• Pasta Grains Rice

    Date: 2016.03.24 | Category: Blog | Tags:

    Let’s talk beans. I know you’re probably laughing to yourself as you’re reading this, reminded of grade school rhymes. The truth is that dried beans are good for you too.

    A pound of dried beans can generally be bought for less than $1.00, and that yields about 10-12 servings. Most people won’t try dried beans because they think they are too labor-intensive, but that’s just not true. I prefer to use dried beans whenever possible (unless of course, I’m using fresh), because there is no added sodium or other chemical preservatives. I can control exactly what goes into my food and that is a good thing. There are tons of varieties and they’re packed full of cheap nutritional goodness.

    Did you know that when you combine dried beans with just about any grain product you create a complete protein that is comparable to any meat protein? It’s also less expensive and less taxing on both our environment and our bodies.

    Enough of the sermon. Now for some facts:

    a serving of cooked beans is about 1/2 cup.

    Dry beans can be stored in unopened packages, or a sealed container, in a cool, dry place indefinitely.

    Cooked beans can be stored up to 3-5 days covered in the refrigerator.

    Cooked beans can be frozen for several weeks.

    While there are several ways to prepare dried beans, I’m going to focus on the only one that I use – soaking. Pre-soaking beans softens them and helps remove tannins and gas-causing sugars. It is the most reliable and consistent method I’ve found and it is simple:

    Pour dried beans into a strainer.

    Rinse and remove non-bean material (small rocks are common).

    Place beans into a large bowl and cover with cool, clean water.

    Soak 8-10 hours. Longer soaks may leave them soggy.

    HINT: Changing the soak water after about 4 hours will remove even more of the stuff that causes gas.

    Now on to cooking dried beans. It really is easy and once you’ve done it a few times you’ll appreciate the improved taste even more than the money you save or the health benefits. Here are the basic instructions for cooking soaked beans:

    Rinse soaked beans thoroughly and pour them into a large pot. Cover with water.

    NOTE: DO NOT add salt or tomato products to uncooked beans!

    Bring to a boil, stir and reduce to a slow simmer.

    Simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until beans are tender.

    HINT: Adding a small amount of oil to the pot will reduce foaming.