Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yup, this post is really about BEANS. Yes. Beans.

You probably think I am a big dork but this post is about beans.  And I promise to not sing about them being a "magical fruit"...

Beans are a big component of a meaningful vegetarian/vegan diet.  They are full of protein and fiber and they have so many uses in cooking...but I get asked a bit about which ones to buy, where, etc.  :)

I really like to buy dried beans at the store but they aren't the most convenient.  Organic beans cost approximately $1.99 per pound and once soaked, you get double!  So it is really much cheaper since a good organic brand will cost you a couple dollars for a pound.  :)

To Cook:

OVERNIGHT SOAK:
Rinse beans in a colander and pick out any beans or debris that are bad.  Place them in a pot with cold water a few inches above the beans.  Soak overnight.  Drain beans and put in a clean pot, fill a few inches above the beans with water and simmer (covered) checking it every 15-20 minutes for tenderness...they can take anywhere from one to two hours.  Salt as desired.

QUICK SOAK:
Rinse beans in a colander and pick out any beans or debris that are bad.  Place them in a pot with cold water a few inches above th ebeans.  COVER with lid and boil for three minutes.  Keep th elid on and turn the heat off.  Let sit for two to three hours.  Rinse beans, put in fresh water a few inches above beans and bring to a simmer.  Check every 15-20 minutes or so for tenderness.  They can take anywhere from one to two hours.  Salt as desired.

Reserve some of the cooking liquid if you are making hummus with garbanzo beans or for other recipes.

Canned Beans:
Obviously canned beans are SO much more convenient but at what cost?  Most companies have BPA in their aluminum cans and they add lots of salt to the beans.  If you choose to buy canned beans, buy smart:  buy organic with as little amount of salt in them.  I buy Eden Brand beans because they are the *only* company that I know that has a BPA free lining, they are organic and they are local for me.  :)  I suggest you buy them, too. 


What's a post about beans with some links to a few of my favorite recipes?  You can thank me later.  ;)

Tortilla Soup (I omit the cheese and add one to two cans black beans)
Sweet Potato Chili
Simple Hummus (I ALWAYS mess up hummus and I made this successfully TWICE)
Chickpea Salad
Chili Mac
Lemony White Bean Arugula Salad

Let me know what you think!

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