extra credit: dried beans instead of canned.
I don’t know about you but around here we’re eating a lot of beans these days. Black beans added to eggs in the morning, thrown on a salad for lunch, tossed in a yummy soup for dinner. The kids love them plain, and often I can get them to eat beans before chicken, beef or fish so I like that they’ve got protein in them too.
I know, I know…”beans, beans…the musical fruit.” But did you know soaking and cooking them yourself makes them easier to digest?
But I digress…
I had been buying cans of beans at the store for about $.99 per 16-ounce can, but considering how often we were eating them I figured I would experiment with cooking up dried ones to see how they compared in flavor and price.
I’m not sure we’ll go back to canned…
Here’s the thing about making your own beans – you have to have some time to invest to soak them ahead of time. But, you can add whatever spin you want to the beans, cut back on the sodium and save some money in the process.
Let’s take a look…
Soaking and Cooking Dried Beans
1. Soak beans in 3 times their volume of cold water for 6-9 hours. Longer for larger beans, shorter for smaller. So if you have one cup of dried beans, soak in 3 cups of water, etc.
2. Drain the beans.
3. In a heavy pot or saucepan, cover beans with fresh water (about 3 cups water for every 1 cup of beans), or about one inch of water above the beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat with lid partially covering the pot, then lower the heat and simmer 1-1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Stir occasionally.
4. Cooked beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
1 16-ounce can of pinto or black beans – about $.99 per can
TOTAL: $.28 per 1/2 cup serving
MAKE YOUR OWN:
1 pound bag of beans (I use black most often) – $1.29 which made 9, 1/2-cup servings
TOTAL: $.14 per 1/2 cup serving
So you’ll save about 50% making beans from scratch, plus you’ll save sodium and can add your own flavors.
Think you’ll give it a try? If so let me know your thoughts and if you think it’s worth it!