Beans of all kinds are a heart-healthy addition to your diet. They’re loaded with protein, dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins—all beneficial to the heart and entire body. They’re so healthy, in fact, that the British Journal of Nutrition said that beans “have acquired the status of staple food for anyone who wants to eat a healthy diet.” I agree.
While it can be convenient to eat canned beans, I prefer to cook my own. Not only do I avoid eating too much sodium, which is commonly added to canned beans, but I get to season them myself, and they just taste fresher and better. Plus, the cost of home-cooked beans is substantially less, and I can make a huge batch and freeze some of it to enjoy later.
If you’ve never made your own beans before, you might be surprised at how easy it is. Here’s a step-by-step recipe to make your own batch of heart-healthy beans.
- 2 cups beans, any kind (I prefer black, pinto or a mix of the two)
- 6–8 cups water
- 3 tablespoons salt
- Water, to level
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 tomatoes, chopped
- Salt, to taste
- Cumin, to taste
- Garlic powder, to taste (include a generous amount)
- Soak 2 cups beans in 6–8 cups water in crock-pot (do not turn crock-pot on). Add three tablespoons salt, stir. Soak overnight.
- Drain beans in strainer and rinse well. Rinse out crock-pot.
- Return beans to crock-pot and cover beans with water, fill approximately 2 inches above top of beans. Add onion, tomatoes, salt, cumin and garlic powder. Cook on low for 8 hours. If desired, mash fully cooked beans with a potato masher. Enjoy! Store excess in glass containers and freeze, to be enjoyed at a later time.
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