I know beans are probably not the most glamorous or exotic ingredient (and tend to bring a smile to most people’s lips for the wrong reasons), but in my household we are definitely pro beans and it seems we’re not alone. Beans are not for vegetarians alone anymore; they’re making a comeback as a healthy and nutritious ingredient for families across the country.
Beans can be puréed and used as a thickener; or they can be mashed for a side dish and paired with any meat or fish stew, adding both looks and color. Beans are incredibly versatile and I find them quite easy to cook with.
I try to never buy canned beans— I find them slimy and creepy. Especially since using dry beans is really easy, super economical and way more flavorful. The only thing you need to do is soak your dry beans overnight by putting them in your Aroma rice cooker with water and leaving them until the next day. The next day, drain the liquid the beans were soaking in and rinse them to remove any remaining dirt or debris. Drain once more and fill the rice cooker cooking pot with the stock or water called for in your recipe. Easy peasy, right? Soak, rinse and cook.
Infuse more flavor in your beans by adding onions, celery, carrots, garlic or herbs. You can also freeze your cooked beans for use later on— a great option for a quick school night meal later on in the week!
1 cup of onions, chopped
1 cup of celery, chopped
2 tbsp of garlic, chopped
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
4 cups of chicken, beef or vegetable stock
2 cups of dried white beans soaked overnight and rinsed
Use the Saute-Then-Simmer™ (STS) function on the Aroma Rice Cooker to sauté the onion, celery and garlic for about 10 minutes. Add your beans and your stock to the cooking pot and close the lid. The rice cooker will automatically switch over to its “Simmer” mode. Allow to cook for 2 hours. Remove the rosemary sprig and enjoy the beans on their own or as a side dish with meat, fish or poultry.
You can also purée the cooked beans and serve as a dip with pita chips. You can season with more fresh garlic, salt and pepper to add flavor. Lastly, you can freeze the cooked beans for up to 2 months and add to your favorite soup or casserole in a pinch. Or maybe you can think of another way to use them too?
Over to You
What’s your version of white beans? Share and inspire us!