Without a doubt, beans are one of the main staples in the vegan diet. Not only are they hearty and full of protein, but beans also make a great meat substitute. Here you’ll find a wide variety of various beans. And, how to cook dried beans. Plus, you’ll also enjoy some delicious and healthy vegan recipes utilizing beans. 🌱
Legume is the “umbrella term” used to classify beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts. Beans are packed full of protein, fiber, and amino acids. Beans are also rich in antioxidants and vital nutrients, including iron, potassium, folate, and magnesium.
Dried Beans vs. Canned
While canned beans are certainly more convenient and time-saving, dried beans are actually better in a number of ways:
- using dried beans allows you to control the sodium content
- dried beans are less expensive
- 1 can organic black beans: $1.29 and yields 1 ½ cups
- ½ pound dried organic black beans: $1.75 and yields about 3 cups cooked
- cooked dried beans actually taste better and have more flavor than canned beans
- no additives or preservatives to dried beans
- dried beans allow you to control the texture of the beans when cooking
- dried beans are BPA and plastic-free
Types of common Dried Beans
- Black Beans
- Black-Eyed Peas
- Cannellini Beans
- Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
- Great Northern Beans
- Kidney Beans
- technically a legume, not a bean
- whole or split
- red, green, brown, black
- Lima Beans
- Mung Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Navy Beans
- Split Peas
- also technically legumes
- green, yellow
Eat More Beans
Incorporate a wide variety of beans into your diet:
- make a bean breakfast burrito
- add to soups, stews, and curries
- make vegan bean burgers, loaves, and other meat substitutes
- bean, whole grain, and roasted vegetable bowls
- add hummus, other bean dip, or whole cooked beans to sandwiches and salads
- snack on roasted chickpeas
- add beans to fresh salsa
- black bean brownies, truffles, and other desserts
The “downside” of beans
Alright, we have to talk about it. 🙈 The most common complaint of eating a lot of beans: gas and constipation. Soaking dried beans overnight helps drastically. In fact, soaking the beans for at least 12 hours and draining, rinsing, and replacing with new water every 3 hours is the key to reducing gas. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water. You should notice a considerable decrease in discomfort after about a week, once your body regulates and gets used to the diet change.
Cooking Dried Beans
After soaking beans, always drain, rinse, and replace with fresh water before cooking.
Below are estimated cook times and approximate cooking instructions for the traditional boiling method:
1 cup dried beans
Soak at least (or overnight)
Add waterBring to boil then simmer and cook Yields (approximately)
(or enough water to cover several inches above beans)
Plant Based Cooking with Beans
In addition, dried beans can be cooked in a pressure cooker, crockpot, or instapot.
Cook times on beans vary, depending on the bean itself, dryness, and desired doneness. If all of the liquid absorbs and the beans are still crunchy, simply add more liquid and cook for longer. However, if the beans have finished cooking and liquid remains, drain the excess liquid using a fine mesh strainer.
Then, add salt and spices as desired. Additionally, I always recommend purchasing organic dried beans when available.
I like to prepare large batches of whole grains and dried beans at the beginning of each week. Then, I can easily add grains and beans to any dish for a little extra protein, fiber, and nutrients.
If a recipe calls for canned beans, simply substitute:
- 1 ½ cups cooked dried beans
- or ¾ cup dried beans
For more amazing recipes, be sure to check out my Pinterest page. What are your favorite types of beans? Which plant based recipes do you want to try? Let me know in the comments below! And be sure to follow my social media this week for lots of vegan cooking with beans! 😋