Saturday, January 24, 2009

Beans, beans, the magical fruit...

A common meal around our house is 15 bean soup. It's nutritious, versatile, and best of all CHEAP! You can buy dried beans for about .50-.80 cents a bag (a little more for the organic variety). Combine several bags of your favorite beans in a large bowl, run your hands through them and pick out the nasties, then scoop by cupfulls into ziplock storage bags. For our family of six, a meal is two cups of dried beans. Most bags of beans are a little more than two cups, so that means I can feed my family for less than a dollar!

Beans should always be soaked overnight and preferably with some sort of acid (2T. of lemon juice, whey, or vinegar). Soaking beans gets rid of their phytic acid. Phytic acid interferes with mineral absorbtion. Beans are full of wonderful minerals such as magnesium and zinc and you want your body to be able to absorb as much nutrient as possible! Also, by breaking down those enzymes, it will decrease the gas associated with this 'musical fruit'. Soaking also decreases your cooking time.
After an overnight soak and rinse, I put the beans in my crock pot and add one large can of organic crushed tomatoes. I season with 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2tsp. of cummin, 2tsp. oregano, 2tsp. of chili powder, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Cover beans well with water and cook on low all day. Just before serving I toss in a handful of fresh cilantro and a couple of teaspoons of sea salt.
Stir in some brown rice for a complete protein. We like ours with hot buttered cornbread!
For more information on why soaking beans and legumes are good for you, CLICK HERE.


Juli said...

I love 15 bean soup, too! My kids don't quite as much. That just means more for me to eat for lunches for a week! I really don't get tired of it.

Rachel said...

Maybe I'm going to sound like a moron, but why not buy the 15 bean soup mix? (where's the head scratching emoticon when I need it! LOL).

We do this too, though--beans. MMMMM Made 3 lbs of dried navy beans this last week...ham and beans. Yum. And apple pie for dessert, lol.

Gopher Mommy said...

Ok, I am trying this tomorrow. I could only find 16 bean mix. I have the beans soaking in a bowl, in a cupboard. I don't want our cats to knock everything over in the middle of the night.