Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

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Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by Lynn LeFey » Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:51 pm

I brought up a topic in another thread about Lentils, when discussing beans in food storage, and I thought I'd share some thoughts on them, and Gram Flour, which is just ground up chickpeas.

So, my thoughts on Lentils. First, in international markets, you can get lentils in bags where they are coated in oil. I assume you all know that if you're storing them for long term use, don't get this kind. The oil will go rancid. Second, Lentils are small. The benefit to this is that they cook pretty fast (maybe about 35-40 minutes simmering) and do not require soaking first. For dried beans, that is pretty amazing. If you're thinking about the fuel required to make a given food, then you understand the benefit of food that cooks faster, and even if you're using a solar cooker (removing the concern about fuel), a food that cooks faster means you could do more batches, or different foods after your beans are cooked. So, IMO, Lentils are an excellent food option for long-term food storage. Their nutritional value is even slightly better than black beans, and they cook faster.

Second, gram flour. This is just chickpeas that have been put through a flour mill. This gram flour is REALLY useful. And talk about FAST. Instead of the long cooking process, you can cook this stuff in maybe ten minutes as a soup. It thickens up amazingly. In fact, it works great to replace cornstarch as a thickener. You can make flatbread out of it and grill it. I am informed by the wikipedia article that it can be used as an egg substitute for vegan cooking. Even if you're not vegan, in a pinch, it'll work to replace eggs.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gram_flour

The only downside to gram flour (the unroasted variety) is a slight bitter taste, so if you make a soup from it, for instance, you need to simmer it long enough to get that bitter flavor out. I've done a very simple 'bean and ham' kind of soup with gram flour and spam.

Right. So... here's the kicker. You can grind ANY bean, as far as I know, into bean flour. So if you are the type of prepper that has hard wheat stored away, and presumably also a flour mill to turn that wheat into flour, then you can also use that mill on your beans and make bean flour.

There you go. Two things that can be done to speed up the 'get in my belly' time for long term stored beans. 1) get Lentils, and/or 2) grind them into flour.

There are a number of recipes that use bean flour available on-line. I encourage you to explore your options.

I just tried throwing half a serving of Lentils into my coffee grinder, and it made very good, if slightly course, flour in short order. I think I'll see how it works as egg replacement.

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Re: Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by duodecima » Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:48 pm

I love lentils and beans. I have ground beans for flour (Great northern and chickpeas). Coupla things :

1)Check your mill specs. Some will say they're not made for beans, don't kill your mill! I have a nutrimill, which is rated for them but I can tell you it works a hell of a lot harder on beans than it does on grain. If I did it often I'd worry about decreasing its lifespan.

2) Check how your mill actually does on them. My family grain mill (with hand crank option) was supposed to grind beans but what I actually got was just bean chunks, not flour or anything close. (Did ok with wheat.)

3) Beans & bean flour, to digest decently, need to be cooked at a boiling temp for about 10 min. They contain a chemical that causes food-poisoning-type symptoms otherwise (that is worse if heated but not high enough.) Red kidney beans have the most, but my Northern bean flour still has some. So using it in a quick-baking muffin could be unwise, but using it to thicken a soup as long as the soup stays at a good simmer for 10 min isn't a problem. I'm very pro-bean, btw, just not uncooked or undercooked. Boiling for 10 min before throwing them in the solar oven speeds the cook time a lot anyway. (Phytohaemagglutinin, fyi. http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnes ... 071092.htm)

4) I've used soy flour as an egg replacement in baking - it seems to work ok.

5) There's a lot of different kinds of lentils - red, yellow, brown(the kind in the grocery store), small green (aka french). I think of mung beans as a small white lentil. So you can have lots of quick cooking lentils without getting bored. (Also, split peas, green and yellow, also cook more quickly.)

6) Chickpea flour chocolate muffins! viewtopic.php?f=50&t=109293&start=24
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Re: Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by Stercutus » Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:00 am

And while we are on chickpeas lets not forget the hummus.... like garlic pepper hummus with some fresh warm flat bread... :awesome:
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Re: Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by Lynn LeFey » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:09 pm

If your grinder won't make a fine flour, you could still use it to make falafel. I've gotten a lot of dried falafel mixes and they only need to soak for maybe half an hour before cooking.

BTW, Stercutus... I'm right there with you with hummus. My husband has a medical issue, where he has limited protein in his diet (PKU). When he DOES eat protein, it's almost always beans. He loves hummus, and we often use it to balance out his protein intake. That and nuts (mostly almonds) and occasionally cheese.

I'm glad other folks have considered other uses for beans. I watch a lot of 'prepper' stuff, and every single one of them says 'store beans', and not a single one mentions what to do with them other than 'soak them, cook them'.

I will have to get around to trying that chickpea flour chocolate muffin recipe... Mmmm.....

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Re: Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by annaraven » Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:45 am

Not sure if you're familiar with this book but I found it really helpful when I was learning to use beans. It's called:
If you don't know beans about beans, or even if you do.

Also, you can make a traditional Italian Farinata with the garbanzo bean flour: http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingni ... flatbread/

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Re: Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by the_alias » Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:36 am

Moved to Eats and Drinks.

I sometimes make a version of pizza using gram flour, bit less effort than making traditional pizza bases.
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Re: Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by duodecima » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:47 am

the_alias wrote:Moved to Eats and Drinks.

I sometimes make a version of pizza using gram flour, bit less effort than making traditional pizza bases.
Recipe? (Please?)
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Re: Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by the_alias » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:33 am

duodecima wrote:
the_alias wrote:Moved to Eats and Drinks.

I sometimes make a version of pizza using gram flour, bit less effort than making traditional pizza bases.
Recipe? (Please?)
Sure. It's from the Hemsley sisters:
The call it Socca pizza and say it is from Nice.

Ingredients
250g gram flour
sea salt and pepper to taste
fresh herbs to taste
Oil/Ghee for frying

Method:
Whisk together all above bar the oil in a blender with 400ml water

Leave to stand for at least 30 mins (you can even leave over night and add some probiotic yoghurt they say)

Use a cast iron/ ceramic pan with the oil on medium-high heat to then use the batter to basically make pancakes with the batter mix. They should flip easily when done.

Once all bases made, add homemade tomato sauce and whatever toppings you so desire and bake them in a 200c or gasmark 7 oven for 10 minutes to finish. Grill optional for cheese.

How many pizza bases you get depends on how big you make them of course.
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Re: Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by annaraven » Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:35 pm

the_alias wrote:
duodecima wrote:
the_alias wrote:Moved to Eats and Drinks.

I sometimes make a version of pizza using gram flour, bit less effort than making traditional pizza bases.
Recipe? (Please?)
Sure. It's from the Hemsley sisters:
The call it Socca pizza and say it is from Nice.

Ingredients
250g gram flour
sea salt and pepper to taste
fresh herbs to taste
Oil/Ghee for frying

Method:
Whisk together all above bar the oil in a blender with 400ml water

Leave to stand for at least 30 mins (you can even leave over night and add some probiotic yoghurt they say)

Use a cast iron/ ceramic pan with the oil on medium-high heat to then use the batter to basically make pancakes with the batter mix. They should flip easily when done.

Once all bases made, add homemade tomato sauce and whatever toppings you so desire and bake them in a 200c or gasmark 7 oven for 10 minutes to finish. Grill optional for cheese.

How many pizza bases you get depends on how big you make them of course.
Socca is the French version of Farinata!

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Re: Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by Halfapint » Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:19 pm

Well I have a 50# bag of chickpea flour. I know what I'm making! I do love Socca but Socca pizz sounds delish!
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Re: Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by Anianna » Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:56 am

I use about a tablespoon or two of canelli bean paste to thicken soups, stews, and chili. We put it in ice cube trays in the freezer so we always have conveniently sized portions handy. I use canelli just because thay're obnoxiously hard to find around here, so I buy them in bulk.
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Re: Beyond basic beans: Lentils and Gram Flour

Post by Purple_Mutant » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:03 pm

I recently picked up a bag of gram flour. One thing I have tried so far is waffles. For my waffles I use the Wheat Montana 7 grain + flax pancake mix. I did a 50/50 mix of that and gram flour. As usual I didn't add any animal products or oil; just water. I am pretty sure I added some extra sugar and salt. The waffle came out a little dry but wasn't bad. Applesauce can be used instead of oil to add moisture.

I also tried a hummus using gram flour and peanut butter powder. It was edible; but I don't think I am going to do that one again.

I have more experimenting to do; but gram flour does seem like an easy way to boost the protein content of things. I think some protein bars with gram flour and hemp protein powder are in order. A low fat, vegan, oatmeal cookie recipe would be a good starting point. Take that and jack up the protein with some gram flour and hemp protein powder.

I the past I have added lentil flour to baked goods. I just ground up the lentils in a coffee grinder. I have a wonder jr deluxe grain mill which can handle legumes. It has stones as well as metal burs. With those metal burs you can do things like peanut butter. :D It's an excellent grain mill and well worth the money. Now I just need to get the pulley wheel for it so I can hook it up to a bicycle. :awesome:
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