Canned beans are a super convenient addition to meals so make sure to keep a variety of choices in your pantry. Here are a few considerations for cooking with them:
Canned beans and sodium
All beans provide protein, fiber, folate and lots of minerals, like iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. If you’re worried about the sodium in canned beans, look for low or no sodium varieties. You can also rinse and drain beans before using to reduce the sodium by as much as 40 percent.
Pump up the flavor
Drain, rinse and dry canned beans then toss with a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasonings. Try thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, red pepper flakes, crushed garlic cloves, and of course salt and pepper.
Using the bean liquid
The liquid in all canned beans is a mixture of water, salt, and the starch released from the beans themselves. Recipes often call for rinsing and draining the liquid from canned beans but if you’re cooking something that requires extra liquid go ahead and use it. Since canned bean liquid, has starch from the beans it can actually help to thicken soups or to make hummus smooth.
Substituting canned beans for dried
As a rule of thumb, substitute two (15-ounce) cans of beans for every cup of dried beans required in your recipe.
Cans are safe
In the past, some people had a concern over the use of BPA (bisphenols) in can linings. The can manufacturing industry has moved away from this practice with well over 90 percent of food cans now produced with non-BPA linings. These next-generation linings have been formulated over several years with carefully chosen, inspected and approved components.
Cans are sustainable
Steel food cans are made almost totally of steel, which recycles forever. They are the most recycled food package in America today.