Stock Up on Dry Beans

As consumers across the country shelter in place against the coronavirus, it’s not surprising that packages of dry beans have been flying off grocery store shelves. Dry beans are an essential part of any well-stocked pantry, especially one that feeds families through an emergency. Learn more here

Beans with Spring Greens

Greens like arugula, spinach and watercress are at their freshest in early spring, even when there is still frost in the air. Enjoy them with pink or pinto beans in this fast recipe that is packed with the flavors of spring. Discover the recipe here.

Build a Bean Burger, Your Way

Create your own delicious, homemade bean burger with whatever ingredients you have on hand. Switching out spices and other ingredients presents endless options for your creations. Discover the recipe here

Dried vs. Canned Beans

When faced with the choice of cooking with dry beans or canned beans, what’s the best option for home cooks? The answer depends on many factors, including cost, convenience, and control.

Cost: If you want to save money, cook with dry beans.

Dry beans cost less per serving than canned beans. For example, a one pound bag of dry pinto beans costs, on average, $1.79 and will make 12-½ cup servings of cooked beans whereas a 15 oz. can of national brand pinto beans costs $1.69, a store brand can costs $1.19, and each provides 3.5-½ cup servings. This means that a serving of pinto beans made from dry beans costs just $0.15 while a serving of store brand canned pinto beans costs $0.34 and the national brand costs $0.48. A family of four that eats beans once a week could save nearly $80 per year by choosing dry beans versus a national brand of canned beans.

Type of Bean Cost Per Serving*
Dry Pinto Beans $0.15
Canned Pinto Beans (store brand) $0.34
Canned Pinto Beans (national brand) $0.48

*Prices based on a supermarket price review conducted in November 2015.

Convenience: If you want to save time, cook with canned beans.

While many people will find the cost savings of dry beans very appealing, they won’t necessarily like the time and effort it takes to cook with dry beans. It can take 3 to 24 hours—depending on soaking and cooking method—to sort, rinse, soak, and cook dry beans before you are ready to add them to a recipe whereas cooking with canned beans is as easy as opening the can. If you value your time more than your money, using canned beans is the better option. With that said, you can also cook larger batches of dry beans, and then freeze for use in dishes like soups, stews, and chili thereby providing both the cost savings of dry beans and the convenience of a ready-to-use canned ingredient.

Control: If you want less sodium, cook with dry beans.

A third issue to consider is the control you have when you start with dry beans, specifically over the amount of sodium in the final dish. A ½ cup serving of pinto beans cooked from dry beans with no added salt is virtually sodium free while a ½ cup serving of canned pinto beans contains approximately 200 milligrams of sodium. You can drain and rinse canned beans to remove about 40 percent of the sodium. You can also buy lower sodium versions of many canned bean products. But if you want to more carefully control the sodium in the final dish, you’re better off starting with dry beans. Finally, keep in mind that when cooking dry beans it’s best to not add salt or other ingredients that contain sodium until the beans are soft and fully cooked. The sodium can affect the beans’ ability to fully cook and soften.

(Source: The Bean Institute)

Add Beans for National Nutrition Month

 
March is National Nutrition Month – a good time to be mindful of building more nutritious meals. Canned beans are a perfect choice, providing a convenient and fast way to add more fiber, protein, potassium, and iron to menus. There are a plethora of ways to add beans to your favorite meals. You can:
  • Add beans to any salad, turning it into a main meal
  • Stir beans into canned tomato soup
  • Add beans to prepared pasta sauce and enjoy over spaghetti or rice
  • Mix beans into macaroni and cheese
  • Top a baked potato with beans and salsa
  • Add beans to any curry recipe

Add Flavor to Your Bean Dish

Sometimes referred to as the fifth taste – in addition to sweet, sour, bitter, and salty – the flavor or essence of umami was discovered in Japan around 100 years ago. The word is derived from the Japanese term for “deliciousness.” Small amounts of umami-rich ingredients can go a long way in enhancing the flavor of the simplest dishes. Adding these foods to bean dishes is an easy way to create a savory meal with just a handful of ingredients. Get the details.

Not Your Average Salad

At their best in winter, citrus fruits add appealing tartness and a dash of sweetness to bean recipes. Like all citrus fruits, the oranges and grapefruit in this recipe are packed with vitamin C and other organic acids that increase absorption of the iron in beans. Get the recipe here.

Speed Up the Bean Soaking Process

If you forgot to soak your beans the night before you plan to cook them, the hot soak method can come to the rescue. Cover the beans with water, bring to a boil and boil for three minutes. Remove them from the heat and let them soak in the hot water for an hour. Then drain, rinse, add fresh water and cook. It’s okay to let the beans soak longer if you don’t have time to cook them right away but be sure to put them in the refrigerator after they’ve soaked for an hour. Get more tips here.

Dry Bean Congress Taking Place in Cancun, Mexico

The 2020 U.S. Dry Bean and Specialty Grains International Congress runs February 6-8 in Cancun, Mexico. For approximately 20 years, this event has offered trending industry topics, social events and business opportunities to hundreds of U.S. exporters and International importers of pulses and other specialty grains. This event is organized by the U.S. Dry Bean Council and cosponsored by the USA Dry Pea, Lentil and Chickpea Council, the USA Sunflower Association and the USA Popcorn Board´s Mexico in-market representative. Check out the agenda here.

Get Ready for Kickoff

Score big at your Superbowl party with this delicious bean dip! This rich and extra-spicy buffalo bean dip requires just minutes of hands-on preparation. It’s perfect for your Super Bowl Sunday party.