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Basic Bean Dish

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Basic Bean DishHi, Welcome to Your Life, Your Choice, with Allison. Today we are going to talk about how to make beans from scratch.  That’s right from dried to the table, it’s all here and it’s super easy.

I know it’s convenient to go to the store and buy the canned beans, but they are loaded with sugar and added salt. Even if you but the low salt version they’ll challenge your arteries.

Making your own beans is not only easy it’s also really cheap. Today we’re making a basic bean dish using three types of beans- all cooked together – Red Bean, Kidney Bean and Black Eyed Bean (small beans).

First:  You’ll need to soak the beans in water. Put the beans (quantity depends on how much you want to cook, I use half a cup of each) in a small container/pot/tub and add lots of water. Beans absorb the water and expand – so make sure your tub is big enough and check back on them periodically.  If the water has been absorbed, just add more and let them continue to soak.

Soak for about 4-6 hours or overnight (you have to plan your bean cooking in advance).

Watch the video: http://youtu.be/8U642UzUnDw

The ingredients:

  • 2 small onions
  • Garlic (great for lowering cholesterol)
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Coriander
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Bay leaves
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Grain Mustard
  • Cooking Molasses
  • Tomato Paste
  • Stock Cube – low-sodium chicken stock
  • The beans – kidney, red beans, and black eyed.

(There is no real recipe you can add anything you want according to your own tastes).  I’ve made beans with chipolte mustard and balsamic vinegret, it’s all about your tastes.

Second:

  • Chop the onions, they don’t have to be finely chopped.
  • In a large pot, (I use a pressure cooker) heat the Olive Oil and sauté the onions for about 5-7 minutes.

While the onions are cooking lets talk about why we should eat beans? Beans are very high in dietary fiber, help to lower our blood cholesterol levels which helps to keep our hearts healthy, they are slowly digested which means they help to regulate our blood sugar levels – prevents a blood sugar spike after a meal.  Beans are also high in protein and loaded with nutritional value.

This basic bean dish is great because the cooked beans can be add them to stews, chili, eaten as they are, or served on toast for breakfast.  If you follow my page on Facebook you might have seen a photo of my son eating his baked beans on toast, a great healthy breakfast.

Back to cooking –  After sautéing the onions for 5-7 minutes add the chopped garlic and sauté for another minute.  Don’t worry if your onions aren’t translucent when you add the garlic because everything will cook for a long time.

To cook the beans I use a pressure cooker, if you don’t have one a normal pot will do. A pressure cooker is faster – the cooking time is between 20-40 minutes, while in a normal pot your beans will have to cook for several hours.

Note: 2 cups of dried beans makes between 4-5 cups of cooked beans

Now add the stock cube, about 1 tablespoon of cumin, about the same of coriander and .5 tablespoon of paprika (which will give it a nice rich colour). Add a small Tomato Paste,  a few dashes of Worcestershire, 1 tablespoon of Grain Mustard and Dijon Mustard (if you like spicy food you can add chili),  add 1 tablespoon molasses (which will give the beans depth and sweetness), and the bay leaf.

Finally, add the beans which have been soaked, strained and rinsed.  Give it all a stir and add water – enough to cover the beans – stir, turn the heat up and get them boiling. Once boiling – if you’re using a pressure cooker – put the lid on, let the pressure build and then turn the heat down and let them simmer for at least 20 minutes. If you are using normal pot they will have to simmer for a lot longer, just keep checking the water to make sure the beans remain covered and test for softness and taste.

When tasting it’s a great time to adjust the spices to add a bit more of one of the above ingredients.

My beans took 40 minutes, oops I left them for a bit too long – but they still taste great and smell incredible, it just means I have to let the pot soak for a little longer before I can wash the burnt beans off.  Lesson to self, set a timer so you don’t forget the beans:)

That’s it, enjoy your home made beans sprinkled with cheddar cheese, mix them with your potatoes, brown rice, or serve them up with vegetables and have a vegetarian chili stew.  Anyway you choose to eat your beans is just fine.

Adding beans to your healthy food choices will help you to meet your bodies dietary fiber requirement of 25-35 grams/day.  Just one cup of beans provides you between 13-16 grams of fiber.  That’s what I call packed with fiber.

Enjoy your day.

This is Allison – Your Life, Your Choice.

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In case you missed it, to watch the video click here http://youtu.be/8U642UzUnDw

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