Katie’s Healthy Take: Why Should You Cook With Dried Beans?

by in Uncategorized, October 22, 2011

dried beans
Sure, it is easy to grab a can of beans, rinse and drain them and toss them into your recipe, but there are several good reasons to stock up on dried beans, which can be easy to prepare as well.

Why choose dried over canned?

  • Dried beans are less expensive
  • There are more varieties of dried beans than canned beans available
  • Most dried beans are free of added sodium and preservatives
  • Cooking dried beans reduces packaging waste

How to buy and store:

  • Buy beans that are similar in shape, color and size (unless you are buying a variety of types in one bag)
  • Store dried beans in a sealed container (zip-lock bag, canister, etc.) in a cool, dark place for up to one year
  • Cooked beans can be stored, sealed, in the refrigerator for up to one week

How to Prepare:

  • Sift through then rinse your beans to remove any pebbles or dirt that may be along for the ride
  • Soak dried beans for several hours or overnight (check the packaging)
  • Once soaked, cook the beans in clean water (not the soaking liquid) per the packaging as cook times vary depending on the bean

*You can cook beans in a heavy duty stock pot (they usually take 1-3 hours), pressure cooker (beans take a quick 5-15 minutes), or a crock pot (cook for 6-8 unattended hours)

Tip: You’ll know when your beans are done when you can mash one with your fingers.

Now What? You have cooked a batch of dried beans and the yield is equal to nearly 3 cans of its cooked cousin. The pro, you will be motivated to incorporate this healthy pantry staple into several meals throughout the week.  Here are some recipes to inspire you:

Ellie Krieger’s White Chili

Black Bean Salad

Chicken and Bean Burrito Verde

For more information on beans check out this article by Toby.

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