Easily Preparing Different Kinds of Beans
Fresh Green Beans
Easy Preparations for Different Kinds of Beans
We are living in a time where more and more people are looking for healthier eating options. Admittedly, beans are the most exciting options out there, but they are readily available and very good for you. Below I share some super easy ways to prepare beans for you and your family. I know of some people that make a small meal out of beans sometimes! Consider these when looking for a healthy option.
I can't move forward here without briefly remembering my grandfather's garden. There I had my first real introduction to beans. From the pods to the table, it was a fun process. Green beans were among his favorite things to grow. He was an avid gardener and grew quite a crop of beans when he put his mind to it! When the beans were big enough, he would bring in a whole large basket of them to my grandmother. Then my grandmother and great grandmother would sit on the back porch and get busy preparing the beans for immediate use and canning. I am so thankful to them they included me in that process and wanted to teach me about what they did with the beans.
They beans would be very tender and yet crisp at the same time. They only needed to be washed and have their ends snipped or cut off with a paring knife. This is how I was initially taught to do it. It was simple and it worked. From there, you could do a number of things.
For instance, you could steam them in a small amount of water until they reached the desired tenderness. You can simply season beans with very little butter or margarine in a saute pan, with a little sea salt and cracked pepper. It works best with a lid that fits well. We would put the beans over a low heat or flame, gently move the pan back and forth to avoid the beans from sticking and also allowing for more even cooking.
You can "french" the beans by cutting them in long narrow slivers and they will cook much faster than leaving the beans whole. There are many fun kitchen tools out there that can help making the cutting or chopping easier. Some will shred or cut the beans for you easily. Below, I share more ideas for Lima Beans, and dried beans.
Lima Beans. For Lima beans, try steaming them to help retain their flavor and nutritional value. Salt and cracked pepper and butter are enough, but you can find many recipes out there to add more spices and herbs for variations. If your Lima beans are a bit tough, you can par boil them first. Bake in whatever combination you like to achieve the tenderness you desire. Some don't like their beans as tender as others. I know my husband likes his beans almost crunchy, and feels they are fresher this way. I agree with him.
Canned Beans. On a busy day, when everyone is hungry and you need something extra on the side with dinner, why not open a can of beans? You can always just heat those up of course and eat as is. I personally like Bush's Baked beans for reliable canned beans that are top quality. Whatever brand you like, always keep some on hand. Its a filling and nutritious option to have on hand. I love all kinds of canned beans as well, from black beans to kidney beans. They are great to have on hand when it comes time for the food drives that come around every year. I once made a wonderful bean salad for a picnic and it turned out wonderful from the comments I got.
Dried beans, just have them soaking the night before the day you want to use them. If you don't have that kind of time, then boiling them and keeping them covered for several hours can work. Changing out the water can be something that can aid in digestion for some people. Test the beans periodically. Harsh rapid boiling may break up your beans some, so slow that down if need be. After this, continue to slow cook them until they are done to desired tenderness.
Researchers have found that beans are even more nutritious than previously thought. Most beans are packed with all kinds of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your body needs. Don't be timid about incorporating more beings into your diet. Jump in and try new ones, or new new recipes. Adding in herbs that mix well with beans brings even more nutrients into your body. You and your family may find something new they love, that is low fat, high fiber and tasty.