General Diet Plans and Questions - Beans




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canadacatman
08-31-2011, 01:15 PM
I have been eating beans almost everyday as I thought they were good for you. I finally read the label today and Grave's the ones I buy have 880mg of sodium per 1 cup. Is this normal for beans or is there another kink I should be eating.

Thanks


Shannon in ATL
08-31-2011, 01:30 PM
The beans themselves are good for you, but most canned beans are prepared with a lot of sodium. Dry beans are pretty much sodium free I think, only have what you add in them in cooking. Can you buy dry and prepare them yourself in a batch to eat over the week?

canadacatman
08-31-2011, 01:34 PM
I never tried to make them myself. Do you make them and if so are they really difficult and you said over the week so I assume they will last that long in the fridge.

Thanks


nelie
08-31-2011, 01:48 PM
You can rinse canned beans to get rid of the sodium.

Beans are fairly easy to make. I make mine in a pressure cooker because it cuts the cooking time. If you want quick cooking beans, I'd look at black eyed peas or even lentils. Other beans require some soaking time (usually overnight/during day) and then may take a couple hours to cook. Pressure cooker is a lot quicker and you can go from unsoaked beans to cooked, delicious beans in an hour with little active cooking time.

canadacatman
08-31-2011, 01:51 PM
Wow thanks will have to try it. I love lentils never thought of just eating them.
Thanks

Wannabehealthy
09-01-2011, 09:04 AM
You can rinse canned beans to get rid of the sodium.

Beans are fairly easy to make. I make mine in a pressure cooker because it cuts the cooking time. If you want quick cooking beans, I'd look at black eyed peas or even lentils. Other beans require some soaking time (usually overnight/during day) and then may take a couple hours to cook. Pressure cooker is a lot quicker and you can go from unsoaked beans to cooked, delicious beans in an hour with little active cooking time.

Just lurking around and found this thread. I love beans, but I've never cooked dry beans. How do you prepare them, other than using the pressure cooker? What seasonings do you use?

Carol

Munchy
09-01-2011, 12:55 PM
I found This LINK (http://whatscookingamerica.net/Vegetables/driedbeantip.htm) that explains how to soak and prepare most beans.

Aromyn
09-03-2011, 06:31 PM
Whole Foods has a great little free booklet in the bulk section on how to prepare various dried beans. Beans in bulk are really cheap, even organic ones. I make black beans once a week, so I buy a bunch in bulk, sort, rinse, and soak them overnight, cook a big pot the next day, and freeze them in servings sizes. I am able to control sodium, and cut down on waste (I freeze in glass jars), which is always a plus. Lentils only take about 30 min from dried to table, so they are a great week-day go-to. Plus there are different kinds, like the small French ones which are great cold for salads, or the yellow and orange ones that get soft and creamy.
I like oregano, cumin, garli, chopped tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers for my black beans, sometimes some smoked paprika, or if I'm feeling uninspired just Cajun seasoning. Lentils are great with garlic, onions and bay leaf. They are also great seasoned with thyme, or a blend like Herbs de Provence. I also make a Scicilian inspired salad with lentils, tuna, red onions, basil, vinegar and olive oil. The cookbook Mad Hungry also has an AMAZING white bean salad that is always a hit with everyone I make it for.

jiffypop
09-03-2011, 07:54 PM
i'm cooking some fresh cranberry beans right this second, and plan to freeze most of them, but the rest i'm going to use to make some stuffed veggies - mixing the beans with a little ground beef [i'm doing my level best to hit my protein goals here - it's been a problem for me], some red jalapeno, onion, garlic, celery, maybe a little tomato, bell pepper, and who knows what else [herbs, certainly], along with either some couscous or barley.

then I'll pile this mix into pepper halves and some zucchini and bake for awhile. Maybe some feta cheese will be added at the end. we'll see!!!

Also, i often make my own multi-bean salad with green and/or yellow beans, some 'protein beans' [chick peas, canellini, black beans, whatever], and lots of other veggies in an oil/vinegar/maybe mustard dressing yummm!!!

and a sausage-kale-white bean soup/stew is coming up soon. just as soon as the weather cools down a bit.

kaplods
09-03-2011, 08:24 PM
I usually make dried beans in the crock pot. I usually don't soak, I just rinse and pick through the beans (because I was taught to - to look for stones and shriveled beans, but I almost never find any). I pour the dried beans into the crock pot and add enough water to cover the beans with at least 2 to 3 inches of water above the layer of beans (sometimes I season, sometimes I don't. When I season, I usually chop an onion, and maybe some celery or green pepper, and garlic. Though I'm just as likely to just cook the beans in water, and season the salad or whatever recipe I use the beans for ).

Occasionally I'll add some soup base (boillon powder) to the cooking water, but unless I'm making bean soup, I usually I do that after the beans have cooked, because it's too easy to oversalt. I cook on low for about 8 hours.

A lb bag of beans makes a humongous amount, so after the beans are cooked (unless I overcooked them and they're too soft) I will slip them into ziploc bags and every 20 to 30 minutes will shake the bag so that the beans don't freeze in clumps. That way, I can just scoop out what I need and thaw them in the fridge or the microwave).

If the beans have cooked longer than I wanted (usually because I overslept) they're still very tastey, I just can't use the freeze/smoosh method because shaking or smooshing the bag crushes and mushes the beans instead of seperating them, so I'll freeze them in smallish storage containers.

The mushy beans I'll use in soups and in a hummus-like dip I make (I puree almost any kind of bean with a little bit of onion and vinaigrette salad dressing. It makes a nice toast spread).

Firmer beans, I'll use in soups, pasta dishes, tuna salads, bean salads and salsas...

canadacatman
09-04-2011, 10:41 PM
How long will they stay good in the freezer for. Thanks

kaplods
09-05-2011, 02:47 PM
I've had beans in the freezer for at least 6 months without problem. From what I've read, they keep up to a year, I've just never stored any that long.

If you can keep the air out, they last longer. I wish I still had my seal-a-meal vaccuum sealer. Using one tremendously extends shelf-life in the fridge, freezer, or pantry - but I just squeeze as much air out of the storage bag as I can before returning it to the freezer.

Wannabehealthy
09-06-2011, 11:12 PM
I once was told that soaking the beans first makes them less gassy. Is that true?

Carol

canadianwoman
09-06-2011, 11:24 PM
I once was told that soaking the beans first makes them less gassy. Is that true?

Carol

I have also heard that but whether or not it is true, I have no idea. :)

Martina
09-07-2011, 02:18 AM
The way I make dried beans is to put them in a pot with lots of water (after I have rinsed them to make sure they are clean and checked for rocks and such) and cook for several hours until soft. Its super simple. I know the recommended method is to soak the beans but I've never done it that way. My mother always did it this way too.