Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Beans, Beans............

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!

We love soup beans, red beans and rice, lima beans, green beans, refried beans, bean burgers, and G's favorite - bean salad.  I really don't think I have met a bean I didn't like!!! (wax are my least favorite).

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.

 2 cans (14.5 oz.) beans - drained but not rinsed
1 C bread crumbs
1/4 C grated onion
1 egg
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!


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    1. Sorry, I made a mistake in the last reply, so I am going to try this again! ;) I am looking forward to trying your black bean burgers. They looks so simple to do. I love lentil soup and have had lentil chili before that was really yummy too!

    2. Debbie - I like lentil soup as well. Also split pea. Both are so easy to make.
      The burgers are easy and just remember you can add any type spices you want to.

  2. We love beans here too. Your recipes sound delicious. Been so cool here we need to start thinking of chili and soup beans.

    1. I think chili is on the agenda here today.
      Great minds think alike!

  3. Minestrone soup with cannellini beans is a favourite in this household.

  4. LOL, Fava beans and with a little chianti!

    Cheryl, you just crack me up!

    I love beans also. We should eat them more often.

    1. Laurie that is what is always in my head too! LOL
      We probably all should eat more. They are so frugal.

  5. I really love beans of all kinds and we live in lentil country so lentils, garbanzos,and split peas are free here in 10 lb bags once a year. One of my children's favorite dishes was a bean and hamburger casserole. Yes my kids ate beans and loved them. I was a lucky mom.

    1. WOW - I have never heard of an area getting FREE beans! That is so cool. 10 lbs. is a lot of beans and you could do so much with them.
      I think kids like what they are raised with. They seem to have problems with food that parents say 'I don't really like that'.

  6. We love beans here and they are on our menu regularly. They are not only frugal, but great for your health too.

    1. Yes mam they are so very healthy!
      I am glad to see so many people like them.

  7. Thanks for the tips and recipes!
    I like most kinds of beans, and we should be eating more of them. I do have a teen son who doesn't really like beans although he will eat kidney beans if they are in chili or black beans in taco soup etc. But he will not eat pinto beans and cornbread. Something about the texture or mushiness of pintos, he doesn't like. I can make refried beans, and he will eat them in some dishes, but it does make cooking difficult. :D
    None of us really like lentils either, and I have tried different recipes.

    1. Kathy I guess I can understand the texture thing. There are so things I just don't want in my mouth because of the texture.
      I sure would hate it if one of those things was soup beans! I love them.

  8. I read somewhere that rinsing the beans from the package, again after that one minute boil, and after they soak, that it reduces whatever makes us gassy. I have used this method for years with (relative) success.

    1. I have heard that too. There are many methods to try to reduce that effect. They don't bother me too bad - but they do seem to have an effect on G.
      A can of baked beans is a great side dish - especially with burgers or hotdogs!
      That is interesting on your friend. I will have to remember that.

  9. We use baked beans from the can as an inexpensive side dish. I had a friend who ate a can of beans for lunch everyday (trying to get his blood lipids lower).

  10. Periodically I coom up a big batch of pinto beans in the crock pot. I soak them overnight first, drain, rinse, then put them in the crock pot covered with water up to over an inch above the beans. Cook all day.

    Then I bag some up for the freezer, throw some in some chili or soup and refry some.

    I loved retried beans with a dollop of sour cream, a spoonful of salsa and some shredded cheese. Yum! DH puts his on a tortilla shell or over some rice. Versatile, yummy. Beans.

    1. Cheri - everything you listed sounds wonderful. I love bean burritos - simply because of the flavor combo of beans, cheese & sauce. There is just something about that combination!!! YUM

      It sounds like you cook like I do. Cook today and have goodies tomorrow!

  11. We like beans too, but need to experiment with new ideas. Those black bean burgers sound great. One of my favorite things lately to do with beans, is cook myself two over easy eggs, and heat a half cup of pork n beans to mix with them. So yummy!

    1. WOW - that is a combo I would never have thought about. I am not an over easy egg person (don't like runny eggs) - but beans with scrambled sounds good to me.
      Hope you try the burgers. Remember you can add any spices you want.