Beans: Simple, inexpensive, and magical

Beans, beans, the magical fruit! Beans are the cheapest source of protein on the planet, but they’re not just cheap. Beans are low fat and loaded with vitamins, carbohydrates and fiber. Beans are good for you and our planet.


Reducing your consumption of meat and choosing plant-based foods is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Livestock produces more greenhouse gases than the transportation sector. Truly! So do your part and try using beans where you would normally use meat – start with just once a week and work your way up. What you eat has an impact on our planet.

Dried beans

Dried beans are cheaper and less gassy then canned beans. Buy dried beans in bulk – what you can consume in a few months time. Store your beans in an air tight container.

Soak beans overnight to reduce cooking time and gas. To do this, place your dried beans in a bowl – for every cup of beans add 2-3 cups of water. After soaking for 8 hours, rinse the beans and you’re ready to cook.

Quick soak method

For every one cup of beans add 2-3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat, cover, and let beans soak for 2 hours.

Cooking beans

Put your soaked beans in a pot with fresh water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and let simmer for 60 minutes or until tender. Add more water during cooking if necessary. Beans require salt to bring out the flavor, but don’t salt your beans until the end of the cooking.

Sound like a lot of work? Consider cooking a boat-load of beans and freeze some for another day.

Don’t fear the bean 

If you aren’t used to eating beans you may experience gas, but don’t fear the bean. Gas elimination strategies: 

  • Eat small amounts of beans on a more frequent basis. Your body will adjust to a more ‘beany diet’.
  • Soak beans overnight or if soaking during the day, change the soaking water every 2 hours.
  • After soaking, cook the beans in fresh water.
  • Cook the beans slowly. 
  • Add apple cider vinegar or brown rice vinegar to the cooking water near the end of the cooking time.
  • Salt your beans after you’ve cooked them.

Keep some beans in the fridge and add them to most any dish – salad, soup, stir-fry, a wrap, an entre’ – whatever.

Just bean recipes
Cheap bulk bean burritos


  1. To be even more efficient, cook your beans in a pressure cooker. It takes about 10min on the stove instead of 60-150min. I got mine free via freecycle.

    • Hey,
      You are right. I am from India. We usually use the pressure cooker to cook most things. And you are right, it takes arounf 10min to cook beans ( assuming we have soaked it overnight) in the pressure cooker.

      In case you have forgotten to soak the beans long enough and you still want to cook them soft, the alternative is to cook them with a tsp of baking soda added to the water ( either while you cook for 60 min or when you place it on the stove), the baking soda would once again ensure that the beans are soft. Please remember to add baking soda only if you have forgotten to soak overnight, else the beans would get overcooked…

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