Using Pureed Beans As A Fat Replacer

In one of my favorite lab based nutrition classes we did an experiment (officially titled  Acceptability of bean puree as a fat replacement in blueberry muffins) in which we changed the fat content in a muffin recipe and tested to see how well it was accepted. Sounds easy except for the fact that there was food related research to be done, sensory panel questionnaires to design and a whole lot of writing to do. Eighty eight pages of report and graphs later I have some actual research evidence to back up the fact that people enjoyed the blueberry muffins we made using pureed cannellini beans. Our taste panel members actually liked the muffins made with 50% bean puree used to replace butter more than the original recipe. They also liked the muffins made with 100% bean replacement but, when compared to the full fat muffins (called the control muffin), they liked the control muffin better.

So what exactly does this mean? This means that you can easily swap out some or all of the butter or oil in many baked goods with pureed beans and no one will notice! Kids hate beans? They can be easily added to muffins and most likely many other baked goods without anyone noticing. Unless they actually catch you pureeing up the beans. This bean swap is also great for those looking to cut their fat intake. Perhaps you have had WLS and added fat upsets your stomach. How about those with gallbladder issues? Often times added fat will set off an attack. It did with my brother but he didn’t have issues with the 100% bean replaced muffins.

If your interested in swapping out some fat with pureed beans here a great trick to save you time.

Using Pureed Beans As A Fat Replacer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
This recipe makes a 50% bean to butter replacement for your baked goods. This mixture is used to replace butter or oil in a recipe. If the recipe calls for 1 cup then use 1 cup of the mixture. If it calls for ½ cup butter than use ½ cup of this mixture. You get the idea 🙂
  • 1 - 16 ounce can of beans (cannellini, chickpea, pinto or black beans) drained and rinsed
  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  1. Drain and rinse the beans. Place in a colander and allow the extra water to drain off.
  2. Place the beans in a food processor and puree.
  3. Add the stick of butter and process until smooth.
  4. Since my muffin recipe calls for ½ cup of butter I simply scoop out ½ cup of the bean/butter mixture and place it in small plastic bags. Seal the bags and store in the freezer.
  5. If your making a recipe simply measure out the corrent amount of bean/butter mixture to use in place of the butter in the recipe. Pretend that the mixture is 100% butter and follow your recipe's directions.

Here’s what my final bagged bean/butter mixture looked like:


Each 1/2 cup scoop is placed in its own bag. Then these smaller bags are placed in one larger freezer bag and I include an index card with the item name and date. I can’t tell you how many mystery bags of frozen stuff I have defrosted in order to figure out what in the world it might be. Thought I would never forget what was in the bag. I’ve learned my lesson.


These are made with chickpeas. I don’t know how but, when I went looking for beans, I discovered 7 cans of chickpeas. They got volunteered to be used in the muffins instead of the cannellini beans.

Next up….the blueberry muffin recipe!

Looking For Great iPhone Apps

After several years of having a plain old cellphone with only texting as an added options I’ve just upgraded to a smartphone. It actually wasn’t by choice but by necessity. I’ve been stuck multiple times since I lack the ability to get email through my phone. Evidently, when everyone else has it, your just expected to have a phone that does a zillion things as well.  I’ve shown up for cancelled classes since I didn’t get the email saying it was cancelled. There was the time that the classroom was changed to a different room and I was standing there wondering why no one else was around. Didn’t get that email either.

Since my contract was up I upgraded to an iPhone4.


Yes, it’s not the most current model. Hey, I’m a struggling student who is rasing a family on a drastically reduced budget. When they said the iPhone4 was free or I could pay $150 for the iPhone5 I went with the 4. Free is for me!

These phones certainly earn the title of smartphone. I’m amazed at the things they can do and the health/food related possibilities.

The first thing I thought of was how much easier doing a 24 hour food recall with a patient would be if they could just simply show you pictures they have taken of all the items the ate in the last 24 hours. It would reduce the number of items forgotten. Even better is actually being able to see the serving size that was eaten. It would also help when it comes to counseling people on picking better options. What if a client wanted to figure out some better choices they could make when purchasing items from a work cafeteria or even a vending machine on the days they didn’t bring lunch or a snack? A few pictures could easily show what food options are available and the discussion would be so much easier!

So now that I’ve been forced to embrace this technology I’m going to put it to work and see what other helpful food and health related apps are available. Do you currently use any food or health related apps? I’m especially interested in meal planning apps. If you have some favorites leave a comment below and tell me which ones you like. Or even which ones you didn’t like.

You Call This A Low Carb Biscuit?

I am a student member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as well as the DCE Diabetes Care andEducation Community Group. This means that each month I receive several nutrition related journals. Sometimes I have received magazines on health related topics provided by publishers to the members of the AND. This month I was sent a copy of Better Homes and Garden’s Diabetic Living. It’s interesting to see some of the health related magazines that people buy. This one caught my eye because it was sporting this on the front page (look at where the arrow is pointing:


Hey…..I’d love to make a low carb biscuit! I quickly turned to the recipe only to see this:



What !?!  22 grams for a small biscuit? How exactly is that low carb? Here’s what I had to say:

Aint got time meme

Want to make a real low carb biscuit? First check out this page for the low carb bake mix recipe. Then go to this one for the actual biscuit recipe….scroll past the first recipe for a bake mix made with flour.

Their recipe: 22 grams of carbs.

My recipe: 9 grams of carbs. That’s what I would call a low carb biscuit recipe.

Got a favorite low carb biscuit recipe? Leave a comment below and include a link.







Stress, Head Hunger and Emotional Eating

Things have been out of control busy for the last two weeks. I have to keep reminding myself that all of this craziness is only temporary. At least all the school related stuff is which is good. I have a medical nutrition class that has tests every weekend along with multiple care plan group projects. My community nutrition class currently has one huge group project going on that makes up nearly half the class grade.

I hate group projects. They make me very stressed out especially when other people wait to the last minute to get their work done.

stressed cat

Under times of stress I find myself returning to old habits to relieve the stress. Eating was my main one. I find myself frequently drifting into the kitchen to look through cabinets to find something “good” to eat. Not because I’m hungry. I’m not. It’s more to relieve the stress. While surgery restricts how much I can eat at one time there is nothing to solve this type of eating. Emotional eating is the hardest to solve.

You’ve probably heard people say something along this line: “they operated on my stomach, not on my head”. Even if I roll my eyes when it’s said it really is true. WLS doesn’t fix this type of stress release mechanism. Some days I have the upper hand and can put a stop to this type of head hunger or emotional eating. Other times it wins.

How do you stop head hunger?

Stopping it is different for everyone. For me, whenever I find myself returning to look for food when I’m not hungry, I have to ask myself some questions. What am I looking for? Why? Am I really hungry or am I just bored, tired, mad, sad, stressed, etc.

If I were really hungry then I would be willing to eat something nutritious….protein, veggies, soup, cheese, fruit, etc. If I’m not interested in those things and find that I’m craving “good stuff”, which translates into junk food (chips, crackers, cookies, etc) then I know it’s head hunger or emotional eating. For me the only way to stop it is to keep talking to myself. No, not out loud. I keep reminding myself that eating isn’t going to solve the problem of being stressed, tired, mad, etc. Then I try to focus on doing something else. Again. Sometimes I win. Sometimes my head wins.

How about you? What do you do when you have head hunger?

TLC Diet Menu Plan

It seems my medical nutrition therapy class topic could not be more appropriate for this month. Our current topic is cardiac related which is perfect for February’s Go Red campaign by the American Heart Association.  While heart disease is usually thought of as a man’s disease it actually kills more women than all the types of cancers combined. It’s also the number one cause of death in the country (men and women combined).

Since I already had to create a 1 day menu that follows the TLC (Theraputic Lifestyle Change) diet I thought I would share it here as well. This menu provides 1,600 calories and 2 grams of sodium. It can even be made more WLS friendly pretty easily.


1 cup of cooked oatmeal made with 3/4 cup skim milk

1 small banana or fruit of your choice

4 oz orange juice

1 cup of coffee with 2 TB skim milk


Tuna sandwich made with 2 oz tuna, 1 Tb low fat mayonnaise, 1 slice tomato, 2 lettuce leaves and 2 slices of bread

1 cup of skim milk or non fat yogurt

10 mini carrots


3 oz of grilled chicken breast

1 cup string beans

1/2 cup brown rice made with low salt chicken broth

salad made with 1 1/2 cups romaine lettuce, 1/2 tomato sliced, 1/4 cucumber sliced, 2 TB avocado and 2 TB olive oil and vinegar dressing (add your choice of fresh herbs)


1 apple and 1 peach or 2 fruits of your choice

non fat yogurt with 2 Tb sliced almonds mixed in

To keep this menu low in sodium don’t add additional salt. Use a sodium free salt substitute. Add fresh or dried herbs to help boost flavors. Try squeezing lemon or other citrus on the chicken. Maybe even add some sauteed mushrooms and a bit of marsala wine to make chicken marsala. Sprinkle cinnamon on the oatmeal. Add some fresh or dried chives to the tuna.

This menu could easily be made more WLS friendly. I’d have to remove the milk and yogurt since I get serious blood sugar crashes with milk. I’d use almond milk instead. The bread at lunch could easily be dropped and the tuna salad served over a bunch of salad greens. I’d probably go with a bit of cheese or more nuts instead of having the orange juice at breakfast. Juice is another one of those items that cause many people to dump.  Plus it falls into the category of being a high calorie food that could be thought of as a slider food. Better to replace it with something containing more protein.

Now it’s time to get back to writing my nutritional care plan for my cardiac patient. It’s going to be a busy weekend.

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