Whole Foods Lifestyle - Dried beans....




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horsey
01-08-2009, 12:31 AM
I bought some dried beans today - they are very cheap. When I open canned beans I usually only want a small amount for a salad or burrito or something thus a lot goes to waste. So I labeled the various beans (and rices) in glass jars with directions... I realize there's soaking and time involved that could be a pain, I haven't actually done anything yet. I wonder why they can't make little mini cans of beans? At least I haven't seen them...


nelie
01-08-2009, 09:11 AM
You can freeze beans that you cook. I bought a 6lb can of chickpeas from Costco. I roasted some, made an entree with some, snacked on a few and froze the rest. Although I'm someone who thinks the standard size can of beans is too small for my needs.

JulieJ08
01-08-2009, 11:36 AM
Yes, I've had it on my mind to switch to dried beans, and plan to try freezing them after cooking so I have the same selection and convenience (or close, anyway) that I now have in cans. I'm a big bean eater.


shananigans
01-08-2009, 06:31 PM
I also freeze my beans. If you have a slow cooker you don't even need to soak them, just toss em in with the water on low heat and 6 - 8 hours later they're done.

horsey
01-10-2009, 03:03 AM
I just dusted off my slow cooker today, made some wild rice mixed with brown rice, it was good. What sorts of containers does one use to freeze small portions? Just small plastic ones? Or baggies? I'm thinking I might start making larger portions of rice, beans and other mixes the freezing 1/2 c. portions for later on. It's just me and my little boy in my home.

nelie
01-10-2009, 11:18 AM
I use freezer bags a lot or my snap-lock tupperware. I make large portions of beans (on stove or crockpot) and large portions of grains (in rice cooker) and just eat them for days until they are gone. If I think something will take more than a couple days to eat, I'll freeze a portion. Then again I would say 50% of my diet is beans :)

Suzanne 3FC
01-10-2009, 11:24 AM
I'm really glad to know we can freeze them, thanks! I buy dried because I'm very picky and have to cook my own in filtered water that I control :dizzy: and it takes ages to soak and cook them, especially for me since I cook for one person.

Thanks for the tip!

diary
01-10-2009, 11:31 AM
I am with you suzanne - it's a big pain to go through all that trouble to make beans for just one person. I might have to try that slow cooker tip - I try to keep things low salt and canned beans have a lot of it.

horsey
01-10-2009, 10:21 PM
I'm going to dust off the book about deceptive cooking, bought it more for my boy but the ideas make sense. It's about sneaking in nutrition into regular meals - the author has you cook items that take a lot of time, mash up sweet potatoes etc and put them in baggies or containers in the freezer for later use. How about a row of baggies with rice, beans, and other ideas from this book too? I'm just thinking a lot of processed food contributed to making me fat. Now that I have some jars of cutely labeled beans I need to figure out what to do with them - precook and freeze seems to be the key for eating for one, or one and a child like me. Also soups etc.

Hyacinth
01-11-2009, 02:05 PM
I freeze just about everything in zip baggies ... homemade broth, marinara sauce, rice, beans, etc.

kaplods
01-11-2009, 02:26 PM
When freezing beans, I like to do it in a gallon or larger ziploc bag and every 15 minutes or so, I'll go shake the bag so that the beans freeze seperately. Once they get partially frozen, it sometimes takes a gentle pressure "smooshing" the bag so they don't freeze in large clumps. Once completely frozen, I'll squeeze the extra air out of the bag, or transfer to a tupperware container - this way I can scoop out just what I need for future recipes. Another alternative is to freeze in small, measured portions in tupperware or small ziploc bags.

pattygirl63
01-11-2009, 02:34 PM
I love beans and DH doesn't. It's good to know they can be frozen as I don't really like canned beans. I need to learn how to season them since I don't want to use salt or at least not much and don't want the fats I used to use. So could someone share how you season your beans? Thanks

nelie
01-11-2009, 03:45 PM
For beans, I generally use a veggie broth. "Better than bouillon" is one of my favorites. Unless I'm making a dish with the beans as they cook, that is all I use.

CyndiM
01-11-2009, 07:15 PM
I make refried beans in the crockpot every week or two. I use a Mexican seasoning blend (no salt, sugar, unknowns), cumin, chopped onions & garlic, and a couple of Not beef cubes.

CountingDown
01-11-2009, 07:57 PM
I also use veggie broth when I cook my beans. I like Tupperware, Ziploc or Glad containers, since they are re-usable instead of baggies. They stack well in the freezer too. Just remember to vent the lid when you defrost.

Suzanne 3FC
01-11-2009, 10:44 PM
I cook my beans in water without anything added. I don't eat them from the pot, but use them in a variety of recipes.

I have beans cooking right now :) I'm going to freeze some and see how they do. They are Red Nightfall beans from Rancho Gordo. I failed to ask if you freeze them drained or in their cooking liquid. I hope they freeze drained!

CountingDown
01-11-2009, 11:40 PM
Suzanne - I freeze them drained. No worries :)

CookieQueen
01-12-2009, 12:16 AM
I love dried beans, but I have a bit of an issue. The only cooking equipment I have available to me is a microwave. Does anyone know of a way to prepare dried beans in a microwave?

nelie
01-12-2009, 10:57 AM
CookieQueen, unfortunately no as beans require hours of cooking in boiling water. Are you able to get a crockpot?

kaplods
01-12-2009, 03:31 PM
We bought a crockpot for $3 at a thrift store a few months ago. It was taped together, but didn't look like it had been used much, but I found out when I got home it probably hadn't been used at all, because the heating element was absolutely spotless. Since then, I've noticed that crockpots seem to be very common in thrift stores for really good prices.

horsey
01-12-2009, 04:12 PM
I'm reading the Superfoods Diet book and it's quite good. Since I'm semi new to the idea of using beans, the author's suggestion makes sense. Start out picking "two" beans like garbanzo and black beans so there aren't too many choices. Then figure out how to incorporate those choices into healthy eating. I like his idea too of making Monday's soup & salad days. I've always bought canned soups and I'd like to try to figure out how to make some of my own with beans.

And the author makes Wednesday's vegetarian days, beans, veggies, etc. Fat burgers and steaks contributed to my weight gain I'm sure and they say that beans are better for you. I don't want to become a vegetarian - but I'm thinking sticking with turkey, chicken, soy burgers and only steak as a treat on my semi cheat days... Certainly I can figure out what to do with dried garbanzo and black beans to start with?

I have two recipe books - one for recipes not tried, one for recipes that I tried and like... so I'll go through the Superfoods diet book and others, plus online and will find some recipes. The crock pot seems the easiest to me, just throw stuff in and viola, dinner. I work at home and the smells are relaxing too. That hummus from Safeway seems to have gone up to almost $4 per container, so I bought some ground up sesame to mix with garbanza beans and other spices. I believe this is what you do. I'll find a good basic recipe for hummus, then varieties of spices to add. I'm lifting weights so they say hummus is good, also in the rice category concous mixed with tomatoes and other things, but that doesn't take so long like dried beans.

JulieJ08
01-12-2009, 10:56 PM
also in the rice category concous mixed with tomatoes and other things, but that doesn't take so long like dried beans.

Couscous is essentially a pasta! It just looks a bit like rice :)

It's one that turns out quite well in the whole wheat version, so look for it. Traditionally, I think it would be a refined flour just like other pastas.

nelie
01-12-2009, 11:09 PM
Couscous is really easy to make. All you need is to boil some water (you can even do it in the microwave but don't put it in too long). Pour over the couscous, stir until liquid is absorbed, wait 5 minutes, then fluff.

CountingDown
01-12-2009, 11:25 PM
Actually, I bought a microwave pressure cooker that I used to cook dried beans (after soaking) for years. So, yes - you can cook beans in the microwave :)

BillBlueEyes
01-13-2009, 04:22 AM
Couscous is really easy to make. All you need is to boil some water (you can even do it in the microwave but don't put it in too long). Pour over the couscous, stir until liquid is absorbed, wait 5 minutes, then fluff.Ah yes, big couscous fan here also. We make a mango couscous that is always a crowd pleaser.

But, apparently, it wasn't always so easy. Found an older cook book that explains the three steps to cook couscous; after the first boil you lay it out on a baking sheet to dry, crumbling it with your hands so it won't clump. In the last step it is placed in the top half of a couscous steamer while the bottom half contains the lamb stew whose steam finishes cooking the couscous while adding flavor. (googled and found that you can still buy a couscous steamer!)

I like the ease of the current stuff. Yep, whole wheat tastes great.

nelie
01-13-2009, 10:35 AM
I didn't know there were microwave pressure cookers, thats pretty interesting.

I think the current couscous must have the first step already done for you. I have heard you can steam couscous as well as just pour boiling water over it. I've never tried steaming it though.

azmom
01-13-2009, 10:39 AM
How many days do cooked beans keep in the refrigerator?

nelie
01-13-2009, 10:56 AM
A week is usually my time limit but I generally try to eat a batch of beans within 4-5 days.

kaebea
01-13-2009, 11:06 AM
I love beans and DH doesn't. It's good to know they can be frozen as I don't really like canned beans. I need to learn how to season them since I don't want to use salt or at least not much and don't want the fats I used to use. So could someone share how you season your beans? Thanks

patty girl,
have you looked into natural sea salt?
http://www.drbrownstein.com/singleproduct.asp?id=789
http://www.celticseasalt.com/Celtic_Sea_Salt_C3.cfm

I like to add fresh parsley to my beans and rice or in the summer months i have chives from my garden. cracked pepper or paprika are 2 seasonings i sprinkle on dishes alot.

hope that helps:),
kathy.