11/12/08

Dry bean logistics



Dry beans are a lifestyle. You can't have them for dinner if you plan your menu an hour before the event. You have to plan ahead a day or two. Here are some tips that help me incorporate them into my menu.
  • Plan a menu. Mark the meals you know you'll have to soak beans for, to help you remember ahead of time.
  • Make your own convenience food. Cook up some dry beans and freeze them in 1 1/2 cup portions. Then you can pull out a "can" of beans at short notice.
  • Cook all your week's beans at once. Label and refrigerate until they are needed.
  • Cook different sorts of beans together. If you have a recipe that calls for three different types of beans, soak and cook them together. The smaller beans may get a little mushy and the colors may blend, but if you don't care about that, it does save a lot of time.
  • Cook double the beans you need. Freeze half of them for the next time you make that recipe. Last week I cooked a double batch of beans for my favorite chili and froze half of them. The next time I want to make chili, all I have to do is thaw the beans. This saves energy, too.
Any other tips? What keeps you from using dry beans? What helps you?

7 comments:

  1. I pretty much do the same things you do. Cooked beans freeze WONDERFULLY! They also thaw really quickly. If you are in a hurry, pop them in the sink and run some hot water over the top of them, they will thaw in about 5 minutes.

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  2. Oooo! I never thought of using frozen instead of canned beans. Thank you for sharing these tips.

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  3. I love what your doing with the dry beans. Great posts. I want to use more dry beans we use them for certain recipes and I can get them for 39cents a can at our discount grocery but not all the beans I like. This has boosted me to use those beans and think about how we will use them etc.
    The freezing idea is a great one in the comments section.
    erika

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  4. Great tips! I mostly don't use them because I'm not a bean lover. Sorry! But I'm sure there are some really-really great things out there I just haven't tried. I DO love black beans, so I've got those in storage. Thanks for the tips.

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  5. I have managed to pull off beans about 3 hours before a meal. Just use the quick soak method on the stove top, and then cook on the stove. It definitely takes prep, but the better flavor and less sodium of dried beans vs canned is worth it! We also freeze extras too.

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  6. This has been a great series. I just wish I liked them enough to cook them. That's what keeps me from using them. LOL
    My hubby likes them though, so I'm going to have to start making them.

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  7. All of these have been so helpful. Thanks for all the wonderful bean knowledge.
    *hugs*

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