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Using Dry Beans

Good Monday morning! I’m up early today…I thought I was supposed to sub for a 5:30 AM cycle class but when I got there, another instructor was already there. We’re not sure what happened, but I’m taking advantage of this extra AM time to blog. [We bloggers are a special breed. Tell me you would do the same thing.]

While I’m blogging, I’m sipping my first ever Kombucha [Trilogy flavored]. I’m already in love. I like the taste and it’s making my insides feel all good…it’s hard to describe, but it just feels like it’s cleaning and healing my digestive system. I know, sounds crazy. Try it for yourself. I’ll do a post about Kombucha in more detail soon.

IMG_1840[I totally took this picture by the window on purpose so you could see it’s still dark outside and pity me admire how hardcore I am by waking up so early to blog.]

Last night, I made another dish from Clean Food: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos with Cashew Cheese [page 268]. They were fantastic. Take a look. Mmmm….mouthwatering.

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My favorite part is the lime juice mixed with mashed sweet potatoes. I could have eaten just that alone.

Lately, instead of buying canned beans, I’ve been buying dried beans and soaking and cooking them for meals. Sure, it takes a little planning, but it’s very easy and I think they taste better. Plus, dry beans are super cheap. This budget girl loves a food bargain.

I know a lot of people have never used dry beans before, so I’m here to make it easy on ya.

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1. Buy dried beans [you can buy them from the bulk bins at Whole Foods or find a bag of them in any grocery store, usually by the canned beans or rice]

2. Measure out the beans you need; I usually measure out 1 c. dry which is usually more than enough for whatever recipe I’m making plus having some leftovers for salads since it’ll give you about 2-3 c. cooked beans.

3. Spread the beans on a large plate or pan and pick through them and discard any funky looking ones.

4. Put the beans in a pot and cover with 3 c. water. Soak for 8 hours. Or longer. It doesn’t really matter…I mean, don’t go crazy and leave them for a week, but you can leave them for 24 hours and be fine.

5. Drain the water, rinse the beans and put them back in the pot with 3 c. fresh water.

6. Cover the pot, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Add a pinch of salt [preferably sea salt]. 

If you’d like to make beans make you less, ahem, musical, add in a piece of kombu [about thumb size], which is a sea vegetable and you can buy a bag a Whole Foods for about $6 [which will last you a long time]. Kombu helps aid digestion with beans and lentils. It will be in the Asian section. And remember to rinse off your kombu before throwing it in the pot. [Thanks for the reminder Ashley!]

7. Let the beans simmer until tender,which is about 45 minutes for black beans, but the cooking time will vary with each variety of bean. Here’s a chart with cooking times for other beans.

8. Drain and enjoy. You can refrigerate cooked beans for 3 days or stick them in an air-tight container and freeze them for up to 3 months.

Here’s a great website with lots of more info about using dried beans. Yep, there’s a US Dry Bean Council. Who knew?

So, you need to plan ahead for this method, but it’s really easy and you’ll cut back on your grocery bill, the sodium and preservatives in canned beans, and just feel pretty cool because you use dry beans. How granola of you.

Technorati Tags: beans,Clean Food,kombucha

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Shedding It
    at

    I had a major dried bean fail last summer and I’ve been afraid to try it again ever since!!! I’ve done it successfully before but now all I can think of is that disastrous pot of black beans on my stove, all hard and weirdly warm…traumatic!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      haha! I’ve had a traumatic experience too involving way too much salt. It took me a good 2 years to recover and try dry beans again.

      You could make this your Out of the Box Challenge for this week! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    at

    Thanks for the tips on using dry beans, they are so super cheap and I always pass them by because I was afraid to make them—the whole soaking, cooking, etc. thing confused me but I think I can follow this 🙂

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      I hope it works for you! Let me know how it goes if you try it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley
    at

    Hey lady!! I got a tip from someone who is experienced with Kombu….wash it before using and if you have a local Asian store it will be much cheaper there…not sure if WinsSal has one though, I’m thinking not? AWESOME job with that dinner..mmm I want it AHgain!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      I recently started washing it…I think I read that in a comment on your blog! 🙂

      Um, yeah, Asian store in W-S? Yeah right! But it’s worth googling just to check, I suppose. 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather (Heather's Dish)
    at

    you make dry beans sound so easy! every time i’ve made them they turn out kind of crumbly…probably because i’m impatient and just want to eat them!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      Sometimes mine get a little crumbly too…I think that means they’re overcooked?? I guess practice will make perfect…or at least better. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah Ikegami
    at

    I love this flavor Kombucha, such a good balance of spicy, sweet and smooth. I must get this cookbook, all the recipes sound so good!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      That’s a perfect way to describe it! I’m scared to try other flavors in case I don’t like them as much. What others do you recommend?

      Yes, you must get that cookbook! It’s awesome!

  • Reply
    AshlyH
    at

    i should try it — just to say I’ve done it. I do have cans and cans of dry beans in my food storage so it would make sense to know what to do with them!!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      Yes, yes you should. 🙂 What good is food storage if you don’t know how to use it [and if I’m not close by to show you and utilize your food storage myself? ;)]

  • Reply
    Erin @ Erin Eats and Exercises
    at

    I love Kombucha! Its a big pricey but I also feel clean, refreshed, and healthy after drinking one. The smell was a little tough to get past at first, thankfully it doesn’t taste like it smells!

    Thanks for posting the dry bean “how to.” Ive come across a million recipes using dry beans and I also just substitute for the canned. I’m sure I could be saving some money buying them from the bulk bins at Whole Foods!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      Yes, it’s way expensive which is terrible because I think they could be easy to get addicted too!

      Give the dry beans a try; it is crazy how much you can get for so little money when you buy them that way!

  • Reply
    Angela @ A Healthy FIt
    at

    I’m never tried Kombucha, but I have bought dried black beans and soaked them. It is super easy and even though you have to plan out a bit, it’s totally worth it.

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      I think everyone needs to try Kombucha at least once. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lia
    at

    I’ve been thinking about making the switch from canned to dried…the smell of the canning liquid just grosses me out…even after rinsing. Bleh. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      haha! you’re right. that liquid does smell awful!

  • Reply
    Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)
    at

    I love dried beans! They are so much cheaper and they have less sodium. I have recently fell in love with my pressure cooker. I swear, the thing is a bean factory. I soak my beans over night and then cook them in the pressure cooker the next day. It takes 15 minutes and my beans are perfect every time! Great info on the beans!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      I want a pressure cooker just for bean cooking! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mama J
    at

    Yay! So glad you like the Kombucha! That is definitely the best flavor, in my opinion… delish!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      Yes, I LOVE it! Once I try a few more flavors, I’m going to do a review. [They only let me use one coupon at a time…so I need to check out multiples time, I suppose, if I want a couple at a time. :)]

      How did you get those coupons, by the way?? that was such a great giveaway!

      • Reply
        Mama J
        at

        Hmmm… I didn’t have that problem when checking out with multiple GT’s… maybe it’s a Whole Foods thing? Try the Cosmic Cranberry next… it’s a close second :).

        I e-mailed the Kombucha company and they were happy about doing a giveaway. I was so thrilled b/c I know we all love them but they are $$$$. So worth it for a splurge though.

        • Reply
          Teri
          at

          It’s not WF’s fault…the coupons specify that you can only use one at a time. Which is probably a good thing or I would have used them all up by now! 🙂 Cosmic Cranberry…I’ll check it out!

          That is so nice of them! They are $$$$ but I could easily see myself getting addicted!

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