Preparation – Beans!

Some of you are probably laughing at me already but we love dried beans!

I know what you’re thinking.  What about gas?  I’ve heard and read many remedies but I do believe that the more you eat beans, the less digestive issues you have with them.  Some other recommendations to alleviate gas issues are:

  • Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water before cooking
  • Add a tablespoon of ginger to the water but I think that would give the beans a ginger taste
  • There are commercial “anti-gas” products that can be added to the beans

If you don’t like dry beans, come spend a few days at our house.  We eat them all the time and they’re so good.  Black beans, red beans, cranberry beans, split peas, garbanza beans, pinto beans, navy beans and my least favorite is black eyed peas.

One bag of dried beans cooked is about equal to 4 cans of bought canned beans.  I try to buy beans when they’re on sale and I get them for less than $1/pound.

This is a great chart for how long it takes to cook things in the pressure cooker.  I use mine almost every day!

If dried beans (and rice) are stored in sealed mylar bags, along with an oxygen absorber, I’ve read that they are good for 8 – 10 years.

When I put beans up, I first put them in a FoodSaver back that I can seal and I insert an oxygen absorber, and I vacuum seal that bag.

Then I put that bag into a mylar bag and seal it.  The mylar bags will not vacuum with my FoodSaver.

I try to seal the mylar bags right at the very edge.  That way I can cut away the sealed edge and re-uses the bag.  I label the bag as to the contents and the weight.   Since beans sealed this way are supposed to last up to 10 years, I won’t even use these for at least 5 years, unless for some reason I need them.  In 2015 I’ll start using the beans that were sealed this year and then I’ll replace those.  Otherwise, I use beans that I buy in bags and store in a 5 gallon bucket with a gamma seal lid.

Another thing I like about the dried beans is that if you only need to cook for a few, you can portion out what you need and cook only that amount.  In an emergency, there may not be a fridge and we don’t want to be wasting our food supply by opening a can and eating only half of it and not being able to save the rest of it.

I know . . we cannot live on beans alone but at our house, we almost can.  Beans are inexpensive, are easy to store, easy to cook, provide lots of protein and fiber.

Don’t go buy a bunch of beans if you don’t like beans but if you haven’t given them an honest chance, try some and see if you may like them more than you thought and they might be a good starting spot for building a food stash.

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Beans are the great “go to” food. I agree that dry beans are easy to store (half gallon canning jars) and I always have 6-8 varieties on hand. The pressure cooker makes them an almost instant ingredient.

  2. 2

    says

    Oh yum, white beans and ham! Red beans and sausage! Black-eyes peas and cornbread! I don’t cook them a lot, but love them when I do!

  3. 3

    Gwynette in NW Arkansas says

    We like beans, too. I grow cranberry beans, cannellini beans, speckled butter beans (Christmas beans), horticulture beans, soldier beans (they have a little man in the ‘eye’ of the bean), purple hull peas and of course, two varieties of green beans that I dry for seeds next year after canning all I need. I love to put a them in my electric roaster and simmer all day with onion, garlic, hot pepper and ham hocks. We have the ‘soup’ for lunch that day as they simmer and a ‘bean day’ is like getting a ‘free’ day to quilt.

  4. 4

    says

    My husband’s a vegetarian, so we eat a LOT of beans around our house. One of my favorite things to make is homemade refried beans – soooo much better than anything you buy in a can. I usually cook mine in the slow cooker while we’re asleep or at work. I’ve read that soaking the beans for a good long time – 7+ hours – can also alleviate some “discomfort.”

  5. 5

    says

    I too love beans but husband does not so much but lots of beans are in our emergency stash, he would eat them if he had to!

  6. 10

    Marilyn Smith says

    My DH loves his beans and cornbread. Made a huge pot the day before yesterday. Will have them again for dinner tonight and will freeze what is leftover with the Food Saver. I used the bone from the Honey Baked Ham – yum!

  7. 11

    Elaine says

    Love ’em! My favorite is the Great Northern white beans, but I really like pintos too. I’ve never heard of some of them named in this post. I didn’t know they could be stored that long. Guess I’ll be hoarding some beans now along with the toilet paper I’ve been stocking up on…..hmmm, see a connection here? LOL!

    Judy, remember the ice storm we had and I made cornbread on my wood stove? I felt like a true pioneer lady but I don’t wanna hafta do that again!

  8. 12

    Toni says

    Lovin’ those beans! I agree, you system gets used to them and there are less embarassing moments. I’ve never heard of cranberry beans. I’ll have to look them up. And I agree with Megan…homemade refried beans are the best. Like Taco Bells’ pinto’s and cheese? Personal serving, made at home~ Use your refried beans, add enchilada sauce (not salsa) and a sprinkle of cheese and onions. I could live on those!

  9. 13

    Judy C in NC says

    Good Morning Judy L – have you tried the dry Christmas Lima Beans. I recently picked up a bag of these at the fresh market, and not sure what they will be like. They are looking kinda red and white, so will blend with my Christmas kitchen very well. Lol What seasoning do you use for the majority of the beans you cook, or does that happen in the canning process? I recently cooked some pintos in slow cooker with beef broth and they were the best we have had.

  10. 16

    Donna S (in MI) says

    I am thinking about getting a pressure cooker. I used one for canning and didn’t kill anyone. So I am thinking I should do ok with a regular one. There is a class on pressure cooking offered. Since my DIL got one as a wedding present, I am thinking it would be a bonding experience to take the class together.

    I am cutting out a lot of processed food. Beans make up most of what I buy canned. And they make up a lot of of quick meals.

  11. 17

    says

    We LOVE beans here at my house.
    I just took a spiral ham from the freezer to thaw for a couple days in the fridge. After we have the ham dinner ( on a snowy Friday) we will have ham & beans for days…I soak them overnight. Really clever that you save the beans that way…must try it. I have a vacumn sealer.

  12. 18

    patti says

    we were out for lunch and the soup of the day was a bean one. one of the ladies in our group commented that wouldn’t be a good choice because we were attending a funeral afterwards. the owner of the shop said it wouldn’t be a problem because she has a secret that takes out the ‘gas.’ of course we asked what that would be and she said that she cooks them completely. now, who knows exactly what is meant by “completely,” but still noone chose the bean soup!

  13. 19

    Toni in TN says

    Looks like we have another Toni so I will be Toni in TN. My mother in law cooked beans every day and always used October beans. They are a little more mild in taste than pintos. We love beans and have them often.

  14. 20

    says

    What a great post; you always surprise and amaze me…

    I love beans, too… but I really don’t understand why you cook them five years in advance… are you expecting a five-year power outage? LOL, Judy, I love you, but this one really puzzles me…

    • 20.1

      says

      I don’t cook them til we’re ready to eat them. I will store them sealed in mylar bags for 5 years and then begin to cook them as needed and will replenish my supply in mylar bags.

  15. 21

    Darlene S says

    I love most kinds of beans too. I even grew Christmas lima beans, purple green beans (they turn green when cooked) and Persian lima beans – they too have a magenta color and are really neat to harvest. Can you guess I like purple. When these are cooked, you do not really see purple. Both of these are great producers when you save and dry the beans. They are heirloom varieties and I buy them at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in southern Missouri. They have great seeds and plants for all types of veggies and legumes.

    Judy, what is an oxygen absorber? I’ve never heard of this before. Also, where do you buy mylar bags and what do you seal them with?

    Thanks. Dar in MO

    • 21.1

      says

      I’m not Judy, obviously, but one good source for both mylar bags and oxygen absorbers is the same place I get my Gamma Seal lids: bayteccontainers.com.

      Oxygen absorbers collect any loose oxygen which slows deterioration of the product. Mylar has a very tight molecular structure that does not allow much more oxygen to get in once you have absorbed what was already there between the grains.

  16. 22

    says

    My mom and I love our beans! Red, green, and soybeans are our favorites. We use baking soda as a remedy for gas, but it doesn’t work all the time. Love your website!:)

  17. 24

    Joan says

    I grind the pinto beans into flour and add that to bread. I also grind wheat for flour and use about 3/4 cut bean flour to 3-4 cups wheat flour. Gives interesting taste to the bread.
    I too have a stash of beans for emergency use. To cook usually use the crock pot and put them in in the evening and they are done by morning. Oh do soak first to take the “poppers” out.

  18. 25

    says

    Our favorites are pinto beans. I’ll either put them in the crock pot overnight or on the stove top for a few hours and always with a little garlic powder sprinkled in. We eat them with everything and I always have some in the freezer for when we do a big bacon, eggs and potatoes breakfast. We even include a pot of pinto beans on our Thanksgiving table. =D