutes.

3-Minute “Cream of Chicken Soup”

This practically perfect substitute for canned Cream of Chicken soup is made without milk or fat, so it can be used freely on any weight reduction diet.

Reviewer’s Note: This also works well for those who suffer food allergies or sensitivities to dairy or food additives found in canned soups.

  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup fine white bean flour
  • 2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable soup base
  • 1 cup diced chicken pieces (opt)

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk bean flour into boiling water and add base. Stir and cook 3 minutes. Blend for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken if used. Serves 3-4.

Refried Beans
(Ready in only 5 minutes!)

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • tiny pinch garlic powder (opt)
  • 3/4 cup pinto or black bean flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/21/2 teaspoon chili powder

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Whisk in dry ingredients.

Cook, while stirring, over medium heat for 1 minute, until mixture thickens. Don’t worry about lumps – they taste great too!

Reduce heat to low, cover pan and cook 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup Picante sauce (or to taste), if desired. (Mixture thickens as it cools and will stay thick even after heating.)

“Instant” Refried Bean Mix

  • 1 1/2 cup pinto or black bean flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (opt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant minced onions (opt)

Mix and store in an airtight container.

To prepare, whisk 3/4 cup above mixture into 2 1/2 cup boiling water. Cook as above, adding your favorite salsa after cooking.

Note: When using black beans, the cooked mixture will be a blue-gray-brown color because of the very short cooking time.

This makes a great present for a “Gift of a Healthy Heart.” Package in a calico bag or decorated glass jar. Include a recipe for Refried Beans (above).

Country Beans by Rita Bingham
Published by Natural Meals in Minutes, $14.95
6th Printing, Low fat Revision, April 1997
© Copyright 1997 Natural Meals in Minutes
All recipes used by permission.

Contact Information:
Natural Meals in Minutes
Toll-free order line 1-888-BEANS -06 (232-6706)
Internet: www.naturalmeals.com
E-Mail: getinfo@naturalmeals.com

© 1995-2008 Vickilynn Haycraft and Real Food Living. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this review may be copied, stored or transmitted in any medium, for any reason without prior written permission of the author.

About Vickilynn Haycraft

A student of health and nutrition for 30 years, Vickilynn Haycraft has over 25 years of actual hands-on experience reviewing and personally using different tools of the homemaking vocation, focusing on the areas of health and nutrition. Vickilynn is a magazine columnist, product reviewer, cookbook author and now radio talk show host, as well as being full-time wife and mom to 5 children. Read Vickilynn's Product Reviews and Family Preparedness Articles at Examiner.com. She blogs at the Real Food Living Blog.