January 31, 2011

Bean Basics

Beans are great! They are high in fiber and protein. They can be counted as either of vegetable or a protein in your daily intake of food. Nutritionists recommend eating beans at least three times per week.  They are inexpensive, have a long shelf life, and are easy to use in recipes. They are delicious. They can be bought dry, or in ready to use cans.

Yes, if dry beans are stored properly, they can be used 30 years after the purchase date. However, they become very hard, and difficult to make soft and recipe ready. Therefore, it is recommended that you use dry beans within a year or two of their purchase date. For this reason, in addition to the list above,you should use beans in your cooking regularly. 

I remember when I first started cooking with beans, I asked a friend what you can use beans in besides chili.  I clearly remember her saying "Lots of things!"  The only two things I remember her listing are in salads, and fed plain to small children.  Now, two and a half years later, I am far from an expert on beans, but I do cook with them at least 1-2 times per week, and have learned to love them.  My favorite way to use beans is in soups.

Tortilla soup recipe
Good and easy black bean uses
Boston baked beans (a little thick, but good)

More recipes to come!


  1. I actually used beans instead of hamburger for tacos the other day because I remembered you telling us at enrichment that they are a good replacement. It was really good!

  2. Oh, good! Did you use black beans?

  3. The heck of it is they really give you gas. Imagine being around someone who ate beans 3 times a day.

  4. I have found that the slower the cooking method, the less likely they are to cause gas.