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Thread: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

  1. #1

    Default Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    which is better?

    It's really easier for me to buy beans in cans...but is this healthy? I usually buy organic ones for about a dollar.

  2. #2
    Kiva Dancer's Avatar
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    Probably not because of the stuff they use to line the cans with but I use canned beans a lot because they're easier.

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    I eve's Avatar
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    Me too, baked beans in tomato sauce, grrrrrreat!
    Eve

  4. #4
    tails4wagging
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    I always use can beans as I cannot be bothered to soak the beans overnight and all the bother that goes with it!!.
    I am buying a soyamilk machine soon of Gorilla, do I use canned beans for that?

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    I normally soak them coz its cheaper - but I love my baked beans on toast!

  6. #6
    ConsciousCuisine
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    I do both. Especially with chickpeas. I love Eden's Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans. There is no salt added; they use Kombu Seaweed instead I currently have 4 cans in the pantry

    I soak and cook or sprout at home 90% of the time. When beans are on sale, like when I can get them for $1.29 a 28-32 oz. can, I do. At that point, it's worth it for the convinience.

    Also, as I said, I always have canned chickpeas, which means that Momy can make Blake's lunch in 5 minutes. This helps when I'm in a rush or hasn't been shopping in a few days. We always have carrots, or other veggies for crudite and canned chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini to pair with crackers/bread/tortilla of some kind, so hummus and veggies in a wrap or with other "starch" it is on such days...

  7. #7
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Quote tails4wagging
    I always use can beans as I cannot be bothered to soak the beans overnight and all the bother that goes with it!!.
    I am buying a soyamilk machine soon of Gorilla, do I use canned beans for that?
    no! not canned soya beans. you need to get the dry beans, soak them for 6-12hrs in water and then they are ready to make milk with. full instructions come with the machine though!

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    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Quote ConsciousCuisine
    I do both. Especially with chickpeas. I love Eden's Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans. There is no salt added; they use Kombu Seaweed instead I currently have 4 cans in the pantry
    I love these too!

  9. #9
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Quote Roxy
    I love these too!

    Once, I opened up a can and just ate the whole thing for lunch! My daughter looked at me like I might be insane and I simply said: "I was craving them. I must need the iron and calcium. Plus, they are a great source of fiber and protein " She said: "I know, Mom but I prefer hummus."

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    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    LOL!

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    Eden canned beans are fantastic - but in Australia they are not the easiest to get. I have been to their website and there are soooooooo many sorts of beans that we don't get here. Their refried beans are awesome and as CC has pointed out, the chickpeas are perfect

  12. #12
    FR
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    I use canned beans because as others have stated, I do not appreciate the bother of soaking them. However, I do think it is better to buy them in bulk and soak them. At one point, I will switch to doing that.

    ETA ... I buy either Westbrae organic beans or Wild Oats organic beans depending on which of the two is on sale. The price for a 15oz. can of beans ranges between .79 and .99. I do not mind the tad bit of sea salt in them.

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    Chickpeas are great. I often serve them as a vegetable, like peas.

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    Quote celtic rose
    Chickpeas are great.
    Yes, they are. If I am not making hummus or falafel with them, I am adding them to a leafy green salad.

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    A bit of both really - but the amount of electricity used to boil chickpeas from scratch is scary.....trust me I am a bit of nerd when it comes to KWPH usage of electrical items...

    They are nice done from scratch but only do if you aint watching the fuel bill or make sure you fiully utilise the whole oven and cooker at the same time get some baking done in the oven as well or use the other rings to boil other things up, make some curries to freeze it does make good economic sense - financialy and environmentaly.

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    I buy tinned beans with the exception of aduki beans, and that's only because I've never found them in tins. You can't beat good old Heinz baked beans on toast, even if they are full of salt and sugar. I've tried the reduced salt and sugar variety, but didn't like them as much.

  17. #17
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    I only use home cooked. I soak them and put them in the slow cooker overnight. It is very easy.

  18. #18
    Kiva Dancer's Avatar
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    I have never soaked my beans at all but I do cook them in my crock pot all the time. It's the only method I've found for perfect home-cooked beans.

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    Usually it's my mum who cook beans (and her beans are always so greaaaat ! ) but when I'm alone I eat it canned... my preferred ones are red beans, white beans with tomato sauce (yuuuum I could eat the entire can alone ! ^^) and chickpeas too.
    One day, I'll die from an Asian junk food overdose ! lol

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    Quote *M*
    You can't beat good old Heinz baked beans on toast, even if they are full of salt and sugar. I've tried the reduced salt and sugar variety, but didn't like them as much.
    I second that whole statement . But I buy the Whole Earth baked beans now coz they are organic and fruit juice sweetened. They are pretty yummy. I want to try the Eden ones as well

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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    I have a slow cooker, its never occurred to me to do just plain beans in them - normally I do stews and soups. I suppose you soak them overnight/overday, rinse them, and stick them in the slow cooker for 8-12 hours - high until they bubble then low?
    A friend who originates from India suggested I get a pressure cooker for pulses - apparently everyone uses them there, and people often have two or three ones, of different sizes. I've never used a pressure cooker before. Does anyone here use one? My friend said that soaked beans can be done in as little as 10-15 mins cooking, plus extra time to let the pressure out. That sounds amazing to me.
    Interested in your replies.....
    v

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Canned beans are perfectly healthy.
    I’ve heard the nutrition (vitamin/mineral) content is lowered a bit versus the dry beans, but I don’t think it’s by huge numbers.
    Beans in the can are great for saving time. Just be sure to rinse them well with water if they’re canned in a salty and/or sugary liquid.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Canned beans can't be beat for convience, but I am always worried about how many nutrients are lost in the canning process. I usually buy a package of dry beans and soak, cook and then freeze them all in freezer bags, 150-200g in each. Letting them thaw overnight is much easier.

  24. #24
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Verencemos, I have a pressure cooker and I have used it for beans, but to be honest I found the process a little scary so I just cook them in the conventional way now (or use tinned ones ).

    With both slow cookers and pressure cookers, it's supposed to be a good idea to boil the beans fast for 10 minutes first before putting them into the cooker, because they don't bring them up to the temperature required to get rid of toxins. I've read that most often about kidney beans but it may be a good idea for other beans as well.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    i can never get teh outside of the beans as soft when i cook them as tehy are from a can. i fast boil them at the beginning...but they never properly soften *sobs*

  26. #26
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    canned all the way for me. i can't be bothered with all the soaking and cooking.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  27. #27
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    ^ Same here, plus, once you factor in the gas/electricity costs of preparing something like kidney beans it's probably more expensive to use dried.

    Quote bananaHammock View Post
    which is better?
    There's only one way to find out... Fight!!!
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    When cooking things like chiili or stews I use dried beans.
    Usually I make a fairly large quantity of a cooked dish maybe between 4 and 6 generous portions.
    I appreciate it is expensive to cook them so I soak and cook a fairly large quantity and then freeze some.
    I also use tinned baked beans when I am doing lazy meals for one.
    I don't think there's a right or wrong way with beans, its up to personal choice.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  29. #29
    Can't cook. Sarah_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Is it only the US where it's uncommon to have baked beans with tomato sauce? That's all I ever see or hear when it comes to baked beans here, but when I think baked beans I think of the ones in the brown maply sauce.
    That said, I guess my answer is canned. I've never soaked beans myself before. I can't cook and everything I try to do homemade turns out terrible, so I'm afraid.
    Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.

  30. #30
    Pilaf
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Everything is best home made. In the spring and summer of the coming year I plan to frequent the local farmers' markets for fresh produce, including locally grown beans.

    I dare anyone to show me a bean anywhere in the world as delicious as those grown in Tennessee soil.

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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    I haven't got a car and tinned beans are so heavy to carry home from the shop.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  32. #32
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    i don't have a car either but i prefer to carry the tins of beans home than do all the soaking and cooking of dried beans.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  33. #33
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Quote Sarah_ View Post
    Is it only the US where it's uncommon to have baked beans with tomato sauce?
    No, I think it's more that the tomato-ey ones are peculiar to the British market, or were until recently - some people from continental Europe find it quite a strange habit and I've seen them in the "exotic foods" section of French supermarkets

    Heinz, an American firm, seems to have introduced them to Britain but for some reason used a different recipe from the ones they use in the US.

    There is a bit of history here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baked_beans

    and here

    http://www.heinz.co.uk/products/heinz_baked_beanz.aspx

  34. #34
    Full of beans beanstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    This thread reminds me that I must put some beans on to soak so I can have chili for dinner tomorrow.
    Blackmail is such an ugly word. I prefer "extortion". The "X" makes it sound cool.

  35. #35
    Full of beans beanstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Quote harpy View Post
    No, I think it's more that the tomato-ey ones are peculiar to the British market, or were until recently - some people from continental Europe find it quite a strange habit and I've seen them in the "exotic foods" section of French supermarkets
    This is true. I was trying to explain the concept of beans on toast to a Dutch guy at work and he was very puzzled by the concept. Then I got on to spaghetti on toast....
    Blackmail is such an ugly word. I prefer "extortion". The "X" makes it sound cool.

  36. #36
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Mind you, I think spaghetti on toast is a bit of a strange habit

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    I do use canned beans and lentils when I can for a few reasons.
    Hassle
    Time
    Safety
    Mess
    and given that I can get kidney beans for 8p a can and lentils for 20p a can it doesn't seem too bad really on the pocket
    If I sink to the bottom I can run to the shore.

  38. #38
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    ^ eep, that's scarily cheap. i buy organic and tend to pay about 59-79p for a can of kidney beans/chick peas etc. i don't buy canned lentils because i mostly cook with red lentils which can be cooked from dry without soaking (although they do take about half an hour to get soft).
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    I'm not too wealthy and my week's food budget is 20 (and I eat a LOT) so it's the cheap stuff for me, usually sainsbury's basics or own brand
    If I sink to the bottom I can run to the shore.

  40. #40
    Jippia
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    I always have some cans and jars in my pantry and some one-portion containers in my freezer.

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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    I got a stomach lesion once and it turned out to be cooked tomatoes causing it. They're very acidic. So for the last two years I have had to cut right back on cooked tomatoes of any sort. The lesion has cleared up and now I can have cooked tomatoes again on special occasions.

    So back to the baked beans, woo-hoo. And vegan pizza, way-hay.

    Biona do by far the best baked beans, taste wise, and they come in glass jars rather than toxic-lined cans. The only real drawback is the price, which is scandalous.

  42. #42

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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    I do a bit of both.

    Buying the dried ones is great because you get more for your money, the organic ones are cheaper and canned stuff is supposed to be dodgy because of contamination from the metal. But they do require planning and effort. The amount of times I've had beans in soak and then ended up going out for a meal/working/whatever and then having bowls of rapidly going off beans everywhere..

    Like someone mentioned a few posts up, most lentils don't require soaking and cook a lot faster so I've recently been using them instead.

    TInned Baked Beans are awesome though. My favorite ones are the Whole Earth ones. In health food shops & holland & barrett they tend to be 1+ but they are cheaper in Waitrose.

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    I think the issue is with the plastic lining of cans, not the metal, f2097, though tomato sauce being so acidic it, could possible corrode an un-lined can. Whichever, you cannot (!) win.

    From an overall perspective, it may seem like bulk-buying organic dried beans win - but then you have any energy used in drying them and the energy used to cook them: a large plant doing canned beans may be more energy-efficient. Difficult. De Rit may have it right with beans in glass (and there are other producers who use glass - some Polish brands I've seen, for instance) but glass is heavy to transport. Sigh...

    Then you get the jibes from meat eaters that these vegans are producing greenhouse gases.

  44. #44
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    I'm not keen on cans with plastic linings either, but most of the ones we buy (beans and tomatoes) don't appear to have them. The linings are white aren't they, or can you get invisible versions?

  45. #45
    DavidT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    They might be doing invisible ones, who knows?!

    But yes, the linings are usually white and sinister...

  46. #46
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    I'll try to pay attention when I open my next few cans and record those that do/don't appear to have linings, in case anyone's interested.

  47. #47
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Like DavidT says though, you can't win. If the cans are lined there will be people who worry about the lining, if they aren't lined there will be people who worry about the metal.

    I just rely on the fact that billions of cans of food are sold and people around me aren't dropping dead all over the place.

  48. #48
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Here is an excellent article about baked beans and the white lining, plus of course an ethically-graded list of producers.

    It's also reminded me that it's Biona who make the best beans, not De Rit: I've altered my earlier post to correct that.

    A freudian slip there, I think, as Biona are a little out of favour with me at the moment because of the large number of non-vegan products they produce. I'm asking them to at least replace honey with syrup of some kind, as De Rit have done, even if they have difficultly getting rid of eggs and milk.

    Biona do make some great products but small changes like getting rid of honey would bring vegans to some of them.

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Quote Risker View Post
    Like DavidT says though, you can't win. If the cans are lined there will be people who worry about the lining, if they aren't lined there will be people who worry about the metal.

    I just rely on the fact that billions of cans of food are sold and people around me aren't dropping dead all over the place.
    Quite. I think history shows un-lined cans are ok long-term: the linings are just another one of those things we could really do without.

    They said they brought in the linings because some foods were getting tainted by the cans. This is a classic modern example of trying to solve one problem by creating another.

  50. #50
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beans: Cans or home cooked?

    Regarding baked beans, we normally buy the Whole Earth ones, which as noted are widely available, or sometimes the organic version of Waitrose own brand (I think it is).

    I see the Whole Earth ones have been marked down for salt content on that league table but as we probably only eat them about once a month I'm not going to worry about it too much from a purely personal point of view, although obviously it's not so good if people are shovelling them down their children (or themselves) in vast quantities.

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