November 16

Canned Beans vs Dried Beans

Needing beans to add to your healthy meal but faced with thoughts as to whether to go for canned or dried beans? Which is really nutritious between the two? Or do both of them carry the same nutrients that are beneficial to our health?

Beans are undoubtedly among the healthiest food that Mother Nature has given us. They possess a powerhouse of nutrients that are essential in alleviating some of the health problems we may have. They are a good source of plant-based protein, rich in B vitamins, iron, folate, potassium and zinc. They convert food to energy, improve cholesterol levels; reduce blood sugar and helps in maintaining healthy guts. They are especially high in fiber that can keep you full for a longer time and may help in weight control while keeping your digestive system in good working condition. Both dried and canned beans are a good source of iron which our body needs for the production of red blood cells.

Both canned and dried beans promote good health. A ½ a cup of beans serving on average, whether you cooked it or store bought has 110 calories, 8 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbs, 8 grams of fiber and has no fat. The only difference between the nutritional content of dried beans and canned beans is the sodium content. Canned beans comprise of higher sodium content depending on the type of beans and its manufacturer that can have as much as 500 milligrams in a ½ cup of serving.

There are factors such as time, cost, taste, and control, and convenience to consider in making a choice between canned beans and dried beans. These comparisons will help you decide which is better between canned and dried beans.

 

COST_beans

COST

If you want to cut back on spending, cooking dried beans can be more appealing to you. It cost less to cook dried beans. The average cost of a can of beans is $1.19 with a yield of 1 ½ cup per servings while dried beans average cost per pound is $1.99 that yields 5-7 cups per serving. This shows that you can save money on cooking dried beans and create more servings while feeding more hungry tummies.

 

TIME_beans

TIME

Dried beans need much time and effort to cook. It may more than an hour depending on the preparation process of sorting, rinsing, soaking, and cooking before you can add it to your recipe. So, if you are in a rush and have limited time to spend cooking especially on weeknights, canned beans can be helpful in this situation. You can just open a can of beans to add to the rest of your ingredients and you’re good to go. If you value time over money then canned beans will be a better option for you.

 

TASTE AND CONTROL_beans

TASTE AND CONTROL

Cooking homemade dried beans will give you much more taste, rich texture and a depth of flavor because you can control what goes in while cooking it. You can adjust the seasoning that is right for your taste buds as well as how long you cook them making sure that it is not too soft or too hard as you like it. Canned beans, on the other hand, has a bit of a mushy texture to it because of its high water content and tends to be on the salty side although you can buy a low sodium version of it which has less salt of 140 milligrams per ½ cup of serving or another way to get rid some of its sodium is to rinse the canned beans and heat it with clear water so that its sodium content can be reduced for at least 1/3 which is a better way to lessen your salt intake if you have no choice but have a canned beans on your recipe. However, for those who know their way around a kitchen will agree that nothing beats freshly cooked homemade beans in terms of taste.

 

CONVENIENCE_beans

CONVENIENCE

At first thought, canned goods can be more convenient than cooking dried beans because it’s as easy as opening a can if you’re in a hurry and didn’t plan ahead. However, in a long run, cooking dried beans can be more convenient if you want a healthier, satisfying taste that won’t hurt your wallet. There are easy and convenient ways to do it. First, if you are at home you can easily wait for your beans to cook, cover dried beans with water in a pot with other aromatics and seasonings and simmer it in low heat for a couple of hours. You can engage in doing other tasks while cooking it and just check it from time to time. If you are busy doing other things at home, you can also cook your dried beans on a pressure cooker which is a great way to cook it if you are in a hurry. It will cook fast and saves you time. You can also consider cooking it on a slow cooker if you are going out. This strategy saves time and money. Just put your dried beans on slow cooker together with other veggies, herbs and spices then cook it in low heat. It will be ready in time for dinner.

 

Freeze beans

Another best way to resist from reaching out for canned beans is to cook large batches of dried beans. You can portion them in small bags and freeze them. It’s very convenient the next time you use it for your soups, stews and chili recipe that calls for beans wherein you can easily grab your cooked beans from the freezer.

While cooking dried beans is obviously a better choice you cannot discard the use of canned beans in terms of convenience. Let’s face it most of the recipe calls for canned beans as it is fast and convenient. Honestly, most people want to cook a 25-minute recipe than to cook for more than 2 hours plus an overnight soaking as there are no guarantees also that your cooked dried beans will come out perfect the first time. It takes planning and a good amount of time to perfect it.

Whether you prefer to cook dried beans or decide to just grab the canned beans, the bottom line is that they are both containing nutrients that are essentially good for us.

beans legumes