I’ve never really been a bean person. BBQ baked beans are great with a hot-off-the-grill burger and re-fried beans are pretty spiffy covered in cheddar cheese with some tacos, but that has been the extent of my love for the legume.
Well, lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on nutritional value of different foods. And let me tell you, that bean is a little powerhouse. How could I have neglected it for so long? I’m trying to find more recipes the incorporate beans because they are just so darn good for you. Let’s take Kidney beans for example:
(taken from WHFoods)
Do you see all those vitamins and minerals? Jumpin’ frijoles! The website goes onto outline all the ways in which beans are good for anyone’s diet. They help with lowering cholesterol, are great for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and help your body to detoxify. They are also well known for aiding in digestion, preventing *ahem* back-up issues, as well as more serious bowel issues. It also lowers your chances of getting a heart attack and improves overall heart health. They are full of iron, fiber, protein, thiamin, and have very little fat. How could you not love these little powerhouses?
All that to say, I’m eating more beans lately. And since I’m trying to get away from using canned products whenever possible, I’m also cooking beans a lot more lately. And guess what? It’s super easy. With a little planning ahead, cooking your own beans is just as simple as popping open a can of beans. Just without all the preservatives. Oh, and it is a heck of a lot cheaper! Yay!
So, all you have to do is give your dried beans a good rinse, and then soak them in water. You’re going to want about 2-3x’s as much water as you have beans. Just leave them there to soak for about 8 hours. Drain the water, and then put the beans in a pot with the same amount of water as before. Now you’ll just need to bring the water to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Let your beans cook until tender. Depending on the type of bean, this is probably somewhere between 1-2 hours. That’s it! Other than moving beans from the soaking area to the cooking area, there is very little hands on work you’ll need to do.
So, what are you waiting for? Why not give the lovely, healthful, frugal bean another chance? And even if you’re not a huge fan of the taste (like me), you can definitely incorporate them in recipes to reduce their overall flavor impact. Who knows, maybe someday I won’t have to disguise them at all!