Friday, August 3, 2012

Beans! Beans!

The more you eat, the more you.. SAVE money, geez what are you 12?  Beans are GREAT for you, they have protein and are a good source of fiber.  But what about the ummm... gas?  The more you eat the more your body will become accustomed to eating beans and you will no longer be so gassy.  So hang in there, and maybe indulge at home for a while? Unless you want to keep your coworkers away ;).

One easy way to save a TON of money on groceries is to make use of beans.  And I mean dried beans not the canned ones.  Those can be full of sodium, other added ingredients and probably BPA from the can liner, not-so-good-eats.  I have found a variety of dried beans at my local farmer's market.  And if you don't have them at yours, check places like Whole Foods, or Sprouts, or your local natural food store for bulk bins of beans.  I know Whole Foods has organic dried beans, not sure about Sprouts though.  

stored in ikea jars, labeled
Dried beans do require a bit of planning to use, you should soak them first and they can take a little while to cook.  Whole Foods has great directions on their website of how to prepare beans.  But don't let this deter you!  Just soak a batch of beans overnight and cook them up on the weekend, they don't require much attention and then you can use them all week for meals!

So what do you do with beans?  In our house we use a lot of lentils, black beans, white beans, kidney beans, and chick peas.  Here's just some ideas of what we do with them:

lentils:  soup, add-ins for anything with ground beef, hearty dip
black beans:  black bean salad, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, dip, black beans and rice, black bean burgers

white beans:  soup, dip
kidney beans: chili, red beans and rice
chick peas:  homemade hummus, chick pea salad, cookies(!)

They cost pennies on the dollar to buy, are super easy to make and are delicious and healthy!  What are your favorite bean recipes?

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