Bean flour touted for gluten-free cooking

By Tammara Fogle | February 1, 2022

We get periodic requests for gluten free recipes at The Active Age, so the idea of gluten-free dishes made with bean flour produced right here in Kansas is an intriguing one. These recipes are made with bean flour from 21st Century Bean, the western Kansas farmers processing cooperative.

It’s our experience that some people love gluten-free recipes, while others find them unsatisfactory versions of traditional preparations. The only way to know is to try them. 

21st Century Bean’s website note that in cooking with bean flour, a one-for-one swap for wheat flour will usually significantly change the taste and texture. However, there are many recipes online that can show you the right combination of bean flour and other ingredients. 

Black Bean Tortillas

1/3 cup black bean flour

½ cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons tapioca flour

½  teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon cumin

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 ½ cups water


Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix until combined. Mix in the wet ingredients with a whisk until the batter is free of lumps. The batter will be thin. Set aside
to rest for 20-25 minutes.

Preheat an 8.5 inch skillet over medium high heat. The skillet is warm enough when a few drops of water dance and sizzle around the pan. The same way you would check a pan for pancakes. Ladle a ¼ cup of the batter into the skillet at a time, swirling the pan so that the thin batter coats the entire pan and barely begins to go up the sides of the pan.

Allow the tortilla to cook between 30-45 seconds before flipping with an offset spatula to cook the other side. This batter is so thin that it is easy to tell when it is cooked through and ready to flip. You can literally see the consistency change from liquid to solid pretty quickly.

When the tortilla is cooked through place it on a sheet of waxed paper and continue the process with the remaining batter, placing a sheet of waxed paper in between each tortilla.

Makes 12-13 8-inch tortillas.

Garbanzo Bean Pancakes

1 cup garbanzo bean flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup almond milk

1 large egg

1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat a skillet or griddle over medium heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl (or a one-quart measure), whisk together the almond milk, egg, oil and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and beat them with the wire whisk just to combine. There should still be a few lumps in the batter.

Ladle, by the quarter-cupful, the batter onto the hot surface. When air bubbles appear along the edge of the pancakes, flip them over, and brown the other side.