Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oddball flours

If you've ever had a reason to seek out a nontraditional flour--such as garbanzo bean flour (used in both Italian and Indian recipes) or flax meal (because of its health benefits) or other nonwheat flours (for anyone avoiding gluten)--then you have probably run across Bob's Red Mill brand. This Oregon-based company sells more than 400 grain products nationwide, and not just in little health-food stores but in supermarkets, too.

The other day I happened to be looking for coconut flour (this will show up in a later post), which eventually led me to Bob's Red Mill website. This got me poking around to see what other oddball flours were there, and I found black bean flour. I love the flavor of black beans, but what could I do with flour made from them?

Well, the answer (from Bob's database of recipes) is kind of cool: Almost-instant black bean dip.

Here's how it works. In a small saucepan, you whisk together black bean flour with chili powder, salt and cumin. Then you whisk in hot water and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in some picante sauce and chopped scallions and you're done. The recipe for the bean dip as well as recipes for Black Bean Burritos and Black Bean Taco Pizzas are on the back of the bag of flour.

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