My husband and I recently watched a documentary called Forks Over Knives. We have been so intrigued by this video that we are trying to limit the amount of animal products that we consume. I will not go into all of the details as to why, I strongly suggest just watching the movie. Briefly the documentary explains the benefits to a whole food plant based diet and the disadvantages to animal proteins. For health reasons we have cut out meat in our household. It is hard to do this cold turkey so there have been a few occasions when we are out and about that we have eaten meat. We have been doing this for about three weeks and our next step is to slowly cut out all dairy products. This may sound impossible, but is much easier than it sounds. During this process we have started eating a lot of beans. Beans are great source of protein, fiber, iron, potassium, and magnesium.
Eating a large amount of beans can certainly run into a bit of money when buying can after can. We have found that buying bags of dried beans saves quite a bit of money. Beans are not only good for you, but fairly inexpensive when purchased in bulk. Many supermarkets sell beans, grains, rice, and such in bulk so you can buy as much or as little as you need. Preparing food from scratch is much healthier and less expensive than buying already prepared food from the grocery stores. Soaking your own beans is very simple.
My soaking process:
- Sort through bean and remove any pebbles.
- Wash beans in a strainer.
- Soak the beans in water about three times as much water than beans. If the beans become exposed above water in the soaking process add more water until covered.
- Soak the beans over night about 8 hours. Change the water at least a couple of times.
After the beans have soaked over night place the beans in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer for 1-2 hours or until tender.
I have soaked my beans for a day and a half and they were just fine. I do not recommend soaking them longer than this. If you are not ready to cook them or do not have time simply place the beans in the fridge covered with water.
There are many benefits to soaking your own beans.
- Avoid the sodium and other additives contained in canned beans
- Increases digestibility. By soaking beans the outer sugars are released and reduces gas.
- Soaking removes dirt and other debris
- More cost effective.