Once upon a time, dried beans were overflowing on supermarket shelves. Regular supermarket shoppers would often overlook these dried gems in search of an easier option. However, these days the dried bean is a hard thing to come by. Whether it’s the long shelf life or the low cost of buying in bulk, shoppers are now understanding the importance of this pantry staple. If you are looking for ways to simplify your cooking life, the versatility and ease of dried beans is the way to go!
It’s no wonder that the desire for dried beans has increased recently. According to Agricultural Marketing Research Center, dried beans were being harvested and cultivated in Central America over 7,000 years ago. Native Americans also would grown beans right alongside their corn and squash plants (Schumacher and Boland). When the future feels uncertain, often times we need to look as to what has worked for us in the past.
Dried Beans: A Pantry Staple
Dried beans are one of the easiest pantry items to keep on hand. Not only are they budget friendly, but the shelf life can last anywhere from 2-3 years! Preparation of the dried legumes usually involves soaking them in water overnight. However, there are also quick soak methods, and in certain instances, soaking isn’t even necessary. With Instant Pot Smoky Pinto Beans with Bacon, soaking those legumes is a thing of the past! There really isn’t a wrong way to cook them.
Dried beans are also truly versatile. So many cultures have their own variations on how to cook them. Whether it’s the gigantic Judion Beans of Central Spain or chickpeas in Middle Eastern cuisine, dried legumes have proven to be extremely versatile. Therefore, the next time you happen to see these little gems in your local grocery store, definitely pick up a few bags to keep on hand. It’s never a bad time to add the ease and versatility of dried beans into your life!