You all know the saying!!!
Beans are also very nutritious, high protein, versatile, and cheap! This is one item that all pantries should be stocked up on.
Whether you have tinned beans, home canned beans, or dry - HAVE THEM!
I have never canned beans myself - I don't really see the necessity on my part. If I need to cook and we have no stove, I totally know how to cook over a fire. Yes, perhaps it would be easier to have home canned beans on hand - open jar and eat - but I still do not care for using pressure canners, so that is my cross to bear.
Beans can be anything from green , yellow, or purple beans, navy, pinto, lima, black, kidney, and there are garbanzo beans and lentils. There are so many different types. I even have some dried fava beans in my stash that I haven't tried yet.
Beans are extremely high in protein and can be used as a meat substitute. Whether you are a vegetarian or just someone that wants to cut expenses - beans are for you.
BEAN SOAK WATER NEEDED TO COOK YIELD
Black Yes About 6 cups 6 1/2 cups and broth
Chickpeas Yes About 7 cups 7-8 cups and broth
Black-eyed Yes About 6 cups 7 cups and broth
Pinto Yes About 6 cups 7 cups and broth
Red beans Yes About 6 1/2 cups 7 cups and broth
Lentils No About 6 1/2 cups 6 cups and broth
The above measures are for a one pound bag of beans.
Cooking times vary depending if you soaked over night vs. soaking in a boiling bath for a while. It also depends on how old the beans are. Beans do get drier the older they get and do take longer to cook, but they are still OK and will cook.
I see many places that says you can cook a bag of beans (after soaking) in 2 -3 hours. I have NEVER had beans cook that quickly! EVER!!!
I generally cook mine in a slow cooker - no scorching or burning.
If you are going to freeze beans after cooking - cook for a little less time - so that beans don't end up a mushy mess.
Beans can be purchased for very little money. Dollar Tree even sells them. Last I looked, you could get navy and black beans for $1/lb. and pinto were $1/2 lb. bag.
Beans can be purchased in cans or tins, but the price is more dramatic. For $1 worth of dried beans, you can get several servings - same price spent on canned - maybe 1 -2 small servings!
Beans can be so versatile. They are great in bean salads, cooked and added to rice, soups, casseroles, added in taco meat (I do this a lot to stretch it), or veggie burgers. I even saw recipes on-line for using beans as a base in brownies, and my sister told me years ago that at the school she worked at, they made chocolate cake with leftover baked beans! I would love to have had that recipe. She said the students never knew and loved the cake!
Dried beans can be ground and added to other dishes for extra protein.
We ALWAYS add baking soda to soak water in hopes of lessening the gaseous effects! Not sure it really works - but is worth the try!
G's RED BEAN SALAD
2 cans red kidney beans (drained) or equivalent of home canned
2 hard boiled eggs - diced
1/2 onion - chopped
1 stick of celery - chopped
2 Tbsp. pickle relish
1/2 C mayo
Mix all together and chill. It really is good.
BLACK BEAN BURGERS*
2 cans (14.5 oz.) beans - drained but not rinsed
1 C bread crumbs
1/4 C grated onion
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper
Drain but do not rinse the beans and mash with a fork. Leave a few beans whole. Ad other ingredients. Form into burgers and fry in a small amount of hot oil approx. 5 minutes on each side. Dress as you would any burger. Very delish!
Great alternative to meat and much cheaper and probably healthier!
*recipe calls for black beans but I see no reason why you couldn't use whatever you have on hand.
So there you have my take on beans. They are very necessary for the frugal pantry - they may be all you have some day.
Keep plenty on hand and store in a cool dry place. I keep mine in glass jars.
So versatile, so healthy, and so frugal.
Do you have any special uses for beans? Are they in your frugal pantry?
Have a great day all!