Monday, December 26, 2011

Canned Beans vs. Dried Beans

Canned beans vs. Dried Beans
If you’re like me you may be intimidated by the thought of cooking dry beans. I’ve heard that they take forever so I just opted for the canned product. My local Winco store has a great bulk section and while I’ve been enjoying the super prices for spices and baking products, I kept noticing all the dried beans. Curious, I did some homework on the subject and found all the great benefits of cooking my own beans not to mention the awesome savings!!!

My favorite food in the world is turkey tacos. At the recommendation of a friend I would always add a can of black beans to make the meat go a little further as well as add some needed fiber to our diet. I decided to try to cook my own black beans.

Beans are super healthy for you; they are high in protein, low in fat and high in soluble fiber which helps to remove the bad cholesterol before it gets absorbed. They can help to reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.  

Typically canned beans contain water and salt but most contain Calcium Chloride (to keep them from getting mushy) and some even add sugar. Almost all the cans are lined with BPA. The canning process also reduces the nutritional value of the beans.

So you’re dying to know how much can you save!!! Typically canned beans cost between $.60 - $1.50 per 12-14oz can. At my local Winco dry beans in bulk are around $0.90 per lb. 1lb makes approx 6 cups of beans. That means $0.15 or less per cup!!! That’s a huge savings and by preparing your beans in advance you always have them on hand and are more likely to throw them in your dish and add a boost of nutrition to your meal.

Now how EASY is it?
  • Buy dry beans in bulk for the best price, rinse the beans, then put in a bowl and cover with water. Make sure to put enough water to have 2-3 inches of water on top as the beans will absorb the water. Soak overnight or 6-8 hours. Note: you don’t have to soak the beans but it will reduce cooking time as well as leach out carbohydrates which our bodies cannot digest. This will reduce the gas!
  • Boil the soaked beans in water until tender – typically 40 minutes. Some people like to season the beans but it is not recommended that you salt the beans until AFTER they are cooked if at all.

     * I do all this while washing dishes or working in the kitchen so it’s really no extra time at all.
  • Once the beans are ready just package them into portion sized containers. (I use all those Ziploc storage containers that I've scored cheap with coupons.) Throw them in the freezer! When you are ready to use them they thaw in seconds in a colander under warm water. They’re already cooked so they just need to be warmed in whatever dish you are using them in. Or eat them cold in a salad.


So now you know, cooking your own beans is easy, better for your family, saves you money and best of all...no more gas!!!! 

9 comments:

  1. Thank you for the detailed instructions. I've been concerned about BPA in the lining of the can beans. Making ahead of time and freezing is a wonderful idea.

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  2. This makes it look really easy, i've been too scared to try but I think I could do it.

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  3. Been doing this off & on for years! In fact Dave just made some today!!! So I had to add to your post! He grew up with a pot of beans on the stove most of the time.
    Also black beans seem to give less gas! at least for me.
    Great info on a most economical, healthy food.

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  4. This is a great idea to do this ahead of time - my problem with using dried beans has always been the time factor. This is quick and easy with all the work done ahead!

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  5. I have made homemade beans before, but not in a long time. I didn't know that you could freeze them. I will have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

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