I bet most of you can rhyme this poem with me - without me finishing it...
"Beans, beans the musical fruit...."
... and then it ends with "Let's have beans for EVERY meal!"
Other than cute poems that kids love to say but moms might put them in the "penalty box" for, what's the big deal about beans? We know that they have been suggested to us to store...but why?
- When properly stored, they will be waiting for your beckoning call FOR 30 PLUS YEARS!! Now that's a faithful friend!
- Their precious fiber helps to lower cholesterol
- They are loaded with protein
- They are loaded with magnesium, folate and potassium (all are amazing and necessary for heart health)
- The insoluable fiber helps to prevent digestive disorders like colitis and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) [that might sound surprising...considering...]
- ...and so much more!!!
(I got this information from http://www.whfoods.com/
Why We Hardly Eat Them
So, if beans are so awesome...why don't we eat them for every meal? Reason number one might be because we would get tired of them.
Many people avoid beans for the very reason I hinted at in our funny/not so funny poem. When many people eat beans that have not been soaked before cooking, the enzyme inhibitors (Woah...what a word!) that are naturally in that bean seed (it is a legume, but also a seed), haven't been broken down. Enzymes are essential for happy and healthy digestion. Without them, the body builds up uncomfortable gasses and husbands get slapped with newspapers the rest of the evening. I hear that's the number one reason for divorces today...in Tennessee...or something.
The easy way to remedy this is to soak them overnight, drain the water, rinse them good and the add new fresh water - then boil for three hours. Easy...except who the heck has time for that? I found this cute tutorial for canning your own beans. The author of this site is super cute and I learned a lot from this post. I enjoyed it so much that I bottled 15 quarts of beans this week! Yee haw!
Bottling / canning your own beans might seem like a huge deal if you've never done it before. After you do it once, easy squeezy lemon bars (oh, that didn't rhyme...lemon bars do sound good though).
Now What Do I Do?
Ok, so now that we've made life so much easier with canning these beans... what do we do with them? The possibilities...endless.
- Mexican Lasagna (invented by a Mexican-Italian? probably)
- Bean Burritos
- Bean Dip ( including 7 layer dip...aye, I'm getting hungry)
- Chili Beans
- Mexican Corn Bread Salad
- Beef and Bean Burritos
- Taco Salad
- ... I think you get the picture...
Hey Chancho! I tol you there was loss to choose from - jus don feed me tripe ! :)
Here is one you may not have heard of though...you should probably be sitting down for this one.
Pinto Bean Fudge
1 C cooked (unsalted/ seasoned) pinto beans [you could season it, but if there is chili powder in it, your fudge will have a funny tang...just sayin']
3/4 C Cocoa
1/2 C melted butter
1 Tbl. Vanilla
2 lbs powdered sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 C chopped pecans
Mash beans, mix with butter, cocoa and vanilla. Add the sugar and pecans. Grease 9 x 13 pan and spread bean mixture into the pan. Chill thoroughly- cut into squares and serve.
I got this recipe from:
Now that I've made myself hungry, I'm gonna go make some refried beans with cheese on top and some fresh salsa. Hopefully I've given you a few reasons to add beans to your storage. They are great for you and so flexible when it comes to how you can prepare them. So, let's have beans for...every other meal :).