Canned versus dried beans: Are dried beans really... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-13-2005, 11:08 AM
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that much healthier?



I've heard some iffy stuff about canned foods in general...



http://www.mercola.com/2001/may/19/canned_foods.htm



Is it BS or truth?



I love beans... I eat them almost daily. But I am a little concerned because I eat the canned variety. I am just too lazy to sort, rinse and cook dried beans.



Any thoughts?
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#2 Old 12-13-2005, 12:14 PM
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i eat canned beans, and my only concern with them is the HIGH sodium levels... so i buy the organic, sodium-free version, rather than non-organic...



sorting,rinsing, and cooking dried beans takes about as much time as cracking open canned ones, though... and it's more cost-effective..
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#3 Old 12-13-2005, 12:16 PM
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I thought you had to soak beans overnight?



ETA: What exactly is sorting? Sounds time consuming..
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#4 Old 12-13-2005, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Libellula View Post

sorting,rinsing, and cooking dried beans takes about as much time as cracking open canned ones, though...

I am completely mystified by this statement. Even if you have a pressure cooker, it still takes longer to wash, sort and cook the beans than the 30 seconds it takes to open a can.



Regardless of whether the possibility of bisphenol A in canned foods bothers you, I would think choosing the freshest food possible as often as possible is probably a good thing, healthwise. But there are tradeoffs. I prefer to use fresh (or in a pinch, frozen) vegetables generally, but beans, pumpkin, coconut milk, and a few other things are the exception where the hassle of the fresh (or dried) version offsets the inferior nutritional profile of the canned version.



So I use canned beans when I 'm throwing together a quick supper, but if I'm making a big pot of soup that will last all week, I'll spring for the real thing, since the soup is a bit of a production anyway.
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#5 Old 12-13-2005, 12:57 PM
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Yeah... I should probably do the same. Canned beans when I'm in a hurry, dried for things that are already a hassle, like soup.



I also know some folks cook up a bunch of dried beans and then freeze 'em, which seems smart.
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#6 Old 12-13-2005, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toadstool View Post




I also know some folks cook up a bunch of dried beans and then freeze 'em, which seems smart.



thats what I do and then freeze them in one or two cup portions. I then am able to make anything I want when I want.
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#7 Old 12-13-2005, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemydragon View Post

I thought you had to soak beans overnight?



ETA: What exactly is sorting? Sounds time consuming..



It's not, as long as you're not doing a lot of beans at once.



Put the beans in a dish with a large surface area so that you can see all/most of them. If you can't, just push them around. Look for stones or really deformed beans and pick them out. Takes less than a minute. I find it's more important with organic beans than anything else. If you see holes in legumes like chick peas, look more carefully and throw out the ones with holes.



I soak beans overnight usually, but you can quick soak them. That involves boiling them, then letting them sit in the water.
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#8 Old 12-13-2005, 02:06 PM
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You don't have to soak beans but I think it is best because it cuts down on the gas. ( beans give a lot of people gas) It doesn't take long to sort beans at all. I just put them in a strainer sort some of the bad ones and rinse them and I'm done.
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#9 Old 12-13-2005, 03:06 PM
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found this:

Soaking Beans

Soaking - A lot of energy is spent wondering if beans really need to be soaked. I find it useful to remember that beans are a dried food, that soaking is simply re-hydrating them. However, I found that you can get very decent beans without soaking them. But if you're going for the most plump, evenly cooked beans, then yeah, soaking helps.



Quick soaking - Give me a break! Quick soaking is where you boil beans hard for a minute or two, take the pan off the heat, cover it, let it sit for an hour, then drain the beans and call them soaked.



Now yes, in one sense it is quick-an overnight soak is accomplished in one hour. But come on, unsoaked beans only take an extra 30 minutes or so. So in another, very real sense, there's nothing quick about quick-soaking.



Soaking revisited, how long to soak - A useful factoid is that beans will only take up so much water and that's it. They don't continue to absorb water like an insatiable sponge. When beans are soaked, they're soaked. Longer isn't better. The fact is that most beans are done drinking up water after 4 to 8 hours. (Beans will take up warm water faster than cold water.)



However, there is nothing wrong with soaking beans overnight if that's convenient. But throwing beans in a bowl of water at breakfast works just as well. How can you tell if beans are fully re-hydrated? - You can judge by their skins. At first their skins will be wrinkly, then the beans gradually swell up and their skins become smooth again. At that point they're soaked. But if you want to be compulsive, then cut a bean open. If the bean is undersoaked, you'll notice the core is chalky, like a kernel of rice was in the center. If the bean is fully soaked, it has an even color all the way through.
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#10 Old 12-13-2005, 03:10 PM
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OK..so the fact is that opening a can is much faster and alot more convenient. Good for those who dont eat much in the way of beans.
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#11 Old 12-13-2005, 05:01 PM
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about soaking.

if you have free space in your freezer, you can soak the beans and freeze in small portions. then the soaking time saved.
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#12 Old 12-13-2005, 05:15 PM
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Eh, you could find bad things on just about anything online. You gotta pick and choose what is reality and what is someone's paranoid delusions.
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#13 Old 12-13-2005, 05:40 PM
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I prefer dry beans. I generally rinse them and sort them (look for any icky ones or stones which may have gotten in).



I soak over night, in the morn, throw them in the crockpot with all the ingredents EXCEPT salt (your beans will be hard). I add the salt when I get home from work, voila....dinner!



Great frugal, dinner that tastes wonderful. And I LOVE coming home to the wonderful smell.
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#14 Old 12-13-2005, 06:34 PM
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I have never tried dried beans...I eat beans so much it would be a lot of work for me. I usually decide what I want to eat on too short of notice anyway.
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#15 Old 12-13-2005, 09:40 PM
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I take anything mercola says with a grain of salt.



But I have read from other sources that there are things in canned food anyway that a person wouldn't really want to have in their body, so I guess it all depends on how concerned you are about it and whatnot.



It also depends on how concerned you are about things like high fructose corn syrup and other additives that some companies put in canned beans.



If you want *just* nutritional readings, though, look up the bean in question on Nutritiondata.com and compare the numbers for yourself.



Personally, though, I also like cooking beans in the crock pot. It's relatively hassle-free (I just pick them through and rinse them well before chucking them in the pot with water and spices) and nothing's better than having cooked beans that I didn't have to fuss over for 3-5 hours (sometimes, I just don't have that sort of time on my side).



And like others have said, beans freeze well so make a big batch and break some down for later. "Fresh cooked" beans, at the ready - what could be easier?
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#16 Old 12-13-2005, 09:57 PM
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This thread has made me crave some good crockpot beans. I have black beans soaking now. Now I just need to decide what to toss in with them in the morning! mmmm...
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#17 Old 12-13-2005, 10:39 PM
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I go back and forth between dried and canned. If I'm in a phase where I'm planning my meals well, I use dried. If I'm flying by the seat of my pants, I use canned. I think dried taste somewhat better, but not enough of a difference to bother me.



I only buy organic sodium-free canned beans, so I don't worry about what's in them.
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#18 Old 12-14-2005, 10:03 AM
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Of course, if you buy a no-salt organic brand like Eden or Westbrae, no worries about salt, corn syrup, or animal products. Eden ingredients: beans, water, kombu.
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#19 Old 12-14-2005, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesseract View Post

I am completely mystified by this statement. Even if you have a pressure cooker, it still takes longer to wash, sort and cook the beans than the 30 seconds it takes to open a can.



Regardless of whether the possibility of bisphenol A in canned foods bothers you, I would think choosing the freshest food possible as often as possible is probably a good thing, healthwise. But there are tradeoffs. I prefer to use fresh (or in a pinch, frozen) vegetables generally, but beans, pumpkin, coconut milk, and a few other things are the exception where the hassle of the fresh (or dried) version offsets the inferior nutritional profile of the canned version.



So I use canned beans when I 'm throwing together a quick supper, but if I'm making a big pot of soup that will last all week, I'll spring for the real thing, since the soup is a bit of a production anyway.



cooking *does* take a while - but i've found that that can be done overnight in some instances..
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