Canned beans vs. Dried Beans
You may remember from previous articles that I love tacos. I could eat them every day and never get sick of them. Over the years I’ve converted to using ground turkey or shredded chicken rather than beef. It’s important for me to make enough meat to last for a couple of nights as I really enjoy the leftovers. But with my family of 3, we could eat the entire pound of meat in one meal. I have a family meal target of $5.00 (as much as possible) so I hesitate to add another pound of meat.
A friend introduced me to adding black beans to the taco meat and I found that I really enjoyed it. The beans make the meat go further as well as give you a full feeling so you end up eating less. Additionally, beans add much-needed fiber to your diet.
While I don’t typically buy canned food. I was always intimidated by the thought of cooking with dry beans and for a time I was buying them in a can. This added unwanted costs to my meal. I was tired of having to go buy them, as often as I eat tacos. 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!!!
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.
My local Winco has an awesome bulk section. I love the prices and convenience of spices, baking products, rice and now BEANS!
So you’re dying to know how much can you save!!! Typically canned beans cost between $.80 – $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. You can have beans prepared for several months or even years depending on how you preserve them.
- Buy dry beans in bulk for the best price, rinse the beans and remove any rocks or foreign debris. Put the beans in a bowl and cover with water. Make sure to put enough water to have 2-3 inches of excess water on top as the beans will absorb it. 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) 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.
- Since I started adding the beans I’ve learned to can them in jars as well. This is a bit more work but keeps the freezer cleared. Here is a link to No Gas Canning Instructions – https://www.backtoourroots.net/pressure-canning-black-beans/.
So now you know, cooking your own dried beans is easy and much cheaper. Better for your family, saves you money and best of all…no more gas!!!!
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