I know there are many who can't eat beans due to allergies, and that makes me sad. Beans - legumes in general - are such a great protein source and they are so very frugal and versatile.
I love beans of all sorts.
Beans can be eaten as a stand alone dish, in soups, casseroles and stews, can be eaten with grains, can be turned into replacement items (bean burgers), used in salads and on and on.
Here is a list of various beans - I am sure it is not complete in any way! These are what we most often see and keep on hand. I think I have some of most of these!
BLACK BEANS (or turtle beans) - small dark colored. Can be used in most ways - but popularized by South America. Can be used to make vegan burgers!
BLACK EYED PEAS (Cowpeas) - Creamy white with a black eye. Particularly popular in the southern states. "Hoppin John' is a great dish.
CHICK PEAS (Garbanzo) A nut like flavor makes them a favorite of mid eastern dishes. Great roasted and eaten as a snack. Mixed with tomatoes - make it a fun southern dish. Mashed and turned into a dip (hummus)
FAVA BEANS - looks like a lima bean on steroids! Kind of nitty flavor - yet kind of meaty. Excellent flavor
KIDNEY BEANS - Deep red beans used a lot in chili. Can be used in anything. Great when mixed with other types.
LENTILS - Unlike other beans these do not need presoaking before cooking. Great substitute for meat meat in casseroles and soups and even burgers
LIMA BEANS - Flat broad beans in a variety of sizes. Great by themselves and excellent in casseroles and rich soups.
PINK or PINTO BEANS is a relative of kidney beans and can be eaten in many ways - good to make refried beans
SPLIT PEAS - available are available in green and yellow. They have had their skins removed by a mechanical process. They have a relatively short cooking time and don't need to presoak
WHITE BEANS - often called great northern beans, navy beans and marrow beans. Very mild flavor - used in may types of soups and even in baked beans
When purchasing dried beans - they can be kept in the pantry for a long time. I like to keep in glass jars - but have many tucked away in deep pantry in buckets. They can be cooked on the stove - which can take a while or they can be cooked in a slow cooker. I have done that many times.
They older the beans get - it does take longer to cook. Some say they never get completely softened - but I have used beans that were several years old and just cooked a little longer.
I also figure - if I am hungry and all I have is beans - I don't think I would care if they weren't perfectly soft!!
Beans, beans the musical fruit....... LOL! We have all sang that little diddy! Yes, they can create gas in many humans. I always add baking soda to my soaking water - then rinse and add clean water for cooking. However, I still add a bit of baking soda to the cooking water as well. I know there are lots of ideas on how to rid the beans of gas. If you have a special way - let us know!!!!!
Also I like to add about a tablespoon of oil to cooking beans - as it seems to keep them/the water from foaming.
Beans are a perfect food for preppers to keep on hand and for those of us who just want to be prepared for anything. They are a huge source of protein and can take the place of meat.
I bet many of you don't realize how much protein they contain. I didn't until I did a bit of research.
They contain way more protein (1 cup cooked) than 1 cup of cooked rice or 1 cup of cooked spaghetti or 1 baked potato. Actually they contain more of all the basic vitamins and minerals than these other options for all aged groups. So why not use beans instead??
They contain more protein per pound than so many meat items that we use. The items that are basically higher are fish (especially tuna and halibut) and Swiss cheese!! Beans contain more protein per pound than eggs, cottage cheese, chicken, beef, lamb, and even pork.
AND did I mention - they are CHEAP and FRUGAL!!!!!
If you can eat them - it is one item that should be kept in all pantries, especially those deep pantries for emergencies. I know a common thought is - well, if we have no power - how are we supposed to cook?
There are ways - I have cooked many a pot of beans over a campfire while camping. Many people can beans - that way you can really just open a jar and eat as is if necessary.
So think about this frugal and highly nutritious item to add to your preps.
"Beans, beans the musical fruit... the more you eat the more you TOOT!" LOL!!!!!