Eat more dry beans, enjoying their health benefits

Learn about the benefits of dry beans and simple steps for preparing them.

Many times when we mention beans people think of green beans, but there is another type of bean that has a lot of health benefits and that is the dry bean. Michigan has many varieties of beans. There are the red kidney bean and small red bean, black beans, white navy beans, great northern beans and mottled tan pinto beans. According to the Michigan Bean Commission, beans are a prescription for better health.

Beans have many benefits

  • Beans help reduce the risk of heart disease!
  • Beans help control or reduce risk of diabetes!
  • Beans can help lower your blood cholesterol!
  • The fiber in beans can reduce your blood pressure!

Preparing beans
To bring out their natural goodness and flavor, dry beans need to be soaked before cooking. The process is simple and ensures great taste and beautiful beans! There are two methods for soaking beans:

The Traditional Method: In a large pot, add three cups of cold water to each cup of beans (or 6 cups for each pound.) Soak for eight hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain and rinse the beans.

The Quick Method: In a large pot, add three cups of hot water to each cup of beans (or six cups for each pound.) Bring to a boil and cook the beans at medium heat for 20 minutes. Cover the pot and let the beans stand for one hour. Drain and rinse the beans.

After either method of soaking, simmer beans about one to two hours or until tender. To prevent foam or froth while cooking, add one tablespoon of vegetable oil to simmering water.

For more information regarding recipes and other health benefits refer to the Michigan Bean Commission website.

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