Pancakes (with pureed white beans!)

OK, I got one for ya. But I’m throwing you this bone only because I haven’t cooked dinner at all this week. (Don’t tell the publisher that this is from our as-yet-unnamed bean book!) I managed to squeeze four recipe tests in yesterday before 10 am, and that’s about it for kitchen action.
T.G.I.F. – I understand it now.

Remember that big to-do list I filled y’all in on two days ago? Ask me how many items have been scratched off. Do you really want to know? Not one. I forgot to add take mother in law for 3 hour grocery shopping trip and spend ridiculous amount of time searching for a Tim Horton’s without a half-hour lineup. And damn, that minutiae.

And then of course some days life throws curveballs right at your head.

My sister, the one who lives across the street, who is probably reading this on her laptop, wrapped in her robe in her big red chair, quite possibly drinking a coffee that she just figured out how to make as good as Mike does (out of necessity when we were away for two weeks), who is most likely inwardly cringing as she realizes I’m talking about her and wonders exactly how many details I’m about to disclose, was brought to the hospital in an ambulance yesterday. Which is exactly the sort of thing you don’t expect to hear when you answer the phone on a regular Thursday afternoon.

She’s now home again, but it does suck quite a bit when someone you love gets hurt. (It will suck even more when she gets that ambulance bill.)

On the upside (silver lining!) it meant I got to take Ben to his dance performance at school, and thus got to witness an entire kindergarten and grade 1 class dressed and made up as zombies, re-enacting Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Just pause for a minute and visualize that. W asked me if I was laughing or crying and I didn’t know the answer.

Toward the end of the performance, after all the grades had done their thing, W did his best to subtly work his way through the crowd, across the stretch of wood gymnasium floor that came between the audience and performing students, and nonchalantly sit down among them for the finale. He watched the teacher and did exactly what the other kids did, then stood up when prompted and filed out with them after the show. I think he might be ready for kindergarten.

Luckily, earlier this week I was testing pancakes made with pureed white beans (and they worked! for real! you can’t even tell!) and so I had a stash on hand. When things started feeling like a Tilt-a-Whirl I tossed pancakes to the boys like Flippy Flyers when they got hungry. Which is not to say that these have the consistency of Frisbees – they don’t.

And the pureed legumes boost the fiber in these far more than whole wheat flour (a cup of beans contains about 12 g fiber, compared to 4 in a cup of whole wheat flour).

Pancakes with White Beans


May 7, 2010

  • Makes: Makes about 8 pancakes.


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat, oat or rye flour

2 tsp. baking powder

a shake of cinnamon (optional)

pinch salt

1 cup or half a 19 oz. (540 mL) can white kidney or navy beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups milk

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp. canola, olive or flax oil


1In a large bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon (if you’re using it) and salt. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the beans with a splash of the milk - enough to help get it going - until smooth. Add the rest of the milk, the eggs and oil and pulse until well blended.

2Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined; don’t worry about getting all the lumps out.

3When the skillet is hot (you can test it by flicking some drops of water on it – they should bounce) spray it with nonstick spray or drizzle in about a teaspoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Ladle the batter onto the skillet, making the pancakes any size you like. If you are using them, place berries or slices of banana directly onto the batter. Turn the heat down a little and cook for 2-4 minutes, until the bottom is golden and bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Use a thin, flat spatula to flip them over and cook for another minute on the other side, until golden.

4Repeat with the remaining batter. If you want everyone to eat at the same time, keep finished pancakes uncovered in a 200ºF oven.


And seeing as it’s Friday, I have some free stuff for you! In honour of mamma’s day this weekend, I have something created by one of my favourite moms, one I aspire to be more like. She’s what you might call a creative type – a teacher and a musician, the kind who comes up with insanely creative birthday party themes, composes original music for them, cooks from scratch and invents contests and games – her kids’ parties are the social events of the season for the 4 year old set; if their lives didn’t revolve around princesses and those little plastic shoes I’m certain W would just move in. Also, she’s just awesome. Case in point: the time she went to the Palamino late at night after the kids were in bed and rocked out in her Crocs.

Wait, I think I had a point here.

She has a band called Magnolia Buckskin, and they just released their first CD. Last night, in between a visit to emergency and getting Ben ready for his concert, as I made the boys poached eggs on toast, she stopped by to drop off freshly-pressed (do they press CDs?) copies. Which is, of course, brilliant. I’m so proud of her.

The song Walk was inspired by her successful efforts to conquer postpartum depression. When a friend became wheelchair-bound at a young age due to MS, she decided to celebrate the fact that at least she could walk, and went out and walked for hours a day, which helped bring her back to life. Can you think of a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day?

By the way – Magnolia Buckskin’s CD release party is in two weeks – Friday, May 21 at the Ironwood in Inglewood – a great venue with great food just a few blocks from our house! What better excuse to invite you all out for a drink? Wouldn’t that be fun?

To enter the FSF draw this week, I’d love to know what you learned from your mom in the kitchen? Or if that doesn’t apply, what you’re teaching your kids?


About Julie

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44 comments on “Pancakes (with pureed white beans!)

  1. Melanie
    May 7, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    You know what I love that I learned from my mom in the kitchen? How to make tuna buns… not just plain old tuna melts – but her most yummy, melty, tuna buns on IGA white crusty buns… No one can make them like mom! But what cracks me up more is that my 11 y.o daughter had a hankering for grandma’s tuna buns the other day so she called up Grandma and got that ‘recipe’ – I could have cried. She wrote down that recipe in her crazy writing and was so excited to make them!
    I feel like I’m in a bit of a limbo – my own childhood doesn’t seem so far away yet my babies are growing up… how did this happen?
    Anyways, long story short – I love that my kiddos can hang out in the kitchen with my mom and that she makes it fun for them (although it’s not often enough)! So very much appreciated.

  2. Jennifer Jo
    May 8, 2010 at 4:32 am

    I learned tons from my mom, but mainly that homemade food is better than any restaurant stuff. She also was totally opposed to making desserts healthy, and she loved her butter.

  3. Cathy N
    May 8, 2010 at 6:26 am

    My mom was the most unassuming, humble cook in the world. Cooking for a family of 8 (which included 6 kids, 4 of whom were hungry boys and 2 picky girls) 7/365 without a gringe, always on time and never able to say “Let’s order in tonight!” – is something that I now think of in total awe. I imagine it was like being a short order cook for a small cafe – only no tips!

    When I became a mother of 1 little boy- I very soon appreciated all that she did… without any fuss or bother! She died before my son and her other grandchildren were able to get to know her and appreciate her culinary abilities, but she still lives in my mind – especially when I am tired and grumpy yet still need to fill hungry tummies. Happy Mothers’ Day, Mom 🙂

  4. Natalie (GA)
    May 8, 2010 at 6:29 am

    It is fun to try new things like making your own fresh noodles and hanging them from brooms all over the kitchen. And there are times to laugh at the new things you try (potato chip cookies, orange juice pumpkin pie) and not make them again. [memories from my mom in the kitchen]

  5. Cheryl
    May 8, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Phew, and now you are in Banff? I hope your sister, and the rest of you, are doing okay.

    From my mom? Definitely her pyrohy, but you already knew that!

  6. Laurie in Burnaby
    May 8, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I learned to cook out of self-defence, my biological mother was such an appalling cook. From my first foster mother I learned to love making food for other people, and I learned to make it so that their faces lit up and they made nmmu sounds. From my second foster mother I learned how to make seemingly nothing stretch to feed a crowd, how to throw a meal together quickly without it seeming rushed, and to make things last. From my third foster mother I learned to read recipes and put my own touch on them, and to see cooking as an art. They’re all gone, now, but each of them has a special place in my kitchen and memories – even the first one. Her refusal to try to learn to do something she considered demeaning taught me to give everything in life a good try, even things that I think I might not like at first.

  7. Erica B.
    May 8, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Learn to cook from Mom? err no.

    Yesterday I had all three kids in aprons as we made your browned butter blueberry muffins each got to measure, and mix, taste and smell. Alison (8yo) marveled at the change in the butter. Claudia & Josh were enamoured with the frozen blueberries and the way they changed the colour of the batter. They all were even more excited to eat the fruits of their labour later.

    I try and involve the kids in some way so that when they’re out there on their own they’ll be well equipped to do more than boil water or call the pizza guy. 🙂

  8. Sue (London, ON)
    May 8, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I love new music especially new Canadian music! How exciting. If I lived closer, I’d be so thrilled to come to the cd release party. Have fun for all of us that can’t make it.
    I’m desparately trying to teach my boys about making healthy choices when they cook. But I’m telling you, they are VERY resistant! I just cross my fingers and hope that when they’re older, some of what I’m saying will come back to them and they’ll realize that I was right all along!!
    I hope your sister has recovered from whatver put her in hospital.

  9. Mary Ann
    May 8, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I learned how to make biscuits and squares from my mom. I learned that garden fresh is always best. and I learned that sitting at the table to eat as a family is important. I took it for granted as a kid but I realise now that not many families do that anymore.

  10. Barb
    May 8, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Too much to tell but baking powder biscuits was one of her specialties (I still don’t measure up to those) awesome apple crisp, homemade buns for backyard bbqs….

  11. Jan (Family Bites)
    May 8, 2010 at 10:53 am

    When I was young my mother decided we should embark on vegetarianism for a while. She taught me that zucchini can replace spaghetti noodles when necessary!

  12. Josie
    May 8, 2010 at 11:58 am

    what an interesting idea! I would never in a million years think to try beans in pancakes!

  13. Sarah G
    May 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    What did I learn from my Mom in the kitchen? hmmmm…that is a tough one. You see, my Mom had schizophrenia. I couldn’t even spell that word…a little mental block. So I didn’t give her credit for anything I might have learned until I was well into my adult life.

    Now that I am far enough removed from all that pain and drama, I actually see how wonderful she was in the kitchen. She cooked a lot. You know how stuff was way back then…ugh!

    We would water bath process everything from BC fruits to chickens. She made raisin pies and date squares, both my father’s favourites. I didn’t know that people had to learn how to cook a chicken or turkey. We froze everything from the garden every fall.

    She was always cooking something and rarely used a recipe. In fact, we only had one cookbook in the house – a tattered Five Roses Flour cookbook. I don’t know if she ever opened it.

    So I am thinking that I learned to use cooking as a way to relax and unwind, from her.

  14. Vivian
    May 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Julie, with recipes like this and a new book coming out featuring beans and legumes…I think we’d all be wise to order a bunch of stock in the “Primo” company or some other purveyor of beans! My Mom was a “nervous” cook and didn’t want any “hovering” in her kitchen. She could produce some very fine meals but there were some disasters as well…salt that somehow replaced sugar in a lemon coconut meringue pie and the time the fire dept. had to be called to rescue a pan of flaming cream puffs from the back of the oven! All in all we did eat well as a family of three. I think because of that “mystery” in her kitchen I was drawn to find out what all the fuss was about. Today I am complimented quite often on my culinary efforts. I think my Mom would have been pleased.

  15. Sunita
    May 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Actually, when I have cooking questions I usually go to my dad! My mom’s parents owned and operated a Chinese restaurant in small-town Saskatchewan, and because her English was much better than her parents, she worked up front with the customers almost from the time she started school. Never really spending any time in the kitchen, my mom still makes the best rice crispie squares and mac ‘n cheese (from the box). I guess I learned that cooking doesn’t have to be the “mom’s” job, because I grew up watching my parents divvy all the household tasks – dad cooked and mom did the dishes!

  16. Roving Lemon
    May 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Things I learned from my mum in the kitchen that I am grateful for now that I’m a mum myself:

    1. How to cook vegetables (including spinach) that children will plead for.
    2. To always make enough so that everyone can have seconds (or leftovers).
    3. That one of the best things you can do for your family is sit down at a table with them and eat a home-cooked meal.
    4. That, with a little planning and determination, you can produce a homemade baked good on a regular basis. (She managed it at least once a week while running a household of 10 people!)

  17. maria
    May 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Glad to hear things have settled down a tiny bit for you. My mom was and still is NOT any kind of cook in the kitchen, but I managed to learn how to make wontons from her, with lots of shrimp.

    With the girls I just encourage them to hang out with me in the kitchen, especially during baking time because they love licking the beaters. I love how baking teaches cooperation, math, coordination, reading – AND you get to eat the results!

  18. Amy
    May 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    First thing my mother ever taught me to cook when I moved out on my own – good old roast chicken. Easiest thing in the world and by far my favorite dish.

  19. Lori
    May 8, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I learned from my mom that supper always ends with dessert.
    No, mom wasn’t the best cook with a few notable exceptions like meatloaf that will make your knees weak, but after every meal we had something sweet.

  20. Laur
    May 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    From my lovely mom I learned that food is a great way to say “I love you,” and that nurturing your family involves providing food, whether you slaved for hours or just scrambled some eggs. I learned that experimenting is fun, and that families can enjoy restaurant meals together as much as home-cooked ones, as long as you’re together.

  21. thepinkpeppercorn
    May 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Glad it sounds like everyone is okay! Although, you might be a little bit more than busy to say the least. Pancakes sound fabulous! I just made some too. Beans in there sounds good to me, and even if you COULD taste them, there is nothing that syrup doesn’t completely disguise anyways.

  22. Aimee
    May 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    ROTFL about the kindergarten class/drama.

    Noah is SO psyched to be going to school in the fall.

    I’m pretty psyched about these pancakes. Honestly, this cookbook cannot come soon enough for us.

  23. jacquie
    May 8, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    unfortunately neither apply – i didn’t learn much in the way of “kitchen” from my mother and i don’t have any kids to teach my love of food and the importance of eating local.

  24. Anonymous
    May 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    From my mom, I learned how to make homemade soup from leftovers… and how to preserve peaches, pears and apricots. Also I learned how to grow veggies in a garden plot. What my adult sons – now 35-40 have learned from me is to appreciate all the fresh food from the garden and how to eat wisely. They prepare fresh food and eat less meat, more grains, and lots of salads and home made soups. One son, living on the 29th floor grows his own herbs. And because there’s no bees high up on the 29th floor, I start his tomato seeds and when they blossom I use a paintbrush to pollinate them. Then the boy takes his tomato pots home to watch them grow and eat fresh red tomatoes with his basil and other herbs. They ask for recipes by email now, even tho’ they live only blocks away from me. They all have crockpots and make their own home made soup… such as green pea or barley. My sons are not married…….can your tell?

  25. Margaret L
    May 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    From my mom, I learned how to make homemade soup from leftovers… and how to preserve peaches, pears and apricots. Also I learned how to grow veggies in a garden plot. What my adult sons – now 35-40 have learned from me is to appreciate all the fresh food from the garden and how to eat wisely. They prepare fresh food and eat less meat, more grains, and lots of salads and home made soups. One son, living on the 29th floor grows his own herbs. And because there’s no bees high up on the 29th floor, I start his tomato seeds and when they blossom I use a paintbrush to pollinate them. Then the boy takes his tomato pots home to watch them grow and eat fresh red tomatoes with his basil and other herbs. They ask for recipes by email now, even tho’ they live only blocks away from me. They all have crockpots and make their own home made soup… such as green pea or barley. My sons are not married…….can your tell?

  26. glenda
    May 8, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I remember home made pizza night every weekend – it was an event. And from that I learned that simple food can still make memorable occasions; it’s the people that matter.

  27. brenda
    May 8, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    My mom taught me to maker the best bread. She taught me to make soup. She taught me the importance of being self-reliant by growing your own food.

  28. Tina
    May 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    My mom taught me to make stuff from scratch, waste NOTHING,grow a garden. There were a few hiccoughs along the way (eg, “carato” sauce during the food combining phase!), but she continues to inspire me with her energy and commitment to healthy, delicious food.

  29. Amy B.
    May 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Oh wow, that photo of pancakes is just mouth watering!!! Happy Mother’s day by the way! Now I miss my mom 🙁

    Anyhooo, great blog! Keep it up. If you don’t mind I’d love to guide Foodista readers to this post. Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it’s all set, Thanks! 🙂

  30. Carolyn
    May 9, 2010 at 5:18 am

    I can’t wait for your new cookbook! Is this new book going to include instructions on how to cook dry beans into something resembling canned beans?

    What did my mom teach me in the kitchen? ….Everything! She taught me how to cook nutritious meals on a budget, how to cook for her hungry family even though she was a career woman. She continues to teach me how graciousness and hospitality can make anything taste wonderful. My favourite memory is standing on a chair, holding the mixer while we baked together. I don’t know what I’d do without my mom.

  31. Penny
    May 9, 2010 at 11:25 am

    My Mom was a dreadful daily cook but could put a great roast chicken on the table on Sunday. Her coleslaw tho is legendary… We lived on a farm and were blessed (I realize now) to eat primarily organic foods from the garden. My parents didn’t force us to eat anything so we grew up liking everything. Their trick? The supper on the table was all there was to eat until breakfast. Take it or leave it. We ate or went hungry. No fuss no muss.
    When relatives dropped in from Ontario my Mom could stretch a meal and turn it into a banquet. This never ceased to amazed me. Her secret was her incredible coleslaw, together with canned chicken. Num, we loved it when Mom invited unexpected company to stay for supper, which was often.
    One final lesson my Mom taught us was that there is always room for one more. She lived it, and us kids have experienced much joy thru the years from including others at our tables or offering accommodation. Thanks Mom!

  32. rea
    May 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    fresh fruit and vegetables are a treat so enjoy them in the harvest, can and freeze what you can for the lean, winter months.

    leftovers can even more delicious than the original meal.


    i’m trying to teach my kids that mom and dad both cook and clean up the kitchen. i’ve taught my husband that cooking together in the kitchen is the new foreplay!

  33. Mary C
    May 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    My mom (despite working several jobs) ensured that we sat down as a family every single night with a home cooked meal. It was important to her that we gathered and had a little bit of time together as a family each and every day. Even though it’s just my husband and I now — I found that I have enacted this rule and love it. Nice break from all the chaos and a lot healthier!

    Quick question: Is it possible to substitute the cup of whole wheat flour with another cup of oat flour?

  34. bridgit
    May 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I’ve been trying to use beans I cook my self more often. Any chance you can use volume measurements in additions to weight/can size, since the weight is with the liquid included?
    Thanks for considering.

  35. bridgit
    May 9, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Also, thanks for the recipe. My family is all for pancakes, and beans.

  36. Natalie (GA)
    May 10, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Just made your pancake recipe – SUPER GOOD.

  37. Lana in South Mountain (ON)
    May 10, 2010 at 9:13 am

    My Mom taught me SO much in the kitchen. I helped her all the time as the oldest of four children: How to make a turkey or prime rib dinner, with whipped potatoes, gravy/just, all veggies ready at the same time, warm rolls, etc. Homemade soup, bread, pie crust, pickles, jams, a good pot of tea, everything! She is a great cook even though she says she’d rather do anything than cook. She taught me the incredible treasure that is a homegrown tomato, real maple syrup, wild berries, etc. She always made enough for extra people at the table and so do I. My friends can’t believe how I can put together a meal for 12 with little effort. I just take it for granted that anyone can!
    I LOVE to eat and to cook and I thank her for that. Now that I work FT, I realize that I don’t include my kids in dinner prep because it is always late, etc. A new goal for the weekends!
    LOVED reading these entries, everyone. Thank you for sharing your stories.

  38. Ruth
    May 10, 2010 at 9:17 am

    My mom taught me to always accept a guests offer to help. Even if they are just being polite! Take it and hand them carrots to chop, a pot to stir or a veggie platter to arrange! Life is boring in the kitchen all by yourself!

  39. Robyn in Mountain (Ontario that is)
    May 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    My Mom taught me lots in the kitchen. She taught me how to bake great desserts — for our family gatherings (she had six kids) there were always pies, squares, cakes and incredible concoctions. She taught me how to make great comfort food for an army — even though it is my husband and I at home, I still can’t make dinner for two. In fact, my husband always says, “who else is coming for dinner?” But most importantly, she taught me how to be patient in the kitchen — she always took her time, she sang (really old songs — she was born in 1925 and had me at the age of 39) and she had time for hugs. Everything I know today, I owe it all to Rose. Unfortunately she passed away in 1991 at the age of 66. I got to cook for her every day of her final 4 months.

    Love the idea of the beans in the pancakes! I am going to pass the recipe on to my nieces, who can make them for my great nieces.

    Belated Happy Mother’s Day to all!

  40. Ashley
    May 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I can’t wait for your bean cookbook!! And to try out these pancakes. Brilliant stuff.

  41. JeCaThRe
    May 10, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    My mom taught me how to make yulekake, and how to turn out a half dozen simple dinners. I am grateful.

  42. Evelyn in Canada
    May 11, 2010 at 9:26 am

    My mom taught me how to say “I hate cooking, I hate cooking, I hate cooking”, but she didn’t really. She just hated cooking for a crowd of un-pleasable kids.

    Did you pick a winner already? I’ll have to buy one of those CD because I knew your friend when we were in university and heard her play amazing things on her keyboard in crappy staff housing in Banff and I’m also very proud of her.

  43. molly
    May 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    No. Way. So weird, I might have to try it… (Seriously?!)

  44. Amie Shadlu
    January 31, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    This is a great idea. I love using beans in all my baked good recipes. Cheers!! 🙂

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