Beans, Beans, The Magical Superfood…

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Add chopped nuts to the brownie mix for a delicious crunch.
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"Store This, Not That" by Crystal Godfrey and Debbie Kent, is an enlightening read for anyone looking to start a food storage supply.

Store This, Not That (Front Table Books, 2016), by Chrystal Godfrey and Debbie Kent, could be a helpful resource for anyone starting a food storage supply for times of devastation and disaster. Godfrey and Kent help readers by suggesting which products will get them more bang for their buck and have a long shelf-life. Readers will learn how to store each good and how to use it when the time comes. Find this excerpt in chapter 4, “Long-term Supply.”

Beans: The Ultimate Superfood

A Perfect Pairing

Are beans a complete protein? No, but when eaten with nuts, seeds, or whole grains, within two days of beans they become one.

Did You Know? Beans Are for More Than Just Dinner

This is food storage’s best-kept secret! You can actually use beans to replace the fats (butter, oil, or shortening) in your baked goods! We promise that once you learn the secret of bean butter (found below in, Bean There, Done That), you’ll become addicted to this easy way to cut the fat and add a nutritional punch to your favorite foods!

More Cost-Effective Than Meat

Beans are very low in sodium and offer many of the same nutrients as meat, but without the fat and cholesterol. In fact, each half-cup serving of dry beans provides six to seven grams of protein and meets at least 10% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein, yet costs about 20 cents per serving.


Beans are a superfood and one of the most nutritionally complete foods available. In fact, no other food comes close to beans in providing protein, fiber and antioxidants in such high quantities. Beans give you a lot of bang for your buck. They are low in cost, cholesterol-free, low in fat (2–3%), and high in fiber, protein, carbohydrate, folate, and many trace minerals. In fact, because beans are high in fiber and low in fat, they can actually help lower your cholesterol.

Eating Three Cups of Beans Per Week Will

  • Balance blood sugar by digesting slowly (good for diabetics)
  • Reduce risk of cancers and heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure 
  • Lower cholesterol and triglycerides (heart healthy)
  • Prevent and cure colon & bowel problems

Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit, The More You Eat the More You . . .

Beans contain sugars that our digestive tracts lack the enzymes to digest. To fight the noisy side effects of beans, you need to eat more beans! We know it sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true! If you gradually increase the amount of beans you eat over several weeks, you will overcome this. To help in the interim, you may want to invest in some Beano (an over-the-counter supplement that contains a natural food enzyme that helps prevent gas before it starts).

3 Easy Ways to Store Beans

Dried Beans are beans that are uncooked, hard, and small. They can take longer to cook but are much cheaper in price and store for 30 years.

Cooked Beans can be purchased in the store in 15.5-ounce cans and are completely cooked. You can open, reheat, and eat. These have a best by date of a few years.

Instant Beans have been cooked and then freeze-dried. They need to be rehydrated before eating.

Bean Equivalents

1 #10 can of dried beans = 23 15.5-ounce cans of cooked beans = 3.5 #10 cans of instant beans

If you store dried beans instead of instant beans in your food storage, you could save almost $500 per person! That is enough for a nice family vacation or a lot more food storage!

Year Supply Price Differences

12 #10 cans of dried beans ($180) = 276 15.5-ounce cans of cooked beans ($264) = 42 #10 cans of instant beans ($630)

Store This, Not That

Mix and match dried and cooked beans for all the benefits!

Dried Beans: You just can’t beat the price, storage life, or the small amount of storage space they will take on your shelves. They can take a long time to cook, but they can also be done in as little as 45 minutes.

Cooked Beans: If you’re turned off by the cooking time of dried beans and want beans that can be eaten right away, then these are your best option. You don’t need any extra time or money. Plus, if you shop sales you can get a great price on these.

Instant Beans: Can you say rip-off? They cost almost 5 times the price of dried beans, but they still take 20 minutes before you can eat and a lot of water to rehydrate!

Bean There, Done That?

Learn How to Use Beans in Place of Butter and Oil 

  1. If your recipe calls for oil or melted butter, you are going to use a bean purée. You can make a bean purée by simply pouring a can of beans into your blender (liquid and all) and puréeing. Then, to make your recipe, use the same amount of bean purée as your recipe calls for oil. So if your recipe calls for 1/4 cup oil, you will use 1/4 cup bean purée.
  2. If your recipe calls for shortening, butter, or softened butter, you are going to use cooked, drained beans. We can’t use a bean purée to replace butter or shortening because the consistency is not the same and will ruin your baked good. To make your recipe, use the same amount of beans as your recipe calls for butter. So if you’re making cookies, and the original recipe calls for creaming one cup of butter with the sugar, you are going to use one cup of your cooked, drained beans and cream it in with your sugar. Don’t worry, there won’t be any bean chunks by the time you are done mixing your dough.
  3. When wondering which beans to use—you are going to match color for color. If it is a chocolate cake, use black beans. If it is a spice cake, use pinto beans. If it is a white cake, use white beans. You can always use white beans in something darker like chocolate cake, but you can’t use black beans in your white cake. Your family will wonder what all of those black specks are. To be safe, you can use white beans in almost anything.
  4. Beans will give your baked goods a very moist cake-like texture. So if you are making a baked good that is meant to be chewy (like brownies or chocolate chip cookies), you can always use half oil/butter and half beans. It will still be chewy and you’ll still be saving money and adding fiber and protein! Remember, we’re not big into all or nothing—even a little or half is better than nothing, and it’s important that your family likes what you make!
  5. When you try using beans for butter and oil and discover that you love it, as we are confident you will, you may want to cook large batches of beans and freeze whole beans and bean purée in smaller portions for easy use in your baking.

Cooking with Your Beans

Learn to Love Cooking Dried Beans

Soaking Beans

Soaking is an important step in the bean cooking process. Soaking has two major benefits: It reduces the cooking time and it breaks down the compounds in beans that cause gas. The longer beans soak, the more the gas-producing compounds break down. Beans will double or triple in size, depending on which soaking method you use, so it’s important to use a large enough pot when soaking beans. There are three soaking methods you can use, the Hot Soak Method, the Traditional Soak Method, and the Quick Soak Method.

The Hot Soak Method is the recommended method because it reduces cooking time and gas-producing compounds the most and produces consistently tender beans.

The Hot Soak Method

  1. Place beans in a large pot and add 10 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans.
  2. Heat to boiling and boil for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove beans from heat, cover, and let stand for 4 to 24 hours.
  4. Drain beans and discard soak water.
  5. Rinse beans with fresh, cool water.

The Traditional Soak Method

  1. Pour cold water over beans to cover.
  2. Soak beans for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Drain beans and discard soak water. (NOTE: cold water starts but does not complete the rehydration process, so the beans will appear wrinkled after soaking. They will fully rehydrate during cooking.)
  4. Rinse beans with fresh, cool water.

The Quick Soak Method

  1. Place beans in a large pot and add 6 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans.
  2. Bring to boil and boil for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove beans from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.
  4. Drain beans and discard soak water.
  5. Rinse beans with fresh, cool water.

Cooking Beans


After soaking the beans, rinse and cover with new water, covering the beans with one inch of water. Bring the beans to a boil and then gently simmer for the rest of cooking. Cook the beans for one hour, and then begin checking for doneness. Depending on their age, size, and variety, beans can take anywhere from an hour to three hours to cook through. Be patient. Keep the beans at a gentle simmer and taste frequently as they start to become tender. Add more water as needed to keep the beans submerged and stir occasionally.

Slow Cooker:

3-1/2-quart or smaller slow cooker for 1 pound of beans or less, OR 5-quart or larger slow cooker for 2 pounds of beans or more

After soaking the beans (optional), transfer the beans to the slow cooker. If you haven’t already done so, rinse and pick over the beans, then transfer them to a slow cooker. Cover with water. Pour enough water over the beans to cover them by about 2 inches. Add any spices or onions. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Pressure Cooker:

Soaking your beans is completely optional when using a pressure cooker, which can save a lot of time! Check your manual for cooking times and pressure release methods. But if your beans have been soaked they can cook in as little as 5 minutes, or 45 minutes unsoaked.   Also, be sure to add 1 tablespoon of oil to your beans to keep the foam down.

*Cooking tip: Never add salt until the end of the cooking process—it makes the beans tough. 


Prep: 10 min.

Bake: 20–25 min.

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or 1/2 cup bean purée; instructions found in above in Bean There, Done That)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs (or 2 Tbsp. dry egg powder + 1/4 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oil (or bean purée), sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs.
  3. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

 More from Store This, Not That:

Food Storage Rules

From Crystal Godfrey and Debbie Kent’s Store This, Not That (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, Inc., 2016). Used by permission.