Week 44: Beans
10 lbs of Black Beans
After this week, you should have 10 lbs of Black Beans stored. This is the program goal. This is the only week we address Black Beans.
They are just what they say they are, beans that are black. Black beans are one of the best foods for your health, your budget, and your waistline. Read on...
Black beans are packed with fiber and protein. That means theyâ€™ll satisfy even the most intense hunger, and will keep you feeling full and energetic for hours. But that’s not all. Recent research also shows that Black Beans are rich in antioxidants as well. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, and when eaten regularly, have been shown to offer protection against heart disease, cancer and aging. Black beans have more antioxidant activity, gram for gram, than other beans, followed by red, brown, yellow and white beans, in that order. [source] Black beans are also good for warding off heart disease. There are lots of ways to sneak the magical bean into your diet.
Dried vs. Canned:
There are two basic forms of black beans: raw, dried beans, and pre-cooked, canned beans. Each type has its advantages.
Dried black beans are easy on your budget, and many cooks feel that black beans cooked at home are superior in taste and texture. If you use dried black beans, you'll have to pre-soak them and cook them on the stovetop. Dried black beans are better for longer cooking times. Note: pre-soaking has been found to reduce the raffinose-type oligosaccharides, sugars associated with causing flatulence.
Canned beans make meal preparation a snap, and are a great choice when you only have a short amount of time to get food from the pantry to the table. The moister texture makes canned black beans preferable when you're planning to puree your beans, as you would for dips or spreads. But it’s still great to use canned black beans in your longer cooking recipes if you’re ok with the beans being a little mushier.
Unlike canned vegetables, which have lost much of their nutritional value, there is little difference in the nutritional value of canned black beans and those you cook yourself. Canned beans are great in hot recipes while they can be used at room temperature for salads or served cold for dishes like black bean salad.
Purchasing and Storage:
Whether purchasing black beans in bulk or in packaged containers, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture or insect damage and that they are whole and not cracked. Store dried black beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place where they will keep up to 12 months. If you purchase black beans at different times, store them separately since they may feature varying stages of dryness and therefore will require different cooking times. Cooked black beans will keep fresh in the refrigerator for about three days if placed in a covered container.