Friday, August 29, 2014

Black Beans- Real Food Eating

We eat real food....We MOSTLY eat real food....We TRY to eat mostly real food... there it is!  It has been well over a year since I mentioned that we had made the decision to switch to a whole/ real food lifestyle and for those of you who are wondering, yes we are still at it.  Since our decision to head in this direction we have grown from a family of 2 to a family of 5 and have continually been sifting out what fits best for us, where we bend, and how to afford it.

We have landed on a 90/10 percent lifestyle.  What we mean by that is when we are at home and have control over the food choices we make (about 90% of the time) we try to avoid processed foods and foods high in sugar and opt for fresh produce and full fat foods.  When we are not at home or just want to treat ourselves we do just that, no questions asked.  (about 10% of the time).  For us being at 100%  isn't practical although we have come to believe it to be the best choice to make from a health standpoint.   So there you have it, we TRY to eat MOSTLY real food..... and I should add; we TRY to be as FRUGAL as we can while eating these foods. 

One recent change I have made is in the bean department. We eat a lot of beans around here on any given week as they have become a replacement for meat in most of my recipes.  One week as I was filling my cart with cans of beans I noticed a bag of dry beans sitting on the shelf below.  My first thought being a child from the 90's was "bean bags"  (you know, those fabric bean bags your Mom would sew and then stuff with beans?)  I mean come on, those little dried beans aren't actually edible, right?  Turns out they are and they are delicious AND are you ready for it?......(Cha-Ching!) about 3 times cheaper than your average can of beans. 

So I bought a bag along with my cart full of canned beans that fateful day just in case and after hanging out in my pantry for a few months, I finally gave them a go.  No overnight soaking for this girl.  I went straight to my handy crock pot and 4 hours later had 6 cans worth of beans to freeze and pull out as needed.  I do not think we will ever go back.  Not only were they light years better in terms of taste, but as mentioned earlier cost a fraction of the price of a can of beans. (20 cents vs. 69 cents)

Another bonus (although the verdict is still not exactly out on this) is to avoid the aluminum can all together.  Cans are often lined with a toxic plastic (BPA). Some researchers believe that the BPA leaks into our canned foods and they claim it can be linked to reproductive abnormalities, neurological effects, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and more. This is especially true of foods that are high in acid and break down the lining of the can. (example- tomatoes) Then again, I was out of glass containers today when I made my batch of beans so I froze them in plastic zip locks. Oops.

For those of you interested in the bean making process I would recommend clicking on over to Cafe Johnsonia where you will find the very helpful recipe I followed.  Below are a few pictures of my bean making en devour.  "Bean" appetit!

Remember to sort your beans!  Little black stones tend find their way into the bags.

I pull out any bean that looks damaged or not right along with pebbles and this bag had a few other beans hanging out in there as well. 

The recipe I followed had onions and garlic which added flavor to the beans.

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