Index Page 1
Your Leftovers Go Green
Send us your $$-Saving Tips &
ideas on how to save cash and stretch your dollar!
Watch your pennies & dollars tend to take care of themselves.
Beans - a Best Buy!
Beans are a valuable addition to the diet - they have many
nutrients, a cheap source of protein, and lots of fiber. While canned
beans are a valuable resource, for big families, economy's sake in tight
economic times, or for an emergency stock, dried beans are a great choice too.
- Chose clean-looking beans with glossy skins.
- Store beans in their original package or a tight
canister or jar. Keep them dry and cool.
- Check for bugs after a few weeks; at the first sign
of infestation, freeze for 48 hours in a watertight plastic container, then
remove and store as usual.
- Beans can be stored for up to a year. Be aware
that they slowly lose flavor and take longer to cook, the longer you keep
- If you get a really good buy on dried beans, or dry
those from your own garden, and wish them to retain freshness longer, they
can be frozen in an airtight freezer container or bag.
- Sort before use; discard any that are shriveled or
unhealthy looking, and watch for stones and other debris.
- Wash beans before use.
- For economy, put to soak several hours before cooking
time so they can plump up. This cuts the cooking time and lets them
- Drain the soaking water, rinse and cover with ample
water for cooking. Some people bring beans to a boil, then drain and
repeat for the actual cooking, stating that this improves flavor and reduces
"bean gas" problems. I don't find that to be always true, except for
beans that have been stored more than a month or three.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low heat until
tender. Depending on the recipe you may add ingredients before cooking
- As they boil, you may wish to skim and discard any
large amounts of foam that form.
- Whatever you do, don't add salt until the beans are
tender! Salted beans take forever and ever to cook.
- Some recipes suggest adding bicarbonate of soda to
the cooking water to cook them faster. Frankly, it affects the taste
and also there are reports that it destroys some nutrients. Better
- If you wish to "live green", are an environmentalist,
or a vegan or vegetarian, beans are a winner all around. Growing beans
actually improves the soil, acting as a fertilizer even as they grow.
Beans take much less land to produce than meat, have no cholesterol or fat,
contain vitamins which improve health and prevent birth defects, and keep
the digestive system healthier. They are heart healthy, cheap, and
- If you, or family members, don't care for beans,
start slow with just a few added to soup, for instance. Then step up
your intake with well-seasoned recipes. You'll be glad you did!