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How to make a pot of beans (and what to do with them once you’ve cooked them)

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How to make a pot of beans (and what to do with them once you’ve cooked them)

Simple.

Basic.

Filling.

Versatile.

Easy to make.

Low maintenance.

A big pot of beans has all the ticks in my books. But are you making them? Or do you know how to make them? Or why adding a pot of beans to your week will take the edge off of life and help remove the repeating meal rut conversation of ‘what are we going to have for dinner?!’.

I have this saying. Cook for the times you know you won’t be able to.

Cook for the times you’re sick, lying in bed and wishing someone could deliver you soup.

Cook for the times work is slamming you and your boss is being a jerk and you walk in the door at 9pm, grab the takeaway menu and know you shouldn’t order it but, #fridgeisempty.

Cook for the times you’re lazy on the lounge and legit cannot move.

Cook for the sunny hot days when you want to stay at the beach longer, but also have a budget to stick to.

I’ll add beans to anything. In my soup, in my salad, in my dip, in a cooked meal of roasted veggies and sauteed meat, or even baked beans. The opportunities are pretty endless. So how do you make them?

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How to cook a pot of beans 

Ingredients

  • Beans – kidney, black, borlotti, any kind you like.
    1 cup of dry beans, serves approximately 5 x 1/2 cup serves.
  • Water

Method

  1. Rinse your beans well under cold water.
  2. Optional but awesome: Soak your beans overnight (or approx 8 hours) in a bowl of warm water with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. In the morning, discard soaking water and rinse beans really well.
  3. Add your beans to a pot and cover with water, approx 3cm above the beans.
  4. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Partly cover pot.
  5. Cook beans for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
  6. Beans are cooked when they’re a little firm on the outside but soft to eat.
  7. Rinse beans well and discard cooking liquid. Leave to cool.

 

Here are 2 things to think about in the argument for cooking your beans instead of buying them:

  1. Check the ingredients on the back of your tin of beans. The sodium levels, the other ingredients, the tin packaging, the landfill.
  2. Home cooked beans don’t taste like tinned beans. They taste a bajillion times better and you can flavour them anyway you like.

So you’ve cooked your beans, now what?

  • Store your beans in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
  • Not sure how to tell if your beans are still good to eat? You’ll know, they will smell like you won’t want to eat them.
  • Grab some freezer bags. Portion out your single serving of beans and freeze flat. On the mornings you’d like beans, grab your bag from the freezer and off you go to work. They’ll defrost by lunch and be ready to add cold to your meals (yes you can eat defrosted beans cold).
  • Think about what else could follow this same process. You can interchange what you’re prepping and stock your freezer full of different types of grains and legumes. Week 1, make your beans. Week 2, make quinoa. Week 3, make brown rice. Week 4, make lentils. By the end of the month, you will have a freezer stocked full of ready to go ingredients for you to use and a much wider variety of food in your diet.

7 recipes to make right now

  • Add 1/2 – 1 cup of beans to this pesto recipe for a pesto bean dip.
  • Sub 1 cup of chickpeas and add 1 cup of beans instead to this falafel recipe for a new version of falafel.
  • Make a delicious bean dip, use this recipe and replace the beetroot with your beans.
  • Sautee some onion and garlic in a pan, add a few chopped tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add your beans to heat through. Pour into a bowl with some fresh greens, a slice of sourdough and drizzle over this dressing.
  • Add to your soup.
  • Replace the noodles in this recipe with your beans.
  • Add your beans, with a heap of chopped veggies, top with a simple vinaigrette of:
    3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp mustard, salt, pepper.

 

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