I like to think that recipes I find online are customizable. There’s usually at least one ingredient that I will change, whether it’s opting for a dairy-free product or substituting a veggie for one I prefer. However, those substitutions are usually for add-ons or small ingredients in a recipe, not for the star of the dish. Cue in the TikTok bean controversy. 

I love a good TikTok drama. From spa water to the pink sauce, I have seen it all. But I didn’t expect there to be drama surrounding beans

Let’s break down the bean drama

On Saturday, Kara, known as @vibingranolamom on TikTok, posted a recipe she called a “vegan high iron soup for my anemic girls.” In the video, Kara says that she soaked a 20-ounce bag of the HamBeens 15 bean soup mix overnight. The following day, she boiled eight cups of water, the beans, and a chopped onion (a large one, by the way). As that’s boiling for 90 minutes, she prepped and cut the kale. After boiling, she added a can of diced tomatoes, garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, the vegan ham powder that came with the bean bag, and the juice of a lemon.

Kara served it with some rice and typically eats it throughout her cycle. Because that’s what this recipe was for — “a high iron soup you need to eat on your period,” she said at the beginning of her video. 

Pretty simple right? Not quite. 

Kara made a follow-up video to give the exact measurements and address other questions in her comments.

But one thing stood out, “A lot of people were asking what if they don’t like beans,” she said in the video. “I honestly don’t really have a sub for the beans, there’s a lot of high-iron foods out there though.”

I mean if we’re being completely honest here, it’s a BEAN soup. You can’t really substitute the basis of the dish, it’s in the name of it. But there were some who ranted about the substitution comment. 

That comment apparently ruined Molly’s, @princess_milkyy on TikTok, day. She posted a video discussing the bean substitution comments. “It just unleashed this wave of darkness that can only, honestly really be described as what I imagined The Joker went through,” said Molly. The content creator was genuinely confused and angrily frustrated as to why there were comments asking what to use instead of beans. She isn’t a fan of beans either and admits bean soup wouldn’t be a part of her dinner plans. Because “it’s a BEAN soup,” as Molly puts it, “go crack open a can of chicken noodle.” 

Now, there’s a multitude of comments under Kara’s original video asking if the beans can be substituted. And well, can they?