Beans Dried or Canned ?

While the convenience of canned beans can’t be beat, don’t write off dried beans as too difficult or time consuming to prepare. Remember that canned beans are processed and often times contain high levels of sodium and calcium chloride 

Dried beans are superior in health benefits as well as flavor. Dried beans  require very little hands on time in the kitchen, and cost  significantly less than the canned counterparts. Cooks often choose  dried  beans for their rich, creamy flavor, and since they contain little (if any) salt, using dried beans allows for greater control of the total sodium in a recipe, which is also important for a heart healthy diet.

Beans are also contain two types of fiber. soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and insoluble fiber, which promotes digestion.

Remember when cooking beans, that uncooked beans will double after cooking, so 1 cup of dried beans will make 2 cups of cooked beans. Also 1 and 1/2 cups of cooked beans is equivalent to a (15oz) can of  beans.

To cook dried beans, lay them on a white dish or flat surface  and pick through, removing any wrinkled beans, broken shell pieces, small stones or stems. Transfer beans to a colander and rinse  under cold water.

Top prepare beans for cooking place  beans in a large bowl or pot and add 8 cups of water to 1 lb of dried beans. Soak beans in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, then drain and rinse with cold water. For the quick soaking method, in a large pot, add 8 cups of water to  1 lbs of beans and bring to a boil for 2  minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let  stand for l-4 hours. Drain and rinse with cold water.

To cook, return drained, rinsed beans to a large pot. Add 6 cups of water and 1 tbs of olive oil to  reduce the foam while cooking. Simmer gently, covered, until desired tenderness is reached, about 1-2 hours. Cooked beans may be frozen in an airtight container and will last for about 6 months.


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