Monday, January 30, 2012

Beans 101

The other day I made a big pot of delicious sausage and white bean chowder.  It was so yummy and satisfying.  I think most people have a love/hate relationship with beans.  They know they are good for them, they know that they are a powerhouse of protein, they probably know they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which is beneficial for lowering cholesterol and keeping one's digestive tract in order.  I think it's the last part with which they struggle.
Let me share the little known secret and you will no longer have a love/hate relationship, but a love/love relationship with beans!
You MUST rinse your beans thoroughly.  Whether you use canned beans or dried beans that you have soaked, you MUST rinse your beans thoroughly.  Did you catch the secret?  RINSE YOUR BEANS THOROUGHLY!

Let me show you what I mean...

Start with a clean collander
 Pour your can of beans into the collander.  Can you see all the bubbles all around the edges of the collander? 
That is what you want to rinse away!  When you begin rinsing, the bubbles seem to multiply!  { Now - think beans mixing with liquid in your tummy.  What do you get?  Yep, bubbles which can only escape upwards by burping, or downwards by - well, you know.}

Rinse, Rinse, Rinse until there are NO LONGER ANY BUBBLES.

Look here, no bubbles in the collander = no bubbles in your tummy!  These are ready to use in whatever recipe you like and you will not have them talking back to you!! 

If you use dried beans, rinse them well after your soaking period.  Use fresh water to then cook them.  After cooking, drain the beans, rinse them again and use fresh water or stock for a soup.  

My three favorite kinds of beans are kidney beans, black beans and great northern beans.  All beans are loaded with B vitamins.  Did you know that kidney beans are loaded with vitamin C too?

Sausage and White Bean Chowder
1 lb. ground sausage ( I used ground pork and added Penzy's Breakfast Sausage spice to it.)
1/2 - 1 onion, chopped
3-4 carrots, sliced
3-4 stalks celery, sliced
2 potatoes, cut into chunks
 6-8 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. basil, or oregano, or tarragon (or all, if you like)
2 cans white beans...(you got it - rinsed thorougly)

Brown the sausage with the onion.  Drain the fat.  In a soup pot, combine the sausage/onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, chicken broth, and seasonings.  Bring to a boil and simmer until veggies are just tender.  Add beans and simmer about 5 minutes more.
Makes about 6-8 servings.


  1. Yes, listen to the woman...she is right about the rinsing! That has made a huge difference for us. :)

  2. Dear Carol,
    I am so making this, soon I hope with our fresh farm sausage! I always love your recipes, thank you for sharing!


I always look forward to reading your comments. Thank you for taking the time to leave one. :-)