Hill of Beans

When I look at grocery receipts, I am never pleasantly surprised.  My head is usually filled with exclamations like five bucks for a bag of beans?! I could get them cheaper at an ethnic grocery, but I buy organic and local when possible.  Doing the right thing doesn’t stop the sticker shock, though.  I’ve been quietly complaining to myself for decades yet never bothered to do the math to see what kind of dough I am saving by buying beans in bulk and cooking them up myself.  That changed today.  If you only want the punch-line, buying beans in bulk costs one-fifth of the price of buying cans.  Wowza!

Math, anyone?  One 15-ounce can of Eden organic garbanzo beans sells for $2.29.  I bought 2.5 pounds of bulk organic garbanzo beans for $4.72.  When cooked, the result filled 6 quart sized take-away containers and weighed, with water to cover like in the cans, 180 ounces.  That’s twelve 15-ounce cans by weight.  Converting the price of my cooked bulk beans into 15-ounce portions shows that my cooked up bulk beans cost only $0.39 per 15-ounce portion (or 17% of the price of buying cooked beans in cans)!  Put another way, buy one, get four free.  I like the texture of my beans better as well.  For that, I will keep my pressure cooker pumped up.

Falafel anyone (why leave all the fun to the Egyptians)?

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2 responses to “Hill of Beans

  1. whats your cooking method? i suck at getting them as good as the cans

  2. Nice to hear from you!

    Soak garbanzos for four hours minimum and then pressure cooker for 8 minutes for a toothsome bean (for salad or curry) or a minute or two longer when a softer bean is desired (for hummus or falafel). Done!

    If you don’t have a pressure cooker, I am sure you can get the same result in an open pot if you soak and cook the beans long enough (again with the four hour soak minimum and cook for an hour minimum).

    Some toss a strip of kombu in the pot to end up with softer beans. I’ve done that, but can’t say I noticed a difference.

    Horn solo!

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