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Beans, beans, good for your heart…

So you are back to read more! How you bean?

All kidney-ing aside. (See what I did there?) If beans are not prepared right, they can be no laughing matter.

There are many reasons out there people are moving away from canned beans. Sure, they are convenient, but at what cost? No one needs extra sodium in their systems. No one likes to have to remove their rings because they don’t fit from swelling. Also, that gooey mess at the bottom of the can is enough to turn anyone off of beans. I’m grossed out just thinking about it. Once we are on the topic of cans…Did you know that many cans contain BPA. Oh, you thought that was only for dollar store plastic? So did I. But it’s true. Many cans contain BPA. The food may be organic, but at times the container is ruining that. Need more convincing to move to dried beans? I didn’t think so.

So let’s talk dried beans. You can buy them in the grocery store. Don’t forget to pick through them looking for bad beans or little stones. There should not be too many. If you get them from a local farmer you will have a lot of picking and sorting to do. I put my 5 year old to work. It kept him busy a while, but there were no complaints.

Once you have your beans you should rinse them a few times and then let them soak in filtered water. They will begin to absorbs the water so you will want to make sure there are a few inches of water over the beans. Now go about your day and check on them over the next 24 hours to see if they need more water. Soaking the beans allow for shorter cooking time which preserves nutrients.

Now here is the magic. Rinse your beans and put in a pot with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and add a nice thick piece of KOMBU. That’s what I said, KOMBU. It is part of the kelp family. It’s eatable seaweed. Its thickness helps it stay in one piece through the cooking process. It also draws the gas out of the beans. YOU’RE WELCOME!

I usually boil my beans for about 1.5 hours. I tend to boil big batches at a time. I throw the kombu right int here. I also check it from time to time to make sure I do not need to add extra water. When they are done I rinse, rinse and rinse them right away. Don’t forget to discard the kombu. After they cool I usually freeze them two cups at a time. Now they are all ready for when I make chillies, stews or dips.

Good luck. Send us your pictures of you beancipes!

Soon I’ll write another blog or even make a video on onions. I can’t put those two posts too close to each other or I’ll get tear gas!

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