2013 Food Challenge: Black Beans


Why beans??? Isn't that super-hard to make??? Can't I just open a can???

If you are reading this post, you are probably trying to figure out how to eat better, and how to cook. So then why settle for mediocre with a can, when you can achieve greatness from scratch?

Canned beans have no flavor, and are usually too hard and watery. They are old (no nutrients), and most contain the BPA that leaches from the can lining. More on BPA and cans in this post: http://www.freshfoodunderground.com/2010/03/just-say-no-to-cans.html

To get the most nutrients out of your beans, make them fresh, from scratch. Go to the supermarket, or natural food store, and look for the organic beans in bins (bulk) when possible. When you buy in bulk, the price for organic beans is minimally higher than that of regular beans. And when you choose organic, you choose beans that are free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and radiation. Those 3 facts alone will make you not even blink about your couple extra dollars.

Why black beans? Because they are so practical. Once you have a pot of beans at hand, you can serve them with rice, or put them on top of a corn or wheat tortilla with melted cheese and /or chicken, meat, pork, fish... make burritos, tacos, eat them with fried eggs, with corn bread, with tomatoes, cabbage, any kind of greens, throw them on top of tortilla chips and make nachos, use them for soup... you can eat beans in a different way each day of the week. And if you finally are completely sick of them, you can toss them in the freezer, as they freeze beautifully. Finally, beans are a great source of iron- important for us women who tend to become anemic during pregnancy, or stressful times in life. I have found them to be an effective way to obtain iron without having to resort to pills, an excessive amount of meat, or bags and bags of spinach.

Think of beans just as brown rice with a little added soaking time, and you are set to cook them. This is a post that I made for a dear friend who wanted to learn how to make beans from scratch, and has since mastered the technique:  http://www.freshfoodunderground.com/2012/04/beans.html.

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