dried-beansThe term dried beans is commonly used to refer to a wide variety of seeds from the legumes plant family, including lentils and peas. Many people are confused when it comes to buying dried beans. What are the features that you should be looking for when buying beans? Beans can be purchased in packages, in bulk, or cooked in cans. Beans are often packed in freshly cooked deli counters. You will mostly find them in salad bars and the prepared foods section in the grocery stores.

It is important that you know how to read the labels on most of the beans that you want to purchase. Canned beans are often rich in sodium. Try to look for the low salt variety of beans. You should not forget to check the expiry date and the country of origin. It can be very dangerous to consume expired beans.

To cook dried beans you first need to sort and remove the small stones and twigs from the beans that may be present. Most dried bean varieties need to be soaked in water for about 8 hours before they are cooked. This has been proven to increase the digestibility of the beans. After soaking, boil them using clean water and then simmer. When you are done, add salt and spices to taste. Using a pressure cooker reduces the cooking time for the beans. Canned beans are usually pre-cooked so they only need to be heated before eating. You may want to rinse them if they are packed in salty water before consuming them. You can add the beans to stews, soups, casseroles and more. Another great option is adding cooked or chilled beans to salads.