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CARDAMOMMA's Photo CARDAMOMMA SparkPoints: (18,708)
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2/4/14 7:01 P

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I agree, a pressure cooker is the answer! Canned beans don't taste as good, they're less healthy because of the sodium AND the BPA (and goodness knows what other chemicals) from the inside of the cans, and they're more expensive.
I do a fast soak (microwave to boiling and let sit for one hour in the hot water) if I forget to soak overnight, rinse, and then they're done in another 30 minutes in the pressure cooker.


Carolyn, Seattle





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MMARE2013's Photo MMARE2013 Posts: 75
1/29/14 8:40 P

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I used to always side with canned beans due to convenience, but lately I got a pressure cooker, makes quick work of beans! I give them an overnight soak and can have them started, cooked and cooled in an hour with the pressure cooker.

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SHYFEMMEKAT's Photo SHYFEMMEKAT Posts: 1,771
2/18/12 2:36 P

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I always have canned on hand if I am really tired. I read labels and try to pick the ones with the least sodium. I also will cook the dry ones in the slow cooker.






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VALI_T's Photo VALI_T SparkPoints: (98,199)
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12/1/11 8:32 P

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It might very well have to do with the age of the dry beans you're using. I can't remember how long you can keep dry beans, but it's not forever. I mostly cook pinto beans, but I find that with any kind of beans it's very hard to get them to soften up enough to really be edible when they've been in my pantry for a year or so.

There was much rejoicing!


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SEAJESS's Photo SEAJESS SparkPoints: (37,059)
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11/30/11 11:07 P

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I suppose it wouldn't be that damaging to my budget or my sodium intake to use canned kidney beans. I don't have a problem using any other dried bean.

I'm wondering if perhaps it has something to do with the age of the dried beans I'm using....

Thanks for the suggestion.

Jess
Seattle WA

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11/30/11 9:04 P

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If you can't get a type of bean to cook right you can use the canned version if you put them in a collander and rinse them with water. There will still be some salt inside the beans (from the cooking/canning process) but you'l be able to get rid of most of the salt that way. And the cost won't be tooooo bad if you buy the store brand of the canned beans.

There was much rejoicing!


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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 24,908
11/30/11 6:50 A

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I have the same trouble with the red beans. I have a cousin who uses them all the time for chili. I will try to remember what she does.

Perhaps this is why I lean toward the white beans.
the sodium is why I started making them from scratch. More recently, because of the $$$$$.

Linda - North East Indiana, USA `Goal to build myself up to reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

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MISS_VIV's Photo MISS_VIV Posts: 12,245
11/29/11 11:47 A

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Nope - no KIDNEY BEANS, not canned, not dry. . not ANY WAY. Sorry. I just don't like the texture. They look good in salads, but never eat them. emoticon



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SEAJESS's Photo SEAJESS SparkPoints: (37,059)
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11/29/11 11:25 A

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I'd been keeping canned beans in the pantry for "emergencies" and that was good. Better to open a can of beans than to hit the junk food when I'm in a rush.

But I slipped into the easy way out of can opening and now I'm using canned beans too much. Too much money, too much sodium, too much who knows what strange chemicals! (Thanks for the info, folks.)

One problem: I DO like dark red kidney beans in many dishes and I have NEVER been able to cook them from dried beans without significant color fading and splitting. Anyone have any tips on how to cook dried kidney beans so that they retain their shape and color?

Thanks!

Jess
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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 24,908
11/13/11 12:02 P

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I have learned a number of things from this thread, too.

Linda - North East Indiana, USA `Goal to build myself up to reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

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"To lose a healthy one pound of fat per week, all it takes is a 500-calorie deficit per day."
MISS_VIV's Photo MISS_VIV Posts: 12,245
11/13/11 11:51 A

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Great, I will check it out. Thanks for responding. I am always glad to learn NEW (?) STUFF...





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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 24,908
11/13/11 11:41 A

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I just looked up blind baking for pie shells on Bing. My grandma didn't make it up.
It is a term for "pre-baking" pie shells. You might use it for a chocolate pudding pie or pumpkin pie..
To keep the crust against the bottom of the pan, you can cover it with beans or rice.
I have always put a layer of foil down before I added the beans.

Here are better directions.
www.ochef.com/955.htm

I guess that I should be using coffee filters instead of foil for the liner.

Edited by: 60SIXTY at: 11/13/2011 (11:43)
Linda - North East Indiana, USA `Goal to build myself up to reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

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"To lose a healthy one pound of fat per week, all it takes is a 500-calorie deficit per day."
MISS_VIV's Photo MISS_VIV Posts: 12,245
11/13/11 9:56 A

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Sixty - what is this? I have never heard of it..

"You can always use old ones for blind baking of pie crust for Thanksgiving"

I enjoy sprouting mung and alfalfa. It isn't difficult. I have a sprouting jar, that works really well and makes about 2 cups of sprouts.



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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 24,908
11/13/11 7:47 A

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What a lot of emoticon TIPS.
Glad to know about freezing beans & not keeping them too long.
You can always use old ones for blind baking of pie crust for Thanksgiving.

I would like to know more about sprouting beans. I used to make my own alfalfa sprouts many years ago. I could buy the basics in my grocery.

I just entered "how to sprout" on bing and found:
how to sprout beans
how to sprout lentils
how to sprout mung beans
how to sprout almonds

That last one is unusual.

Here is one of the links:
www.ehow.com/how_5096400_sprout-bean
s.
html


Linda - North East Indiana, USA `Goal to build myself up to reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

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"To lose a healthy one pound of fat per week, all it takes is a 500-calorie deficit per day."
JELAINE65 SparkPoints: (3,908)
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11/12/11 11:44 P

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I mentioned earlier, I raise and dry my own beans (except for black beans...those I buy canned...only certified organic and fair trade brands) and i freeze all my dried beans. I just take out the amount that i need to soak, and have never had trouble cooking 'old' beans. I freeze my own wheat berries also. I just take out enough to grind for whatever I am making that requires flour. Flaxseeds, wheat germ, etc...all are kept in the freezer, and they will keep for a very long time.

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11/12/11 1:28 P

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Thanks for the info Birgit. I'm sure that those beans had been in my kitchen for more than 3 years, but I've got to say that I bought a bag of beans at the grocery and they didn't cook well about 2 months later. I guess I need to try a local food coop so that I can know that the beans I buy are from last year. That experience with the really old beans is not one that I want to repeat...

There was much rejoicing!


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MISS_VIV's Photo MISS_VIV Posts: 12,245
11/12/11 12:19 P

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I totally agree with you on the OLD BEANS. I thought I was doing the right thing (a few years ago) by stocking up.. Geez - - you are SO RIGHT.. they took forever on the stove even and I don't think they would have EVER been done enough to eat. I try to buy my beans in 'adequate' supply and only from a store that I know sells a lot of them. HAHAH

Anyone else tried the RICE COOKER?



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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,101
11/12/11 12:17 P

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I buy dry beans in bulk (25 lb bag) which means they will be from last years harvest (and usually have a date on them) at our local food coop. They last at least 3 more years after that if stored in a reasonably cool place. If in doubt try to sprout, if that does not work they are too old and have lost most of their nutrients.
Birgit

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BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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11/12/11 12:09 P

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One thing to keep in mind about dry beans is that they will not stay useful forever. Really old dry beans can be soaked for days and cooked in the crock pot for-flippin-ever and still come out kind of hard and/or chewy.

I know this because I tried to use some really old beans one time and this was my experience. The first time I tried they were so hard after cooking in the crock pot overnight that we ate one serving and then threw them away. The second time I did two day-long soak sessions and then cooked them in the crock pot for about a day and a half...and they still were not fully cooked.

I tried all of this because I was so poor at the time that I had to give the really old beans a try. But this experiment turned out so poorly that I just gave up, threw all of my old beans away and bought some new ones after I got paid. Canned beans do have a lot of sodium in them, but dry beans are not a very good larder item because you never know just how old that bag of beans you bought at the grocery was before you bought it.

There was much rejoicing!


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MISS_VIV's Photo MISS_VIV Posts: 12,245
11/12/11 11:51 A

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All the talk abut beans.... I scooped out a bunch the other evening and put them on to soak overnight. Then the next morning I put them in my RICE COOKER - covered with water and put them on to cook. I had to add more water a couple of times, but they were done in about 1 1/2 hours and they turned out EXTRA good. (I added the onions and spices about 1/2 way into the cooking) When they were through cooking. I left the button on 'keep warm' for about an hour and by lunch they were PERFECT.

ANOTHER use for the rice cooker. emoticon



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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,101
11/12/11 10:47 A

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Another good thing to do with beans in the winter is sprouting. Less expensive than green veggies but just as good for you. emoticon

Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 24,908
11/12/11 8:27 A

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I blogged about dry beans a year or two ago. I try to use dry because of the sodium, etc.
But I always have a can or two of canned if we are in a hurry.

The one thing I learned when I blogged about them:
Boil your beans as directed on the package before you put them in a crockpot for any recipe. Some beans are capable of producing [. . something that I don't recall . . ] that can make you ill. Boiling removes the problem. The unwanted chemical might not gas off in the crockpot.


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JELAINE65 SparkPoints: (3,908)
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11/9/11 1:30 P

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all this talking about beans made me decide to soak some last night. Today, I'm baking a huge batch of homemade chili...using 3 different kinds of beans (I store my dry beans in the freezer after growing and drying them), and the peppers, onion, garlic, and herbs will have been grown in my gardens. Hope to get enough made i can freeze for several meals.
Going to bake cornbread to go with the chili. Bob's Red Mill has the best organic cornmeal!

Daily reminder: count my blessings, state my affirmations, walk with Jesus, think positive thoughts, help others,and spoil my grandkids.


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MISS_VIV's Photo MISS_VIV Posts: 12,245
11/9/11 9:58 A

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In regard to the rinsing off the beans from the can before I use them.. It is not to take 'all the bad stuff' that has been cooked in to them. It is because the juice is so slimy and a LOT of the salt stays in the juice. I know it doesn't make them any BETTER for me... it's that they TASTE a lot better without all the brine.

I am going to look for a quick way for the Black beans.. they do take a long time.
emoticon



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OHBEEBLESSED's Photo OHBEEBLESSED Posts: 491
11/9/11 8:45 A

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Wow of course the can is bad for you.. LOL. But seriously the kidney beans I looked had about 20 ingrediants.. I think it is interesting that people think rinsing them will take away all this stuff. These are things they have been cooked with etc. I admire the lady who says, she grows her own! I grow lots of stuff... but have never done beans to dry. I know quick methods for everyting but Black beans... they are the labor intensive ones. I always forget about them.. I have learned to set timers, but Black beans go so long, I am often.. like hey, whats that timer for.. LOL.



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KURTORTOISE's Photo KURTORTOISE SparkPoints: (9,208)
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11/8/11 10:25 P

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HOUNDLOVER1:
I'm not big on canned food, but I've just bought three of those items pictured in the photo accompanying the article. One has that white lining inside, another has a dullish gray metal interior, and I don't remember about the third one -- but I'll be sure to look when I open it.

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JELAINE65 SparkPoints: (3,908)
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11/8/11 10:23 P

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I have organic canned black beans always on hand in my pantry, but I love to grow beans, and this year had 5 kinds of beans in my gardens...And, I like soaking my beans overnight, and then fixing the dishes the next day.

Daily reminder: count my blessings, state my affirmations, walk with Jesus, think positive thoughts, help others,and spoil my grandkids.


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IMREITE's Photo IMREITE SparkPoints: (242,452)
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11/8/11 9:51 P

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i used dried lentils once in one of my slow cooker concoctions. otherwise i generally just use cans. i drain and then rinse them- generally for salads. although if i am going to start cooking them more often then i may get dried more often.

my mom generally used dried only for homemade baked beans- it took a bit of time and was a huge batch.

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,101
11/8/11 9:49 P

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Kurtortoise,
I'm not sure without looking this up but I think it's the cans that LOOK like they have no plastic on the inside because it's clear that are of concern. Here is a link from Consumer report that says a little more:

www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine
-a
rchive/december-2009/food/bpa/overviR>ew/bisphenol-a-ov.htm


Birgit

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 11/8/2011 (21:51)
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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VALI_T's Photo VALI_T SparkPoints: (98,199)
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11/8/11 8:04 P

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For me the worst thing about canned beans (and canned almost everything else) is the HUGE amount of sodium that's used in virtually all canned foods. I absolutely love Campbell's beef and barley soup, but eating it just sends my blood pressure through the roof! Same with most other canned foods. Beans are so good for you...but when you add about a cup of salt they're not so good for you anymore. emoticon

There was much rejoicing!


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KURTORTOISE's Photo KURTORTOISE SparkPoints: (9,208)
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11/8/11 12:16 P

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The BPA cans that you mentioned have a white lining, which I thought had PVC plastic in it (not sure). The plain metal cans are supposedly OK (who knows).


-- Kurt -- Frugalists & Simple Living Team (Co-Leader)
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I've already had all the bad things thrown at me early in life, so now that those are out of the way, my future should be wonderful.


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,101
11/8/11 11:53 A

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The worst about ingredients in canned beans is not the ingredients listed bu the ones not listed. Almost all cans are lined with plastic which has bisphenol A (BPA) in it. Very bad for anyone trying to lose weight because it is simulates estrogen in the body.
Soaking beans ahead of time is easier if done the night before. Cooking is easier if you get a pot with a lid that has a tiny whole in it (getting more common) and those you can turn on low and they don't boil over as easily.
Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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MISS_VIV's Photo MISS_VIV Posts: 12,245
11/8/11 11:12 A

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I have REALLY good luck with cooking dry beans.. and I like the quick cook method. I usually give them TWO quick - boil and set - sessions. They don't sit an hour each time, but the extra rinse really pulls off the carbs and makes them seem even 'fresher'...a much CLEANER cook. emoticon



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11/8/11 11:08 A

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The bags of dry beans usually have quick cooking directions:
Boil them for about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and cover the pot; let them sit there for an hour -- this replaces soaking them overnight.
Remember to dump the old water out and put in new water before finishing the cooking.

-- Kurt -- Frugalists & Simple Living Team (Co-Leader)
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I've already had all the bad things thrown at me early in life, so now that those are out of the way, my future should be wonderful.


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MISS_VIV's Photo MISS_VIV Posts: 12,245
11/8/11 10:10 A

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Thanks - I am going to try it for sure.
emoticon



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DIANE7786's Photo DIANE7786 SparkPoints: (77,816)
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11/8/11 9:55 A

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MISS_VIV-- Undercook fresh beans slightly so they don't lose their shape while reheating. Cover the beans with liquid before freezing. Freeze up to two months before they start losing flavor and texture. Hope this helps!

MISS_VIV's Photo MISS_VIV Posts: 12,245
11/8/11 9:33 A

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I have never frozen cooked/dry beans.. Do you need to put some of the liquid in the freezer container also?



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DIANE7786's Photo DIANE7786 SparkPoints: (77,816)
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11/8/11 9:11 A

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I use dry beans because the sodium in canned beans is very high. I cook a bag at a time and freeze them in cup containers so they are easy to toss in soups and salads.

MISS_VIV's Photo MISS_VIV Posts: 12,245
11/8/11 8:49 A

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I know, when I read the labels, that the MORE ingredients, the WORSE it is for you.
However, canned beans have their place in my pantry (yuck, NEVER kidney beans...can't stand them).. black beans and pintos yes. I always rinse them fully before using them. They are great for a little extra 'body' to an otherwise whimpy soup or salad. And I like to use black beans in the summer for a little extra oomph to a salad - Or a burrito,taco or casserole when you don't have time to pre cook or have not planned to cook up a full meal. They are full of nourishment.



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OHBEEBLESSED's Photo OHBEEBLESSED Posts: 491
11/8/11 8:35 A

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I have to say, I know almost everyone buys canned kidney and black beans etc... so yesterday, at the grocery store I took a peak at the label of some kidney beans! OH MY GOODNESS! I was shocked at home many ingrediants.... and these were just kidney beans not chili beans etc. SO I decided to stick buying dry beans. Even with the sale, I got twice as many dry for same price as canned. If you soak them over night it is really not a big deal to cook them from dry. Though I do have to say cooking black beans can still be a pain. I am sure there must be an easier method...:)



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