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Large variety of dried beans in burlap containers

Preparing beans from scratch is one of the least expensive ways to stay full and healthy. If you check the side of the can of cooked beans you will find large amounts of salt.  It's easy to cut back on the salt if you prepare your own.

Dr Maoshing Ni, in his article “The Healthy Benefits of Beans and Legumes,” states that beans and legumes are an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. Dr Ni goes on to say that beans keep you full because the energy they contain is released into your blood stream slowly. They also a complex carbohydrate, giving your muscles and brain the energy they need to function throughout the day.

Beans are an inexpensive alternative to animal-based protein. On average, dried beans cost less than $1.00 per pound, while chicken costs $2.49 per pound and the price of ground beef is $2.00-$2.50. Plus, one pound of dried beans makes about 10 servings of prepared beans.

Beans are easy to make. After rinsing them, just soak one pound of beans overnight in 6 cups of water. Then simmer until tender, about one to two hours depending on the type of bean.

Be sure to save the bean broth, it is full of nutrition and can be used as a base for soups or as a replacement for water when you cook rice.

Dried beans can also be prepared in a Crock Pot or rice cooker. This is perfect for preparing your own tasty favorite baked beans.

Add Great Northern Beans, navy beans, or cannellini beans to warm and comforting soup and chili recipes.

Cook black beans or pinto beans and add them to delicious Mexican recipes like enchiladas, tacos, or burritos.

Try using a prepared batch of beans in Chilaquiles Tortilla Casserole or follow the Classic Fried Beans with Onions and Garlic recipe to make your own refritos frijoles (refried beans).

Refried beans make a great quick and easy addition of protein that can be added to your plate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It makes and instant quick, easy and healthy side.

We recently checked out our local supermarket and examined a number of varieties of canned refried beans and found an absolutely incedible amount of salt. The only way to get authentic refried beans is to make your own. It may take a little time but it's easy, saves your money and improves your health.