Hey, hi! So I’m in the middle of the craziness that is the Calgary Stampede, and have 8 shows down on the grounds this week – partly because I’ve been asked to do cooking demos for Bush’s Beans, sponsors of the Kitchen Theatre for the past 5 years. As you know, I’m a bean enthusiast, and always happy for an excuse to cook with them – and this time, I challenged myself to come up with something unique using their small pull-tab cans of baked beans, which are being handed out at the kitchen and at pancake breakfasts across the city.
I do love baking with beans, and canned varieties make a particularly smooth puree, so I started experimenting with muffins and came up with these. I pureed the whole batter in the blender (or food processor), so you only have to clean one “bowl”, and can pour the batter right into your muffin cups. And because the beans themselves have some fibre and starchy structure, you can get away with only using them and oats – there’s no flour in these. And yet they have a surprisingly light texture – they aren’t gummy at all, but slightly grainy, not enough to be heavy. W has been asking for them every day, surprisingly. If he only knew they were made with beans and oats…
I added some pumpkin puree thinking it would go well with the maple-spiked beans, and it does – they don’t taste pumpkin-y. But if you’re annoyed at the thought of opening a can of pumpkin to only use one cup, I froze the rest in half cup portions in a muffin tin, then popped the frozen pucks out into a ziplock freezer bag. Now it’s easy to pop out a puck and thaw it on the countertop or in the microwave to make a batch. I suspect a ripe banana would make a tasty alternative. And if you want to add raisins, nuts, berries or chocolate chips, just stir them into the batter right in the pitcher, after you’ve finished blending it.
Seriously – these are surprisingly good. I’ve made about a dozen batches so far this summer. These are mini versions in the photos – I made them as samples to give away at my Stampede demos. This recipe makes 48, and they bake in 15-18 minutes.