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.
[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.
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.
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.