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  • Juanita Weaver-Reiss

Beans on a budget

I ate a lot of beans as a child. My mother developed a routine at the house that every Sunday for lunch we would have beans and cornbread. Now the menu of beans and cornbread is not an uncommon fare in the South where I was raised. You ask a person from the south how they eat their cornbread and beans, you will get the funniest look. "What do you mean, how do I eat my cornbread and beans? In the normal way of course."

I would persist and follow with, "Do you put your cornbread into the beans, or eat it on the side?"

Most of the time, I would get an exasperated look, with the statement, "If you are from the South, the cornbread goes into the bean soup." And no more said. I am from the South because this is the only way I know to eat cornbread and beans.

Love the bean. It is a wonderful source of protein, no matter what kind of bean you choose. Not the green bean. Beans being kidney, pinto, cannelloni, black, lentils, and just any kind of legumes. They also are a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, and zinc. Eating beans have been found to help with colon health and control glucose for persons with diabetes.

I think that when my mom incorporated beans into our diets, she might not have realized the healthy food that it was. I think she primarily was more concerned with the food budget. Dried beans are a very economical food.

I use a crock pot to cook my beans. Some folks do soak their beans overnight. If you use this method before you cook the beans, you want to dispose of the water you soaked the beans in. I just use the crock pot and turn it on high for about 5-6 hours (I do not soak my beans) and then on low for 1-2 more hours.

If you cook kidney beans, it is advisable to put the kidney beans on the stove and boil them for 10 minutes before putting them into a slow cooker. The kidney beans have a toxin in them called lectins, which can cause stomach ache and vomiting. The temperature in the crock pot, even on the high temp, does not kill the toxin in kidney beans.

But even with the kidney bean posing an extra step along the way, I still enjoy bean soup, beans over rice, refried beans, and way to bean. Plus I save some money at the grocery store and have a very healthy food to eat.

Feel free to send a comment my way. Always interested to know what you think of the topics and suggestions.


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