Red Beans & Rice Pancakes

by HEAB on April 3, 2011

Last week, I mentioned our grocery budgeting tips, and I wanted to let you in on another one that has saved us money. Before we really started being careful with how much we were spending on food, I found myself running to the grocery store every other day picking up random odds and ends for recipes I wanted to make that day or for recipes I wanted to try out for the blog. Now, I go about things a little differently and try to base meals and recipes around ingredients we already have on hand. That’s why you don’t really see many elaborate or complicated recipes here on HEAB. Since Summer’s arrival, I don’t have much free time to spend in the kitchen. Nor, do I have time to run to the store every time I come up with some crazy recipe idea. These days I’m all about cheap simplicity, and that’s how this morning’s breakfast came about.

For once, I was really in the mood to celebrate Pancake Sunday, but I had no idea what I would make. Last night, I happen to throw a half used bag of red beans in some soaking water. They’d been sitting in our cabinet for a while, and I thought I might make some bean soup for dinner tonight. Anyway, while preparing my morning pot of decaf, I spied the soaking red beans, and got an idea. Alain’s comment from this post came to mind, and I threw a cup of the red beans along with 4 cups water into my rice cooker. 90 minutes later, the beans were done cooking, and I blended a few spoonfuls with a 1/4 cup HEABified coconut milk and NuNaturals vanilla stevia drops (8 to 10 drops?). Voila, instant sweet red bean paste!

I served the paste over my favorite brown rice pancakes with melted homemade coconut butter.


Sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, and DELICIOUS!


Don’t forget, my Eden Nuts nut butter giveaway ends this Wednesday, April 6.

Also, to all my online yoga loving friends, get 30% off your order at YogaDownload with the coupon code SpringYoga when checking out through midnight (PST) on Tuesday April 5th. Happy Downward Dogging! šŸ™‚


Emily April 6, 2011 at 10:03 am

oh my! that’s a chinese inspired dessert. we love red bean apste šŸ˜€

Danae @ CookingInCambridge April 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Wow! This looks so good. i love creative new recipes šŸ™‚

Ellie@fitforthesoul April 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Due to my Korean background, I grew up eating red bean paste like, all the time šŸ˜€ Even now it’s a staple sweet in my diet lol. looks delicious Heather! It’s so cool seeing all this Asian food becoming so well known throughout the world!

nadia April 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm

ohhh I LOVE red bean paste.
this looks super… maybe I can even try with mung beans?! hmm…

Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather April 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Although it’s so much fun to go grocery shopping for new fun ingredients it can also be just as fun to create meals from what you have on hand. This one looks like a winner Heather!

Diana (Soap & Chocolate) April 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm

MMM yess I love the Asian desserts filled with sweet bean paste, like mochi and moon cakes! I bet adzuki beans would work really well in your recipe too.

Sami April 4, 2011 at 11:52 am

i’ll bet this would be yummy made with garbanzo bean flour, too! like socca pancakes with red beans?! šŸ™‚

Jen April 4, 2011 at 9:51 am

Now that my youngest is 3, it’s a little easier to get into the kitchen again, but I’m still cheap and don’t use crazy ingredients either. I just can’t justify the cost of certain things!!!! These brown rice pancakes look really good!

brandi April 4, 2011 at 8:23 am

Thanks Heather! I’m definitely bookmarking these pancakes to try once I get (or make) some brown rice flour. They look awesome!

brandi April 4, 2011 at 8:09 am

also – do you buy your brown rice flour or make it? I’ve been looking into all these alternative flours, but some of them are super expensive!

HEAB April 4, 2011 at 8:19 am

Hi Brandi. Alex’s pancakes are the best gluten free pancakes I’ve ever had. They are fluffy – love them! I usually cut the recipe in half and use 1 TBSP coconut oil instead of applesauce.

I’ve been using Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour but plan to make my own once I finish off my current bag. I’ve read it’s so easy. Just toast brown rice and blend in Vita or pulse in food processor. Let me know if you try it. šŸ™‚

brandi@BranAppetit April 4, 2011 at 8:05 am

you have the most interesting combos šŸ™‚ i love seeing what you come up with!

also checking out that pancake recipe. i think i have a gluten intolerance and am looking for new ideas for foods.

alain April 4, 2011 at 1:44 am

hi heather! I’m so glad you liked the adzuki bean paste recipe! the great thing about adzuki beans is that it has such a mild flavor that you really can make it the base for whatever your taste buds want. some of my favorite combinations are adzuki + cocoa powder, adzuki paste + fresh strawberries on pancakes (this is a play off of the famous japanese mochi dessert ichigo daifuku) , adzuki + minced carrots + garam marsala . hope you’ll find some favorites of your own!

Claudine @ The Kathmanduo April 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Heather, I love this recipe! After a couple stints of living in China, I grew to love sweet bean desserts — in particular, red adzuki bean soup and green mung bean soup. I have recreated the soups before at home, but I love your idea here for making a sweet red bean paste. If I can find red beans in Kathmandu, this recipe is next on my list!

Emilia April 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I can always depend on you for the most unique, crazy, but nutritious concoctions. Seriously HEAB, you’re quite amazing in that way, and all ways, for that matter šŸ™‚
Hope you had a good weekend!

Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple April 3, 2011 at 9:10 pm

okay, the cooking the beans in the rice cooker is quite a trick! I use a pressure cooker for beans, but I just got back from vacation in Hawaii. Hotel room, mini fridge, no micro, so I was using a “hot pot” for many items (did a post about preparing for the trip, haven’t done a round up of the trip yet. Jet lag). The rice cooker would have been another great thing to take along.

HEAB April 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Just read about that little trick somewhere myself, but can’t remember where. Worked great, and I have a very cheap rice cooker.

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner April 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm

YAY for Sugar Free! šŸ˜€

Kristen, Sweetly April 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Oh, man. Was it delicious? It looks delicious. I see red bean ice cream and things like that on menus alllll the time. I always think, “next time, I’ll try it.” Hahaha. Sweet red beans… I will definitely have to try them now!

HEAB April 3, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Yes, it was quite tasty as is red bean ice-cream. You should totally try it!

Tara April 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I love using beans to make sweet things. I’ve used them to thicken oatmeal, smoothies, and pancakes. Black beans and cocoa powder = the bomb. Even better when peanut butter is added. Sometimes I just smash that all together with a fork and eat it. Ugly, but oh so delicious.

Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama April 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I have really been trying to do better with using what I have on hand as much as possible and not buy too many new ingredients before I use up what I have. It does help to save $$ for sure. I would have never thought to pair beans and pancakes- what a great way to add more protein to breakfast!

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day April 3, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I love that you use beans in sweets…

I’ve been going through phases with my shopping habits. I do happen to pass by the store all the time, so to stop in is no biggy (I remember the days with babies though.. I used to long for the days when I wouldn’t have to lug so much stuff eveyrwhere!)..
Lately, my favorite way to shop is to take my $3.33 daily (or $6.66 every two days) and buy whatever strikes my fancy. In the beginning, I was taking my whole 25 dollars for the week and shop once, but I found I didn’t get a good enough variety.. it’s interesting I feel like I have much more variety shopping daily, plus my store has a GREAT reduced produce bin that often has organic produce for a fraction .. but you do have to eat it that day or the next..

HEAB April 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm

That would be a fun way to do it – I bet you come home with some pretty interesting groceries when you limit yourself to $3.33 a day. I should try that for a week: The Melomeals Challenge. šŸ™‚

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day April 4, 2011 at 7:30 am

omg, you should do it!! I would LOVE to see what you come up with and what your experience is with it. It’s hard that’s for sure.. when I first started, I had a huge pantry stash, but I don’t have that anymore (except for nutritional yeast.. I bought 5 lbs of it over a year ago)..

I think it’s something that would benefit most people, because in reality, there are so many people going hungry.. and as a society, so many people don’t even think twice about spending money.. Many people spend as much on coffee every day as I do on food! … and I have been in the same situation where I could spend freely..

I am VERY fortunate because I have access to great stores and transportation, but so many people don’t even have that..

Meghan @ StruggleMuffins April 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I’m so bad about running out to Trader Joe’s or Whole Paycheck anytime I need one little thing (and then end up buying a ton of other stuff) – I need to get my butt in gear with making do with what I have on hand. This post is a great example of how you can get creative with what you’ve got, thank you for sharing!

Hannah April 3, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Heather, this is amazing! I fell in love with red bean desserts in Japan in 2007, but have never considered making my own sweet bean paste! I think I’d have to serve it with coconut cream instead of butter, though. Oh, how I’m addicted to that stuff! I’ve almost finished the whole bag of coconut flour simply by making coconut cream šŸ˜›

melissa @ the delicate place April 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm

i’ve been making loads of coconut oil chocolate instead of buying bars or bakers and it’s really hitting the spot. i decided i should buy real food not treats at the store to save $

Little Bookworm April 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Really interesting pancakes Heather! I’d never think to add beans to pancakes, they look almost purple in the photo. šŸ™‚

HEAB April 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm

But LB, your tagline is Beans, Books, & Cookies, AND you eat pancakes all the time. You must try! šŸ™‚

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I love sweet red bean paste! That looks so good. Very creative! I like it. šŸ˜€

Jen April 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Yum, I love sweet red beans. By the way, you seem really smart when it comes to food budgeting. I need to work on that. It wouldn’t be unlikely for me to blow 60 dollars at Whole Foods twice in the same week, on top of making other small purchases at various places. Wow, my habit looks even worse when I type it out. I need to stop!

HEAB April 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I’ve so been there. CD had to counsel me. Much better now. šŸ˜‰

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 3, 2011 at 3:24 pm

“These days Iā€™m all about cheap simplicity” – AMEN!!

That is the story of my life and I remember reading your blog a few years ago, going out for WFs hot bar meals, or going out on a whim for this or that…it’s all fun. Til you have a baby šŸ™‚ Then life, budgets, and just the reality of not being able to easily pick up and shop/dine/get out with a small baby or child also sets in and you’re forced to “shop in your own kitchen” and make things out of what you already have on hand.

The result is easy, cheap, simply-prepared food. At least that’s been my evolution, too.

I am so happy for you guys that you’ve shaved soooo much $$ off your budget!

The pancakes look stellar, of course šŸ™‚

Angel7 April 3, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Those pancakes look really good! Great idea!

Picky Nicky April 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm

That’s definitely a creative combo but I’d totally try it! It looks creamy and yummy šŸ˜€

Sarah April 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Ohh yumm. I was just thinking about how much I love red bean…anything. šŸ™‚

The Teenage Taste April 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to start using up ingredients in my pantry before buying other things and I’ve been doing pretty well! Glad to see I’m not the only one trying to cut back alittle. Those pancakes look delicious! Happy Pancake Sunday! šŸ™‚

lindsay April 3, 2011 at 1:17 pm

This reminds me of the japanese red bean cakes. Ever had them? So delicious. Now to combine them into a pancake is even more delicious!

HEAB April 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm

No, but I’ve had red bean ice-cream. Does that count? Mmm, that would be really good atop some pancakes as well. šŸ˜‰

kathleen April 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Not going to the store often really does save money. Also, ordering our groceries through a delivery service really saved money because you can see your total for the week before you order. Not like grocery shopping where after they ring you up it’s hard to put stuff back.

Kristina @ spabettie April 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm

oooh, Mama! this looks and sounds incredible!! I have been guilty of running to the store last minute (and multiple days in a row!) to make something I just HAD to have right then! šŸ™‚ I am going to have to try this one… YUM!

and Basil sends a Happy Downward Dog to YOU!!

HEAB April 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Einstein and Radley wanted to say “hi” to Basil. šŸ™‚

Kiersten April 3, 2011 at 12:22 pm

How creative!

Natalia - a side of simple April 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I usually try to only make one trip to the grocery store a week to make sure I don’t spend money on random things. It really helps me keep track of what I buy!

And just so you know, I celebrate Sunday with some pancakes especially in your honor šŸ™‚

Matt @ The Athlete's Plate April 3, 2011 at 11:52 am

Great idea! The beans also add some protein!

Katie April 3, 2011 at 11:44 am

I am all about both cheap and simple. I have never been one to get into the complicated trendy recipes. I use what I have. I still end up going to the grocery store several times a week, but that’s because I eat a lot. šŸ™‚ And I eat a lot of produce, so I like it fresh.

Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 3, 2011 at 11:39 am

And I thought I loved beans and put them in strange places šŸ˜‰ I love this. What a great idea!

Alex @ Spoonful of Sugar Free April 3, 2011 at 11:37 am

What a great idea! I used red beans in a soup just the other night…..too bad I used them all! I’ll have to buy some more to try this šŸ™‚

Holly @ The Runny Egg April 3, 2011 at 11:03 am

That is why I love your blog Heather — nothing is super complicated, but it all tastes good!

Maggie @ Say Yes to Salad April 3, 2011 at 10:44 am

I <3 cheap simplicity! I need more of it in my life. šŸ™‚

Amber from Berlinswhimsy April 3, 2011 at 10:43 am

I wouldn’t think to add beans to pancakes, but it sounds great! I recently made a similar pancake using one of the “blender batters” online. I was so surprised at how fluffy they were while being completely wholegrain. I’ll definitely try this recipe, too!

Heather, I thought of you when I recently ran across this recipe— “Rawsome Chocolate Fudge Sauce”: 120 ml Tahini; 2 T. cacao; 2 T. agave (or other sweetener)…. This might be good on pancakes, too! šŸ™‚

Ashlei April 3, 2011 at 10:43 am

I don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen either so I’m all about the cheap simplicity too.

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) April 3, 2011 at 10:38 am

I have been loving on savory pancakes and waffles lately like it’s my job. Seriously, I can’t get enough of the stuff. I was thinking there was something wrong with me for not craving the sweet stuff any more, but I’m going with it and just doing the savory. These look delicious!

Have a great day Heather!

Heather @ kissmybroccoli April 3, 2011 at 10:38 am

I used to be HUGE about going to the store to purchase new ingredients for different recipes…then I looked at my pantry one day and realized I had acquired enough dry goods to feed an army! :-/ Definitely came in handy during my Clean Out the Kitchen Challenge, but I am still going strong and trying to resist the urge to buy any more new flours/grains until I use up at LEAST half of what I have already!

I made gluten-free pancakes this morning too! I’ve never really done any gluten-free baking before on my own, but they turned out delish! I’ll be posting about them for PS later!

Hope you have a great rest of the weekend Heather!

Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 3, 2011 at 10:35 am


I need to finally try making some of your fabulous coconut butter, it looks so good! šŸ™‚

HEAB April 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Yes you do! šŸ™‚

Jamee April 3, 2011 at 10:31 am

I can cook regular beans in a rice cooker?! Really? Is the ratio 1:4?

HEAB April 3, 2011 at 10:37 am

Yep, I just discovered this myself. I think it’s usually a 1:4 ratio – that’s what my Internet research told me anyway, although the amount of water may vary from bean to bean.

Baking 'n' Books April 3, 2011 at 11:30 am

For pre-soaked beans right?

It looks like there’s blueberries in there Heather!

Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 3, 2011 at 10:16 am

I completely agree that I end up saving a lot of money when I use up what I have first, get creative with THAT, and THEN go shopping on a more regular schedule. Picking up a few fun things usually turns into getting more than I bargained for. šŸ˜‰

This is such a unique use of red beans Heather! I love it!

Stefanie April 3, 2011 at 10:14 am

That looks really good. I do not cook from recipes often because I am cheap and don’t like buying something just for one use. It is fun to make meals out of what is hanging around the pantry/fridge. Have a great sunday. šŸ™‚

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