What to Do With 25 Pounds of Beans? Crystal Miller
I love being frugal and keeping close tabs on my grocery budget and eating
beans is one way I keep things in check. I was inspired to write about how
to use a bag of beans when a woman on my message board said she purchased
25#ís of pinto beans and was wanting some ideas on how to use them.
Beans are an excellent source of protein. They are not a complete protein
however and need to be coupled with brown rice, cornmeal (as in cornbread
or tortillas or tortillas chips, etc), cheese, or meat to get the most
benefit from them.
I am not a vegetarian as I donít believe it to be a healthy way to eat,
however I do advocate eating smaller amounts of meat if you are trying to
live on a tight budget. Meat can be looked at as flavoring instead of the
main course. If you are a vegetarian you will find that many of the bean
recipes I share adapt nicely to that way of eating.
Many people know that beans are a good quality food, they have some idea
what to do with them but when faced with a bulk bag of them (after all
buying them in bulk is how you get the best deal) they are perhaps short
on ideas as to what to do with them.
Depending on your family size 25#ís of beans may last you a long time or
maybe a real long time.. ~smile~. Beans, after they are cooked, can
quadruple in size. So keep that in mind. If you have a small family, think
small amounts with the beans, conversely it you have a big family, thing
Before I get into the nitty gritty I want to say a few things about
cooking beans. Beans donít have to be soaked. I know for many people
soaking beans is one extra step that is easily forgotten. For years I
never soaked beans. I simply measured out what I needed, added water and
salt and let them cook. In my constant quest for improving my familyís
nutrition I came across a fantastic book,
Nourishing Traditions (the author is Sally Fallon). It is a
fascinating, information filled book and well worth purchasing if you are
serious about improving your familyís health. In reading this book I
learned about something called Ďphytic acidí. Phytic acid is naturally
found in all grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Phytic acid blocks the
absorption of minerals in your body. To neutralize phytic acid (it will
also make them easier to digest) you need to soak your grains and beans. I
now soak my grains and beans as much as possible. Sometimes I forget and
donít do this but this is a new step for me and I am learning to make new
habits. Soaking grains and beans also increases their nutritional benefit.
If you would like to read more about this (and other nutritional
information) then I highly recommend Sally Fallonís book Nourishing
If you have not purchased your beans yet you may be wondering what the
best type of bean to purchase is. If your budget is tight, going out and
buying several types of beans may not be a choice for you. If I was going
to try and work with just one type of bean it would have to be the pinto
bean. They are a mild tasting bean that will adapt well to a variety of
uses. Plus pinto beans can usually be easy to find in 25# bags. I know
locally Costco sells them and so do several grocery stores in my area.
Most of my recipes are based on using pinto beans, but other types of
beans such as red beans and black beans will work. I would not use navy
beans for these recipes. I never use kidney beans (and therefore have not
tested them in my recipes) because I just donít personally like them. They
are too large and donít convert well to some recipes, however if you like
them, you can try and see how they work for the following recipes.
Beans work wonderfully as a meat stretcher. You can add cooked beans to
cooked hamburger to make it go farther. You can then add this to just
about any type of recipe calling for cooked hamburger: tacos, spaghetti,
Here is what you do: the evening before you need the beans, put 2 cups of
beans in a pan and cover with lots of water. Leave to soak. The next day
dump the water out and cover the beans again with water and add 2t of
salt. Cook beans for 2 to 4 hours or until they are soft.
Now cook up 1 pound of hamburger (add onion or any other spices you want).
When the hamburger is cooked add 2 to 3 cups cooked beans. You can heat
this up and even mash the beans if you want to.
If you are going to use the mixture for tacos then add 3 to 4T taco
seasoning and a little water and let this simmer.
If you are using it for spaghetti sauce, prepare your sauce, add the
meat/bean mix and season your sauce. Serve over whole wheat pasta.
If using in a soup then make the soup according to your recipe and add the
meat/bean mix when the recipe calls for hamburger.
You can also divide this into meal size portions and freeze it. Beans
Other Bean Helps
Here are some bean recipes that you can incorporate into your daily diet:
Refried Beans make an easy side dish or a great filling for burritos. Use
the leftover refried beans the next night to make Refried Bean Soup.
Double this recipe if you want to have enough
leftover for soup or for freezing.
As you can see beans are very versatile and can give
you a large amount of nutritional value at the same time being easy on
your grocery budget!
you are looking for bean recipes (more than 40 delicious bean recipes
using basic healthy ingredients), helpful tutorials (several step by step
picture tutorials) as well as bean cooking and nutritional information you
may be interested in my new eBook:
Cooking With Beans!
You can read more information about
The cost of this ebook is $8.00
and is an instant download after purchasing through Paypal.