’tis the season for beans – dried beans

It’s fall – definitely a time to put on a pot of beans for dinner.  I love dried beans.  I thought I was branching out when I went from navy & pinto beans to using Anasazi beans.  But there are so many more beans available; I didn’t know there were so many different flavors.

I’d love to try some of these beans the next time I get a chance:

I have tried:

  • azuki
  • baby lima
  • black
  • great Northern
  • mung, and maybe a few others

One reason I didn’t eat beans as much as I could have is that the clean-up from the mess I inevitably made after they boiled over was a big turn off.  But a friend suggested using a slow cooker and now I try to include beans at least once a week.  They are inexpensive, filling, yummy and now easy to make.  Though a slow cooker is not a good option for all beans, it works for me because it’s easy.  You can also use a pressure cooker.  Check out What’s Cooking America for directions slow cookeron cooking dried beans in a pressure cooker and saucepan.  The site also says to soak the beans overnight if you’re going to use a slow cooker and cook on low for 12 hours.  But since I often forget to soak them overnight, I usually end up cooking them on high for the day and changing out the water when I get home before I add the final spices or chunks of ham.  Sure, it’s not the best way to do it but it works for me.

One other word to use in describing dried beans — nutritious.  They are an excellent source of vegetable protein, low fat, high fiber and some great vitamins & minerals.  It’s hard to find a better food than dried beans.

Will you put dried beans on the menu this week?

Check It Out 

Cooking Beans and Storing and Soaking from Central Bean Company, Inc.

My favorite recipe for beans – Chalupa

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