Search The Web

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Buzz on Beans

Basic food storage guidelines suggest storing 60lbs of beans (includes legumes, split peas, lentils) per adult for a one year supply.  For my family that is a total of 360 pounds of  beans.  Now that is enough beans to make anyone sick of them.  I went in search of different ways to use beans. Following are just a few tips.

Why Beans?
Beans are nutrient-dense and are very inexpensive.
Beans are a rich source of protein, making them a healthy alternative for meat.
They are an excellent source of fiber, helping us stay full longer and keep us "regular".
Canned beans are high in added sodium. To reduce that sodium rinse the beans before eating.

What to eat?
Make a Southwestern stir-fry by sauteing together black beans, corn and fresh vegetables.
Add zing to lettuce greens, rice and pasta salads by tossing with your favorite kind of bean.
Add beans to your favorite soups, stews, casseroles.
Puree Beans can replace fat in most recipes.

Soaking Beans
Pick through the beans, discard any discolored, shriveled beans or any foreign matter. Rinse well.

This method takes longer than some methods, but it is one of the easiest methods.
In a pot, cover 1 pound dried beans (2 cups) with 10 cups water.
Cover and refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.
Drain and rinse the beans.

Cooking Beans
Return the soaked, rinsed beans to the pot. Cover the beans with 3 times their volume of water. Add in desired herbs or spices.

Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender (the time will depend on the type of bean, but start checking after 45-60 minutes).  Add more water if the beans are not covered. Most beans will cook in about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

When the beans are tender, drain and use in recipes; or for later use, immerse them in cold water until cool, then drain well and freeze in 1- to 2-cup packages. Can store in the freezer up to 6 months. One pound of dried beans will yield about 5 or 6 cups cooked beans.

Did you know that you can substitute beans for fat or oil to make low fat recipes?
Just soak, cook and drain beans, reserving cooking water. Mash or puree the beans, adding reserved water as needed. Substitute the same amount of beans for the fat in the recipe. Use white beans in light colored recipes and dark beans in dark recipes like brownies or ginger snap cookies.
Visit for more great tips on cooking beans.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...