To be honest, I mainly store prepared canned beans in my food storage. I like the convenience and here in Utah I can take advantage of case lot sales so I buy beans at a good price. However, I was happy to attend a recent Relief Society night where I learned more about canned as well as dry beans from Janet Brough. A couple of tips from her Bean Information handout:
- Legumes (beans, peas, lentils) are low in fat (only 2-3%).
- Legumes are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, B vitamins, folate, and iron.
- When served with seeds, nuts, or grains (wheat, rice, oats), the combination provides a complete protein.
- Have phytochemicals, compounds that may help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- They have no cholesterol.
- They are high in fiber—the part of plant-based foods that you body doesn’t digest. A diet high in fiber can reduce your risk of developing diabetes and help lower blood cholesterol levels, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. May also help prevent colon cancer.
- The government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests we eat at least 3 cups per week.
- Do not add tomatoes, vinegar, ketchup, chili sauce, or lemon juice (acidic ingredients) to the beans in your recipe until the beans are totally cooked. The acid retards the cooking and softening of the beans. They may never soften after adding the tomatoes!
- You can replace eggs in baking recipes by using 1 Tb. soy flour with 2 Tb. water for EACH egg called for in recipe. The dough may taste different, but it will bake up fine.
Plan for convenience at home by home canning dry beans, or cook and freeze beans for later use.
- If you can’t find at the store, or don’t have on hand at home, the kind of legume you want for a particular recipe, you can easily substitute one type of legume for another. For example, pinto and black beans are good substitutes for red kidney beans. Consider the color of the beans you are replacing; i.e. dark beans replace dark, light colored replace light colored beans.
- Cooked dry beans can be pureed and used in place of part of the fat in baked goods. The final product will be changed somewhat, so test by replacing ¼ to ½ of the fat.