Have you ever been looking for something and once you find it, you realize it’s been right in front of you the whole time? That’s how I felt yesterday. After posting about my struggle finding beans that don’t have chemicals and preservatives, a dear friend of mine asked me if I’d ever thought about soaking my own beans for chili. Well Duh! No, I hadn’t thought of that! And I’m surprised that I didn’t! It seems so obvious. I’m always looking at the large assortment of beans available in the stores and always thinking of ways to use them, but it didn’t even occur to me to soak some for chili! I won’t be searching for canned beans anymore when I want to have chili. One less label I’ll have to look at. J
Cooking beans from scratch is really cheap as well. A bag of dried beans costs a couple dollars and contains enough beans for several meals. Cooking them at home also gives you the BONUS of being able to control exactly what goes into your meal – especially the salt level. Canned beans can be pretty high in sodium and I like to have that option of adding what I want to my food.
As far as nutrition goes, beans are a powerhouse. They are high in protein which helps fight infections, helps heal wounds and regulates hormones. Geez, with all the hormonal changes I’m going through, I need to be eating beans at every meal! HA! They are also high in fiber, and low in calories and sodium as well as full of other valuable nutrients like calcium, potassium, and folate.
Yes, dried beans need to be soaked and can take a while to cook (several hours usually) so it does require a little planning, but SO worth the effort. Beans are probably one of the easiest things to prepare though, just soak them in water overnight, rinse them off, and waa laa, they’re ready to cook!
So thank you Mel for the suggestion! That’s why I love ya! You’re always looking out for me. J