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Old 02-05-2009, 02:08 PM   #1
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Alternative to Canned Beans, Chickpeas

I am trying to avoid using canned beans or chickpeas, because of the BPA content of the cans.

Has anyone found a good alternative to canned beans or chickpeas? Dried beans sounds like a possibility... I've never seen jarred beans or chickpeas though..

Thanks!

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Old 02-05-2009, 02:12 PM   #2
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I think you found your answer right there - I've never seen beans in any other form but canned or dried unless I'm missing something, which is a very good possibility!
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:22 PM   #3
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I only use canned beans as a very last resort. Besides the cans having stuff that are not good for us in them and passing them on to the contents, there's the excessive salt content added to the fact that I always think I can "taste the can."

I much prefer using dried beans. Sometimes in the summer, you can find fresh ones in the market. Those are really super.
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune View Post
I only use canned beans as a very last resort. Besides the cans having stuff that are not good for us in them and passing them on to the contents, there's the excessive salt content added to the fact that I always think I can "taste the can."

I much prefer using dried beans. Sometimes in the summer, you can find fresh ones in the market. Those are really super.
Yeah that's exactly the reason I'm trying to avoid the cans. With the dried beans, do you have to soak them overnight or can you mix in with the dish and add water? I ask because I'm usually a speed demon chef lol

I bet the fresh beans taste so much better!
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:31 PM   #5
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I mostly use dried beans. They are cheaper and probably more healthful than canned for the reasons mentioned, but they are less convenient. You do have to plan ahead a bit, and either soak them overnight and drain them or do a quick soak, which usually involves bringing them to a boil, then letting them sit for an hour or two before draining and using. They're also greener -- no cans to recycle.
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:43 PM   #6
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As a very experienced cook, I'll tell you that I use canned beans all the time. There are things that canned beans just work better for. Plus they are a big convenience.

Depending on what brand you use, they don'y have a lot of extra salt and taste great.

That said, I very often use dried beans, especially when I can get my hands on interesting heirloom varieties.

If you are going to cook dry beans a lot you might invest in a pressure cooker, as they take a long time to cook. You can cook beef in a pressure cooker, too.
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:52 PM   #7
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I'm not sure what BPA is, but if dried work for you, I'd go for it. They take a bit of planning, but the cook and soak time requires no effort, just foresight. The greatest difference is the sodium content. Canned beans, even the low salt ones, have a lot of salt. Also, if you cook you beans yourself, you can spice them yourself too, for variety if nothing else.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:05 PM   #8
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Does anyone have favorites for dried beans? found these Anasazi beans on amazon and they are highly rated but I never heard of Anasazi before!
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:13 PM   #9
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I usually just buy the supermarket brands of black beans, pinto beans, white/Navy beans, etc.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:17 PM   #10
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Here a good recipe using dried beans.

Cuban Black Bean Stew
Serves 6 to 8

If chorizo proves difficult to find, you may substitute andouille sausage. Bacon will also suffice, but use only 6 ounces and remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot once the bacon is browned. Beans should be soaked for a minimum of 8 hours and can be soaked for up to 24 hours (though for this length of time they should be stored in the refrigerator). But if time is an issue, the "quick-soak" method will work here. Simmer the beans in water for 2 minutes, then take the pot off the heat, covered, and allow to sit in the water for 1 hour. For a heartier meal, this stew may be served over steamed white rice.

PLANNING AHEAD: The stew may be prepared then refrigerated for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. (Allow the frozen stew to thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating, to preserve the texture of the beans.) Bring the stew to a simmer over medium-low heat before continuing with step 3.

1 tablespoon olive oil
pound chorizo sausage, quartered lengthwise and sliced inch thick (see head note)
1 large onion, minced
1 large red pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
salt
8 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press, divided
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 pound black beans, sorted, soaked overnight, and drained
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice
cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
ground black pepper
Tabasco sauce

1. Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring frequently, until well browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside in the refrigerator.

3. Return the Dutch oven with the drippings to medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, red pepper, and teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Add half of the minced garlic, the oregano, and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth, water, beans, and bay leaves; bring to a simmer, skimming any foam from the surface. Cover, transfer to the oven, and cook until the beans are tender but not splitting, 1 to 2 hours.

5. Remove and discard bay leaves. Transfer 2 cups of the beans to a mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher, fork, or hand blender. Stir the mashed beans back into the stew.

6. Add the remaining garlic, the lime juice, cilantro, and the reserved chorizo. Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco and serve immediately.
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