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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 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.

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.

Beans Support Aerobic Exercise

 
If your New Year resolution includes a commitment to more aerobic exercise, take a tip from the Tarahumaras, a group indigenous to the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains of Mexico. Considered among the most skilled long-distance trail runners in the world, they’ve been the subject of books, magazine articles and scientific studies. Remarkably, the diet that sustains their extraordinary fitness is built around beans, especially pinto beans. Corn, chili peppers, squash and greens also play important roles in their menu. Try this recipe.

Warm Up Winter Nights with Chocolate Chili

Nothing warms up a cold winter evening like chili, and the best chili recipes call for a few tablespoons of chocolate. Pairing chocolate with spicy hot peppers is a tradition that goes back some four thousand years. The Mayans of Central America, who are credited with discovering chocolate, didn’t use it as the sweet treat we love today. Instead, they consumed a fiery and bitter drink made from crushed cocoa beans and chili peppers. Get more details.

A Snack-tastic New Years Eve

Crunchy and easy-to-make, roasted pinto beans make a great snack for a New Year’s Eve party. This recipe has a spicy, peppery kick, but you can use any seasonings you like. If you have any leftovers, roasted pinto beans also make a good addition to salads. Get the recipe.

Bean-Inspired for the Holidays

Tamales are a Christmas Eve tradition in some parts of Mexico. With a savory dough made from Masa Harina (a type of cornflour) and meat or beans filling, tamales are wrapped in corn husks — sometimes banana leaves — then steamed. Tamales can be made and cooked ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for several days to reheat for a Christmas Eve supper that is both easy and special. Use any type of bean you have on hand for this recipe, including canned refried beans to speed up the process. Get the recipe.