Monday, January 16, 2012

Beans, beans, the magical fruit...

Beans, beans, the magical fruit.....(I'll leave the rest up to your imagination!) We eat a ton of beans.  They're easy, cheap, and full of nutrients and fiber.  We eat them in soups, chilis, salsa, bean dips, omelets, wraps, burritos, quesidillas...and the list goes on.  Because of convenience purposes, I used to buy my beans in cans.  I would pay about 55 cents a can at Aldi.  When you're feeding a family of six, those cans add up rather quickly, not to mention that canned beans are full of sodium and create a lot of waste in land-fills.  I figured up the cost of buying dry beans, and it's about 1/5 the cost of canned beans.  Last summer, I tried my hand at canning dried beans.  This method was super easy.  I will show a how to demo at a later date.

Recently, I also tried cooking the beans (You can do this on the stove top or in a crockpot), letting them cool, and then putting them in zip-lock bags and freezing them.  LOVE this method!  Just pull them out of the freezer and thaw, or throw them into soups or the crockpot along with your other ingredients...voila!  Instant dinner!

I first started buying dried beans at the grocery store.  While still cheaper than canned beans, I quickly found that if I buy beans in bulk, the savings is much greater.  The past couple of years, I've been buying beans and other bulk food items from a local food co-op where I can buy just about any type of bean, many organic, for less than $1.00/ pound.   The last time I ordered, I got 25 lbs. for just under $25.00.  Can you say....

Beans and rice, rice and beans!

I store my beans and other bulk items in five gallon buckets in our basement, so if you're one of those crazy people that raids the grocery store when we get a light dusting of snow, please just stop by my house first.  I'd be happy to share and it will save you from having a near death experience by the trampling of the mobs.  And we can even enjoy a hot cup of coffee together.

This is one of our family's favorite bean dip recipes.  It is quick, easy, and has little to no fat.

Bean Dip

(Great with raw or lightly steamed veggies and/or toasted whole wheat pita bread)

(Recipe by Dr. Joel Fuhrman - Eat to Live)


1 15 oz. can of beans, any type (@ 1 1/2cups)

1 TBS salsa (or more or less, depending on your taste.)

1 pinch cumin

1 pinch chili powder

¼ tsp garlic powder, or two garlic cloves, crushed


Mash the beans with a fork, masher, or food processor with about half the liquid from the can. Mix in the spices. Serve with raw or lightly steamed vegetables or toasted pita bread.

Printable Recipe

Just another way to spread my manna love!

But one of the best.....ABSOLUTELY BEST uses for beans.......

Priceless memories!  You're darn tootin!!

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