Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I've Stored It...Now What? -Beans

  When we think of "food storage" wheat is usually the first to come to mind, then beans. I thought it was only fitting then, that beans be the focus of our next installment of "I've Stored it, Now What?" Beans are one of those things we know we should store, but often have no idea what we're going to do with them when a disaster strikes or when we're forced to use them (like when it's time to rotate them).
  So why store beans? Beans are incredibly inexpensive, cholesterol free and low in fat. They are also high in fiber, protein and carbohydrates. The Idaho Bean Commission, reports that “Each half-cup serving of dry beans provides six to seven grams of protein, meets at least 10% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein, yet costs about 20 cents per serving.” "A single half-cup serving of cooked dry beans counts as one, one-ounce serving of lean meat in the USDA Food Pyramid Meat and Beans group, and as a full serving of vegetables in the Vegetables group." Pretty great huh?!
  What kind of beans should you store? My suggestion, the kind your family will eat! I do not like Lima beans so I will not cook them (sorry kids you'll have to gain a love of Limas from someone else), let alone add them to my Home Store. Only store things you know how to, or a willing to learn how to cook and your family will eat. Even in a crisis when I'm very hungry, I am not going to enjoy eating Lima beans! Shelf Reliance offers seven different types of the traditional dry bean (Black, Kidney, Lima, Pinto, Red, Small White Navy and Lentils) and three types of instant dry beans (Black, Pinto and Red). What's the difference? Traditional dry beans require 4-16 hours to rehydrate (the longer they soak, the less cooking time they require); here are instructions on how to rehydrate dry beans. THRIVE Instant Beans require only 10-15 minutes of boiling.

THRIVE Dry Beans                                 versus                           THRIVE Instant Beans
4-16 hours to rehydrate                                                            10-15 minutes to rehydrate
Seven different bean varieties                                                  Three bean varieties
Averages about .23/serving                                                       Averages about .32/serving
30 yr shelf life/5 yrs opened                                                     25 yr shelf life/1 yr opened
Long rehydration time means can't eat when hungry                  Ready in a flash
  The only question left I guess, is "What do I do with all these beans?" Everyday Food Storage has an e-cookbook available to purchase, Shelf Reliance offers a database full of fantastic recipes and I cook with the products here at THRIVEwiththebasics quite regularly. To give you some creative ways to use beans here's a recipe round-up:

Beans as an oil substitute in baking- Everyday Food Storage (I love this! Think of how much healthier your baked goods become!) And a recipe for Low-Fat Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

Five-Minute Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup- Your Own Home Store

Homemade Refried Beans- Chef Todd @ Shelf Reliance

Ezekiel Bread- Food Storage Made Easy

  I hope this gives you a really great start on working your way through your storage of beans. If you haven't been storing beans because your family doesn't eat them much, I hope you have a new-found respect for beans. They are incredibly versatile and sooo healthy! 

Autumn Christiansen    Independent Consultant-Shelf Reliance    435-723-0977 

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