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Beans, Part 1

May 26, 2011

Food Storage, Nutrition

Beans, Beans…

Admit it, you were singing that old kids’ song in your head.

A Star in Long-Term Storage

As you have evaluated foods that are good candidates for long term storage, you have probably realized that beans are at the top of that list.  Maybe you haven’t realized what a fantastically nutritious staple it is and just how versatile.  I want to help you look at beans with a new appreciation.

Baked beans, refried beans, chili beans.  Think that’s all there is to them?  Not even close.

A Multipurpose Ingredient

The lowly bean has been cultivated for thousands of years in many ancient cultures.  It has been used cooked, ground into flour, sprouted, added to soup, and so on.  In recent years, creative people have even found ways to incorporate them into unlikely dishes.

I’ve actually made a pecan pie with pinto beans and it was received pretty well.  Everyone agreed it was “good,” but since my original recipe is considered to be a family classic, I was asked to tamper with any recipe but that one from now on.

A Stand-Out Among Health Foods

Beans have a lot to offer in the way of nutrition too.  They provide important nutrients such as soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium.  They are thought to keep you feeling full longer and regulate blood sugar by releasing the food’s stored energy over a longer period of time.

They may reduce your risk of heart attack and cancers.  They are thought to help with blood pressure also.  What more can you ask for!?

Easy on the Wallet

Beyond their health benefits and versatility, they are quite cheap and easy to store.  You can buy a pound of bagged dry beans in the grocery store for around $1.25.  That pound of beans makes 9 servings (depending on how you use them).  That’s a really great value.

A Great Meal Stretcher

I have begun to look into ways to use them to extend other things.  It is always a good idea to practice using what you store, but it also helps you rotate the stock.  In addition, I am trying to improve our diets and overall health.

In upcoming posts, I will give some more ideas for using beans in your everyday life and in your preparedness planning.  Let me leave you this time with the recipe for Pecan (Pinto Bean) Pie.  (My “classic” pecan pie recipe is a secret.  😀 ). 

 Pecan Pie

  • 1 cup pinto beans, cooked or canned, unseasoned
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses or dark corn syrup
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pastry pie shell
  • ½ – 1 cup pecans

If using dry beans, cook the unseasoned beans in water until soft. Cool, drain, and measure 1 cup. If using canned beans, drain and measure them. Mash 1 cup of the beans.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Add the vanilla, molasses, salt, and well-beaten eggs. Add this mixture to the beans and combine well.

Pour the mixture into the pie shell.  Add pecans and press down into the batter to coat.  Bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees F until the pie is firm or until a knife inserted into the pie comes out clean.

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12 Comments on “Beans, Part 1”

  1. Marcy Says:

    Oh, Laura, this is a hoot!! Going to try it and not tell the family. I, personally, could eat beans every day of the week – all kinds, different ways- my family not so much. Let me know when things settle for you – I’d love for you to come for a visit.

    Reply

    • Laura Says:

      Marcy,

      In part 5 of the series, I’ve got a FANTASTIC black bean brownie recipe that is our new favorite. I started thinking about different possibilities for shoehorning more nutrition into the things that the kids already ate without a fuss. I read Deceptively Delicious and then went from there.

      I think the key to a lot of foods is a very fine puree or other disguising aspects. The cocoa in the brownies, for instance, hides any bean skins that weren’t completely pulverized. In the pie, since you are replacing corn syrup (yuck!) with bean puree, it needs to be a very smooth consistency.

      Let me know how the experiment goes!

      Almost finished with school (and the kids think THEY are glad!), so maybe we can get together soon.

      Reply

  2. harveyjustineodan Says:

    nice one laura, reading this post, i can really tell that you are a health conscious, wise, and incredible woman. It is really true that beans are very good to our health not just because they have a lot of proteins, but also beans have a lot of anti-oxidants that helps cleans our body. Also some beans like pecan have a lot of fiber that cleans our colons. Other than that beans are incredibly inexpensive and easy to find as well as easy to store.

    I also found your “SECRET” pecan pie recipe great, it is the classic recipe but still it tasted great.
    Again I love your post, its informational and reader friendly. Thank you

    Reply

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