Along with the cost of fuel skyrocketing, food prices are also rising. Cutting corners and saving money is becoming a necessity and there are several ways to go about doing it. You can start out by buying dried beans instead of canned beans as you'll get more for your money. They'll also be healthier as they are preservative free and have no processed chemicals or sodium.Â
Lastly, you'll be doing your energy bill a favor if you use dried beans and soak them before you cook them. This takes longer but it will cut off cooking time and you can do other things while your beans partake in a long soak. Here's how:
1. You'll want to soak your beans in about three times as much water as their volume anywhere from 8-12 hours to overnight. If you want to soak them for more than a day, be sure to change the water daily. Careful though, if you soak them for too long they may ferment, which affects the flavor and makes them difficult to digest. Soaking allows the beans to begin germinating and promotes enzyme release (aka breaking down all the complex sugars and making them easier to digest). Store soaking beans in the refrigerator.
2. After the beans are done soaking, you can start cooking them. Consult the packaging for cooking times.
By starting out with dried beans, not only will you have more of a selection of which beans to use (you can get anywhere from pinto to mung beans) but you'll also have more control on how they turn out. Gone are the days of opening up that can of beans and finding them too mushy!
What are your favorite kinds of beans?