Heat vs. Cook?: The Hard Truth about Canned Food

I said in the Nachos Round II post that we are trying to use our remaining canned food. We want to stop buying the plastic lined aluminum cans and go with whole beans. Cans have allowed us to make meals quickly when we are hungry and tired by skipping over the cooking step. Why would we give up such a timesaver?

The aluminum can linings may include BPA. BPA contains endocrine inhibitors that can cause mental and physical health problems in children and adults. [Here is a link to over 100 peer-reviewed studies.] Many people have stopped using plastic water bottles for this reason. However, aluminum cans are an unmarked threat. It is hard to know if the cans we have contain BPA or not.

In addition to the desire to avoid BPA, we want to eat more whole foods. Happily, this is supportive of the Living Family we want to create with a slower lifestyle. So, now we want to learn to cook whole beans. In fact, we are looking for bean cooking tips. Know any?

9 responses to this post.

  1. […] Heat vs. Cook?: The Hard Truth about Canned Food […]

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  2. Posted by Kelly G. on April 9, 2011 at 3:41 am

    I was just telling a story today about how my Grandmother and Father always used Dried Beans. It may be subjective but I think they taste better too.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Lata Murti on April 9, 2011 at 6:26 am

    I believe my parents would have some tips, if you’d like me to ask them and e-mail them to you. We all also buy dried bean “powder” in bulk at Whole Foods or local natural food stores. It’s all natural –all beans– just dehydrated; and you just have to add hot water. They taste good too.

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  4. Posted by Jill G on April 9, 2011 at 11:14 am

    We’ve started using lots more dried beans in my household, and have learned a few things.
    -the slow cooker is great. especially for those who work outside the home and want to have a slow food style meal in the evening. (add extra water, turn em on low, and go to work. the beans will be ready to cook with when you get home)
    -Rancho Gordo sells wonderful heirloom mail-order beans. They’re pricey but make a really nice treat or gift and the shipping is a flat rate so we order a bunch once a year.
    -We’ve also discovered that you can slow cook, drain, and then freeze beans that you want to have easy access/quick access to.

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  5. I still have a few cans of Eden Organic brand canned beans on hand for “bean emergencies”, as their cans are BPA free (and clearly labeled as such, yay for them!) but cooking dried beans is WAY more cost effective and more delicious…once you get into the habit of either soaking or slow cooking, it will seem like you always did it that way.

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  6. Thanks everyone! All good information. I need to get on the slow cooking.
    @Jill, you make it sound easy.
    @Darla, I recall you saying Eden was a good brand. I am looking for a list of others.
    @Lata, my mom showed me some Konkani dishes that have whole beans, but I’d be interested in knowing what your parents say.
    @Kelly, I can totally see the truth in the tastiness factor. Almost everything is better when it’s gone through a more conscious process.

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  7. My advice on beans is keep it simple. Cook them with plenty of water, don’t be afraid to rinse them during the cooking process. Add garlic, peeling is not necessary and salt and butter. Butter is the real secret.

    Crock pots are amazing and definitely save time and energy.
    Another great crock pot food is slow cooked mushroom stock: onions, mushrooms, carrots cooked in water all day or overnight. Use for everything and keeps well in the freezer.

    xoxo

    Reply

  8. Janelle, I knew you’d come through! Yum and yum. You know I love butter. And I am wanting so much to do a heavy mushroom stock to test out french onion vegetarian style.

    One thing, do you mean while they are cooking if they look crummy, I should/can rinse and add water? Won’t I lose my garlic yumminess?

    THANK YOU — BIG HUGS to you and yours

    Reply

  9. Janelle, I knew you’d come through! Yum and yum. You know I love butter. And I am wanting so much to do a heavy mushroom stock to test out french onion vegetarian style.

    One thing, do you mean while they are cooking if they look crummy, I should/can rinse and add water? Won’t I lose my garlic yumminess?

    THANK YOU — BIG HUGS to you and yours

    Reply

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