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9 Clever Uses for Dried Beans

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9 Clever Uses for Dried Beans

You may have passed dried beans in the bulk section at the store, or pre-bagged and ready for sale with other dry goods, without a thought, but they actually have a lot of uses, and not just edible ones. They come in a range of shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors, which makes them ideally suited to a range of craft and cooking projects, as well as some surprising and creative repurposings.

The first and most obvious use of dried beans is the intended one: as a culinary ingredient. Dried beans are very inexpensive and they can be a great way to save money on groceries. They’re less costly than canned beans and come without additives, allowing you to control how they’re processed. Beans also provide a great source of protein, as well as numerous nutrients. The specific nutritional information can depend on the bean, but they tend to be high in useful vitamins.

You can store dried beans in a cool dry place until you’re ready to use them. Plan on soaking them for at least six hours before cooking, and make sure to drain the soaking water and rinse them well when you’re ready to start cooking. Soaking helps the beans cook more quickly and it can also reduce the flatulence beans are infamous for provoking. You can use beans in chili, soup, and a variety of other recipes as directed. Try preparing a big batch and freezing them so you’ll have cooked beans ready for use when you need them.

Dried beans can also be ground into bean flour. This gluten-free flour can be used as a thickener in numerous recipes and as part of gluten-free flour blends for baking. If you don’t have a flour mill at home, food processors often come with attachments you can use to make flours, or you may be able to find a local health foods store that grinds grains into flours for its customers. If it’s critical that your flour be gluten-free, make sure to check with the staff at the store to confirm that their flour mill is reserved for gluten-free grains.

You can also use them as pie weights; no need to buy fancy ones from the gourmet kitchen gadget store. Pour some dried beans into the bottom of a pie crust to hold it down during prebaking, and remove them when you’re ready to add the filling.

 

Next: uses outside the kitchen

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Read more: Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Eco-friendly tips, Food, Green, Green Kitchen Tips, Home, Household Hints, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Surprising uses for ..., , , , ,

By s.e. smith, Networx

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61 comments

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9:30PM PST on Nov 3, 2013

thanks for the suggestions with dried beans

3:53PM PST on Nov 27, 2012

thanks

11:01PM PST on Nov 17, 2012

Whatever happened to beanbags? I haven't seen one in years.

Are they on the endangered species list?

4:11PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

THANKS!

12:24AM PDT on Nov 4, 2012

clever!

4:23PM PDT on Oct 31, 2012

Not sure about draping beans over my shoulders tho,

4:21PM PDT on Oct 31, 2012

Thanksgiving for vegetarian daughter could be a good bean soup?

2:56PM PDT on Oct 31, 2012

Noted

1:00PM PDT on Oct 30, 2012

very good article, thank you

2:35AM PDT on Oct 30, 2012

Thanks for sharing us!

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