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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Dried Beans



Dried beans are one of the cheapest and easiest foods to store. They are also filling and nutritious. Combined with rice they make complete proteins. That’s why a lot of preppers store plenty of beans.

Unfortunately, too many people think of beans as just a cheap long term storage emergency food. That’s a huge mistake. Unless it is part of your normal diet, it will cause problems during an emergency. The last thing someone who’s under stress wants to do is to try new foods. It’s also not the time to learn how to cook them to your liking. They should be part of your normal diet.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve made a number of bean dishes. We had spicy black beans with rice, Boston baked beans, Kidney beans, and refried pinto beans. I make large batches and freeze the leftovers. One of the problems with working with dried beans is the long prep time, so it’s worth making a good sized batch.

Normally I soak them overnight, rinse, then throw them in the crockpot with enough water to cover. If in a hurry a pressure cooker can have presoaked beans ready to eat in thirty-five minutes. There are plenty of recipes out there and I encourage you to find which ones work for you. Once you do find which spices and ingredients work for you, make sure to have plenty of them stocked up too.

The crockpot is handy, but if the grid goes down other cooking methods are necessary. Pressure cookers are a good idea. They work great on a kitchen stove, but are a good idea for an emergency camp stove. The shorter cooking time saves a lot of fuel. My cooking arsenal includes four different types and sizes of cast iron Dutch ovens. Those are good for charcoal or campfires. In a pinch a regular cooking pot also does the job. I’ve slow cooked bean in a regular pot on top of the woodstove using the lowest temperature cooking area.

Storing beans is a good idea. Cooking and using them on a regular basis is an even better one.

-Sixbears

14 comments:

  1. Now you've done it Mister.
    I have had hankering for a pot of beans for a couple of months now but I'm pretty much the only one in the house that actually likes them. I grew up eating Pinto beans, beans and rice or just plain rice and miss that. Nothing better than a big ol' plate full of Pinto beans over rice, a medium onion quartered up to eat raw and some corn bread.
    Dang you Sixbears! Now I'm going to get some out and start soaking them. the Wifely Unit is gone for a couple of days so I can make what I want and if it results in an attack of gas, it'll be just me and the cats. They can go outside.

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    1. If the Wifely Unit complains you can just blame me.

      Simple foods can be some of the best eating.

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  2. I've got a couple 5 gallon buckets full of pinto beans in sealed Mylar bags. I put these together about 9-10 years ago. Keeping them stored in a conditioned environment.

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    1. Maybe you should break into one of those and add some beans to your regular diet? Then get a replacement for the one you opened. Rotate the stock and all that.

      I found some of my stored food was not preserved properly once and don't want to be caught out by that again.

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  3. There are a couple of receipe books that are good for beans. One is Marlene's Cooking with Home Storage. Another is "The Bean book."

    I've always liked beans. Simple to cook in a big old dutch oven, and so good with a ham hock, or a package of beef stew meat.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that book. Lots of good cookbooks out there.

      My niece thought she'd treat us to a homemade meal. Turns out her dish had black and pinto beans in it -along with lots of other good stuff.

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  4. Just canned up 14 pints of pintos.. I add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to my beans when I cook them..it's supposed to break down the enzymes that cause the gassy problem..I guess it works...ha ha ha

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    1. Maybe I've just gotten used to them as I haven't been troubled by "the vapors" lately.

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  5. Rice and beans as complete protein seems to be a myth: https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/12/20/do-you-have-to-combine-plant-proteins-at-a-meal/

    https://www.forksoverknives.com/the-myth-of-complementary-protein/#gs.eb2910

    ...not that they aren't often very tasty together! ;)

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    1. I guess they don't have to be in the same meal, but they are tasty together.

      I'm trying to eat more of a variety of foods not worrying too much about the details.

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    2. Rice and Beans are mostly complete, needing a little kickstart from some animal protein to finish it off. Which is where that hambone or salt pork comes in. Or bacon. Or stew beef.

      Doesn't need much, and it ups the flavor greatly, and rounds out all the proper nutrition.

      Or, beans (with meat, duh) and cornbread. That's my favorite.

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    3. Come to think of it, I've the makings for cornbread and that sounds great. Back to the kitchen!

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  6. A supply of dried beans is great to have and also store a couple of boxes of ammunition so you can add meat to the beans.

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    1. Some fishing gear is not a bad idea either.

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