Since we’ve been eating healthier (less meat, more beans) I discovered that cooking your own beans will save three times the amount on beans! Now only that, but it’s a little bit healthier too.
Canned vs. Cooking your Own Beans Nutrition
Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, whether they are canned or dry. They are high in B vitamins and iron and low in fat.
Despite the benefits of canned beans, dry beans (cooking them on your own) are the winner nutritionally:
- Lower sodium: Dry beans, purchased in bags, contain no extra sodium. By contrast, canned beans are quite high in sodium (1/2 cup of canned beans contain about 20% of your daily sodium requirement). If you’re watching your sodium intake level for blood pressure concerns or other health reasons, stick with dry beans.
- More natural: Canned beans can last several years in their cooked state, thus, they have added preservatives. By contrast, when you use dry beans that you cook yourself, you can know exactly what ingredients you’ve added and how the beans have been prepared. Dry beans are purchased and cooked in a more natural and controlled state.
- Bisphenol A (BPA): This is a chemical found in the plastic white lining of most cans of food. It has become controversial lately because studies have shown that it may mimic the hormone estrogen and may contribute to certain cancers, insulin resistance and birth defects. If you would like to avoid this exposure, stick with dry beans. (source)
Other benefits to Cooking your Own Beans
1. It’s cheaper!! As I mentioned above – it’s 3x times cheaper.
- Canned Pinto Beans – $0.64/can, $0.37 per cup
- Cooking your own Pinto Beans – $1.99/bag of 6 cups of dry beans makes 15 cups of cooked beans; $0.13 per cup
- Canned Black Beans – $0.59/can, $0.34 per cup
- Cooking your own Black Beans – $1.03/bag of 16 oz. makes 10 cups of cooked beans; $0.10 per cup
2. Use less packaging and therefore contribute less waste to landfills.They also take up less storage space in your pantry than bulky cans.
3. You can control the firmness of your beans.
Convenient Cooked Beans
I love to soak and cook large batches of beans in my crockpot because it’s so easy and convenient. Then, I place them into individual bags to store in my freezer for easy use in recipes!
Wash and rinse the beans. Then, place in crockpot and add water to completely cover beans with about 3 inches of water.
Cover crockpot and soak beans for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Drain beans in colander and rinse thoroughly. Place beans back into crockpot and add enough water to completely cover the beans with about three inches of water. (Do not add salt during the cooking process. This will inhibit the beans from softening properly.)
Cover crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. The beans are done when they are bite-tender.
Drain the cooked beans and allow them to cool to room temperature. Once cool, place 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans into individual storage containers (or freezer bags). This is the amount the average can of beans yields.
Store in refrigerator for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to six months.
Stop by tomorrow to see the Mason Jar Tumblers my friends and I made this week!!
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