Bean Fest!

Today we’re going to take another look at beans and all of the GREAT things that you can do with them. I’m so enamored with the bounty of bean possibilities that I’ve set out the past 6 months to ensure that I have several hundred pounds of a variety of beans as well as an assortment of more than 40 different kinds of beans that I can grow which will provide me with endless possibilities of this staple thanks to my ability to acquire organic, non-hybrid, non-gmo beans.

bean seeds

(I’m not sure that we’ll be able to buy non-gmo beans commercially for much longer given the predatory nature of Monsanto and the politicians and judges who are willing to play ball with them.)


My first exposure to using beans in a non-traditional sense was at a preparedness fair in which a delicious brownie was served that had beans as a part of the ingredients. Yup, it sounded crazy to me too when I heard about it, but it was the first brownie I ever tasted that actually satisfied me instead of making me feel like I needed to consume 5 more. It was a beautiful balance between cake-like and creamy. I was hooked.

bean brownie


When I attended my last half of high school in Ohio, I lived with my father and step-mother. They had always tried to provide us with healthier food options than I would normally experience. One of my favorite after-school snacks that I ever had was fresh 100% whole wheat bread, spread with a delicious bean paste and topped with a little bit of cheddar cheese. I’d put it in the oven for just a couple of minutes to melt the cheese and then enjoy an ever perfect mouthful of this creamy, garlic concoction. It gave me the fuel I needed to pull some late night theater rehearsals or homework and it always seemed to satiate my appetite.


Having struggled with fibromyalgia over the past couple of years, I’ve looked at a myriad of ways to eliminate more gluten foods from my household in ways that didn’t drive me bonkers. Beans, bean flour, bean paste, bean flakes, dehydrated beans, bean sprouts, etc. have been a God-send in that pursuit. I’ve discovered that beans not only have abundant nutritional values, but they have a wide application that are very attractive in the kitchen—even a kitchen like mine which strives to create scrumptious dishes with a dash of gourmet flair.  If you’ve got a blender, a sprouter, flaker, or a pressure cooker then you’ll never have to live with the typical stereotypes about beans taking forever to enjoy.  And you won’t have to cover them up in sugary sweet syrups to enjoy either. You’ll discover a VERY affordable way to add quality nutrients that are readily absorbable in most bodies.


When I make up a quick batch of bean flour it typically is headed into a favorite soup recipe as it cooks in less than 5 minutes and provides a rich, creamy background without diluting the carefully structured layers of flavors. I don’t need to rinse and soak and rinse and soak when I cook them in my pressure cooker and they’re done in less than 20 minutes packed full of flavor. I’ve discovered mixing different varieties of beans to be the “secret ingredient” of many of my formerly “blah” recipes.  For those who are plagued by all kinds of food allergies such as dairy or gluten, you’ll find that beans can be a fabulous substitute while also being the secret ingredient to the perfect cupcake that is neither too light nor too heavy.  The addition of beans to a dish, whether it be in the form of whole, cracked, flour, or paste will be your culinary hero.kuhn rikon


In terms of running a household with a year’s supply of pantry ingredients at any one time, you’ll find that beans are very tolerant of neglect—though I suspect that after you discover the myriad of ways they can be used, you might stop treating them so poorly. *grin*  While you may traditionally think of them as a savory food item, it won’t take you long to discover that they also cross over into tasty breakfast dishes as well as desserts worthy of gift-giving and blue ribbons.  Second only to wheat, they are the least expensive form of protein that I’ve found and contain as much as 50% more protein than your more traditional protein sources and with lower fat and calories. Combined with nuts, seeds, or quality grains such as brown rice or quinoa they create a perfect high-fiber protein with a great supply of vital amino acids. Compare the average cost as less than 50 cents a pound vs. the skyrocketing prices of beef today at $4.00 per pound minimum—beans should become your new best friend—FAST!  They typically will at least double in volume when converted from dried to cook with most of the species actually tripling in volume. Cheap, nutritious, good for you, delicious and a powerful secret weapon in the kitchen--what more could you ask for, right?


beans in mason jarLest you think I’m completely blinded by love and thus unaware of the downside of beans allow me to at least share with you a few cautions in using beans. It is true that the longer your beans are exposed to oxygen the longer they will need to cook. And like all foods, the longer they sit the lower their nutritional values will be. However, I do have methods which I use to counteract those bugaboos. (Of course I do. You wouldn’t expect anything else from me, would you?) In order to maintain nutritional quality I purchase my beans whole and then make my own flour and such. Once you’ve made a whole food into flour you’ve created the fastest way to lose nutrients. Secondly, even though the older they get the longer they need to cook, a pressure cooker and some baking soda can certainly offset that cook time dramatically. I will frequently store my specialty beans in ½ gallon mason jars and then use the Foodsaver jar attachment to extract the oxygen from the jars. This also preserves the nutrients for as long as I store them that way.  I would strongly caution you in using soybeans however. They are the ONLY bean that don’t make their way into my home regularly as finding non GMO soy is very difficult nowadays—and almost impossible due to the legal lying that’s permitted by the USDA and soybeans are an estrogen mimicker which leads to nearly every disease of the female reproductive system today. (See “The Estrogen Alternative” by Dr. Judy Gerstung).


You can purchase a great selection of bean sprouts through Five Star Preparedness and I highly recommend the bean flour from Azure Standard.bean sprouts (WARNING: Do not purchase any bean flour products which contain canola oil unless you WANT to ruin all of the health benefits of your beans.) I’d also look for whole beans for sale at your local grocery stores, Costco, and Sam’s Club as well as from your local grocery stores. I also love going to the Hispanic grocery stores when I stand bedazzled by all of the beautiful bean selections that I find there. (Yup, I hear angels singing that single perfect pitch note when I find my beans!) This particular website  causes me to drool worse than I do when I walk into a DSW store. (That’s shoes for those of you who don’t know—beautiful designer shoes at rock bottom clearance prices!)


Some of my favorite beans are garbanzo, pinto, black, navy, adzuki, Anasazi, black eye, pink,  Calypso, Black Turtle, Great Northern, lima, red lentils, split peas, mung, and of course kidney. But I have yet to find a bean that I didn’t like—well, except for that bean that’s called “rice”—It tasted just fine but it sure did confuse me when I was organizing everything. *grin* Seriously, it’s called Brown Rice Bean aka Fawn (and there’s also a White Rice Bean); and it does look really pretty in a rice dish just like you’d expect a contrasting rice color to look.


The person I consider to be the God Father of beans is actually the God Mother—Rita Bingham. That woman has done more with beans than Gallagher has ever done with melons!  I’ve enjoyed taking what Rita’s books have taught me and add that splash of sassy, enchanting, or spicy seasonings. I highly recommend her book called “Country Beans”.  Some of my very favorite recipes that I make regularly in my home involve BEANS or bean flour. (Unfortunately, Rita began writing her books before discovering the poisonous nature of canola oil, but you can just substitute coconut oil or applesauce for most oil requirements in her recipes.


Now of course if I mention eating beans there’s going to be some silly person asking about flatulence. The truth of the matter is, if you got your body accustomed to eating beans you wouldn’t have a flatulence problem. Soaking the beans will help with that issue as will a fabulous blend of essential oils I use called Digest from Be Young Essential Oils or Coriander Essential Oil from the same company. Both are the European medicinal quality and can be purchased at Five Star Preparedness. (Europe and the U.K. USE essential oils as a part of their medical industry, the U.S. on the other hand discourages losing profits to something that they can’t patent. If you stick with this caliber of essential oils you’ll never need to rely on any of those silly made up certification gimmicks that a lot of essential oils companies use in the U.S.)

brownie cupcake

O.K So are you up for trying a recipe using bean flour??  This is one of my favorites from Rita’s book “Country Beans” but with a few of my tweaks to the recipe.

Spicy Pinto Cupcakes

Sift together:

2 c. whole wheat or gluten free flour

2 ½ t. baking powder

1 ¼ c. honey

1 t. salt

½ t. allspice

1 t. cinnamon

½ t. cloves


½ c. applesauce (or coconut oil—my preference)

¾ c. water

1t. vanilla

1 T. molasses*

1 t. orange zest

Beat 2 minutes and then add:

3 large eggs

¼ c. water

1 T. dry milk powder

¾ c. mashed pinto beans

Beat for 2 more minutes.

Pour into greased and floured cupcake pans or cupcake papers. (I use silicone cupcake liners that are reusable) and bake at 375⁰ for 20 minutes.

Cool to the touch.

I like to then create a glaze made of orange juice and nutmeg and powdered sugar which is then drizzled over them just before serving.

* (I love using the molasses powder from Five Star Preparedness)


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Oh my goodness girl, here you go again, hearing my thoughts... Now that I think about it I guess that should be scary so hopefully, it's just about certain topics like f-o-o-d !! Just so you know, "I" can't wait to read more about your "cooking/dehydrating info"! Not that I'd want to apply any "pressure" or anything! Lol
I can truely relate to Pat's comment since my copier/scanner has developed an attitude:( However, more times than I can remember, I've visited other sites and found info, recipes and comments that I'm confident were your originals. You have a style I've come to know, recognize and appreciate; called "gut-level-honesty". They didn't even have the decency and respect to give credit to you! Kellene, It's taken me a long time (smiling here) but "I've lived long enough" now to know those people cannot to be trusted on anything else! And yes, they do "mess it up" for everyone, especially your loyal followers. I will do the extra steps without grumbling (to much) because you, Dear Lady have earned my trust and that is no easy accomplishment :)
Okay, I feel better now with that off my chest! Lol

Thank you for the great bean ideas! Not everyone in my family likes beans but they would have no idea they were eating them if I mashed them and put them in breads, cookies, soups, etc. I LOVE pintos, navy and great northern, black eyed, and every type except kidney. Tonight I'm making potato soup and I'm going to mash a cup or two of great northerns and add them to the soup! I'm sure you have no idea what a blessing you are to this tired and often overwhelmed not so young woman. God bless you!

Ooh! That sounds wonderful!!!

Just a note on my first attempt in sneaking the beans into the potato soup. I mashed the great northern beans really well and when stirred in they because a part of the broth. Everyone commented on how much they liked the soup. Yea! I'm going to make it a regular routine now and sneak them into breads, muffins and all kinds of dishes. We don't eat meat every day so by doing this my family will get the extra protein. I do the same thing with Quinoa flakes and no one knows they are there. Thank you for your inspiration!

Thank you for the idea of mashing great northerns and putting them into soup. I have a DD who is an adult and she and her children live with us. She is adverse to most vegetables. If she doesn't know they are there, well..... Thank goodness her children are more willing to try foods than she is. Glad I read your post today.

Yup, it's a legume. Way to go, Vikki! Those are typically called Chinese longbeans, I believe. Baker's Creek Heirloom Seeds carries them and you can get them at

At a church gathering for women we tried to do a foodstorage meal each month, to show the women what can be done with it. One month a woman made a pinto bean chocolate pie with a dried milk whipped cream. Oh my gosh, never thought I would love beans as much as that day, but your chocolate cupcakes have brought me back again!

Oh,'s my understanding that red beans should be soaked not less than eight (8) hours before cooking. Pour this water off (don't consume it) and use fresh water for cooking. That will take care of most of the big "p" chemical. But now bring it to a boil and boil for 10 minutes, minimum. Then you can turn the heat down and slow cook, if you like.

That's would be an inaccurate blanket rule because even soaking a whole grain for 30 minutes completely alters it's nutritional profile. In the case of beans, the enhancements are as such that the big bad "P" as you call it, is rendered less impactful, and when sprouting them, it's rendered completely useless. I've used my pressure cooker far longer than I've discovered the big wonderful world of beans and I can tell you that it's not respecter of color when it comes to cooking beans in a jiffy and with fabulous flavor and with no known problems.

Another great article. Hope you are feeling much better.

Have you been talking to my husband, April? He was bugging me about the same thing today--as I was harried in trying to make my way through 12 recipes today in the cookbook that's coming out in April. (What can I say? The boy's got bad timing? hee hee)

Lynn, Did you ever imagine yourself saying "your excitement about beans is rubbing off on me"? Nope. And I never thought I'd do something to make a girlfriend say anything so crazy either. hee hee

I can't wait to write about the cooking/dehydrating your beans so that all you have to do is soak them for 15 minutes in ANY temp of water and they'll be ready. :-) But I thought we had enough talk of flatulence in this article for one day. *giggle*

Very disappointed with the change in the website. I cannot use the recipes, as I cannot "copy and paste" in order to print on paper to take out to the kitchen--my computer is at the other end of the house. Used to be able to do this.:(

Actually, yes, you can, Pat. All you have to do is "print". You'll end up printing the whole page, mind you, but you'll still get the recipes. Pardon me for trying to protect my hard work from being copied and cut and pasted all over the internet with other people taking credit for it. Guess I'll just have to refund all that money now that people pay me to read all of this stuff!

Interesting that you should be talking about beans this week. I've been doing some testing on cooking time with a friend. I shared a method of double cooking your beans that makes it only take about ten minutes cooking time and no presoaking. She tried it and even the ten minutes was too long. I cooked white beans in my pressure cooker this week and brought the pressure up for only 3 minutes then quickly back down. They were done. No presoaking and these were several year old beans.
I'm going to get the Country Bean book. Sounds good.

I took a class on Beans a few years ago. That's when I first heard about Rita and her books. I have this one that you are speaking of. I need to pull it out again and try this recipe I haven't tried yet! Sounds great! Your excitement about beans is rubbing off on me. I think I only have about 5 types of beans at the most in storage. Thanks for the beans link store. I need to check it out more!


Wow, yet another article that is so wonderfull. Great information!

Reading this article on beans gives me an idea...yep, bean cookbook by Kellene know you can do it. How to prepair, store, and cook beans and the veritys.

Not that you have anything else to do, but, would you like some of OUR favorite bean recipes for your NEW "Cooking with Beans the Preparedness Way" cookbook? You make them to see if you like them and the recipes are accurate, then add them to the book?

I'm a junky for recipes! I'd LOVE some more!!!! :-)

I am constantly amazed at your breath of knowledge. That you so much for sharing.

Ajwan seeds can be purchased at an international grocery market. Added to beans as if you were adding pepper and it prevents gas. You can even add it to canned beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Only costs a few dollars and lasts a long time.

Nope, I don't believe for a moment that the 7 year rule applies. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Grand Canyon was created because STONE was affected by WATER (Just for a really long time). As such, I'm certain that if the Grand Canyon is no match for water then 10 year old beans don't have a chance. It just may require more patience. Soaking in boiling water, etc. Don't give up!! Even IF they aren't preserved with the OA/FS, this is accurate. Water in the universal solvent. With the right heat, pressure, time no bean is a better match for your determination. :-)

I always have a problem allowing posts that contradict what I've written not because someone has a different opinion, but particularly when the contradicting message is essentially expressing defeat, nothing can be done, "give up" because "I've tried everything and have never been successful." It's so defeating to others and it doesn't help yourself. I'm familiar with working with the oldest of the old of beans, harder than a rock, etc. and I've truly been successful. It makes me kind of feel like I can't possibly help you because you're already convinced that nothing works. But look at it this way. The Grand Canyon exists because of one particular solvent--water. It's because of water that all of that land has been eroded away, along with some wind here and there. So I'm sure that 10 year old beans aren't a tougher task than the Grand Canyon (and will certainly take less time than the Grand Canyon too so that you don't starve. *grin* In instances of really dry beans I'd suggest that you boil the beans at a full boil for 15 to 20 minutes, then turn the heat off and let them soak until they are soft enough to use. Then rinse them and use as desired. Yes, it's possible that you might have to repeat this process, but I've not had to as of yet and I've had the privilege of "inheriting" some pretty darn hard beans and haven't had to repeat my process as of yet. Hang in there. It will work. Just don't quit too soon. OK?

I think you're getting incomplete information. All of the ones that I've purchased specifically talk about the airport/tubing. However, you should know that the mason jar is a separate attachment that doesn't come with the Foodsavers. It's an additional part that you purchase. Foodsavers are primarily used for and known for their Foodsaver bags.

By the way, for the benefit of our readers, it would be best if you would ask this question on the relevant articles to the topic. Have you looked up the other articles we've written specifically on the FoodSaver? If not, you may want to put the word "foodsaver" in the search bar. I believe that your questions can be answered there. Thanks and I hope that you can get the information you need so that you can use this valuable tool.

I made a ham & Navy bean soup a couple days ago, and since it was a spur-of-the-moment decision, I hadn't soaked my beans beforehand but still wanted to eat within a couple hours. I looked online & found a great tip for no-soak beans which worked wonderfully: Put the beans in a pot with enough water to cover them by a couple inches, and bring to a boil. After boiling for 1 minute, cover and place into a 250-degree oven for 75 minutes. The beans turned out soft & thoroughly cooked, but not at all mushy! It was perfect!

Hey Kellene....can you give us the receipe for the brownies? Thanks for all you do!! Your're amazing!!!

You know, I'm kind of frustrated right now, darn it. I KNOW that I wrote the other article on beans and yet I can't find it anywhere and it's that article that has the brownies recipe. Good grief. If I can't find it, I sure as heck can't expect others to. I'll have to find the recipe and just post that. Sorry that I don't have it right now, handy for you.

I LOVE it when I have these very same experiences! LOL

Kellene--I about had an anxiety attack when shopping at my local hyvee. They were almost out of pinto beans. Then I realized I've bought them out this week. It had to be me lol....

That sounds like a recipe for cereal I have except it's just missing the cranberries. :-) Sounds DEE-vine!

Kellene, this AM, I read your article from 2009 on the benefits and need for sprouting seeds (can't find it to reference it now). I have been experimenting with sprouting wheat, lentils, almonds, quinoa, and flax to make flat bread. Remembering some leftover wheat and lentil sprouts and brown rice in the fridge, I pureed them with a little almond milk, flax seeds, molasses powder, cinnamon and xagava and turned it into a delicious hot cereal. Very filling too. Time to start more sprouts!

Well, I'm pretty sneaky about getting my family to eat "prepper food", and could not figure out how to get them to eat beans. I make navy bean and hamhock (actually ham chunks) soup and I end up eating it all myself, but I love it so I don't really mind while hubby and the kids play Fend for Yourself. I'm going to stick some mashed navy beans in a white cake mix and see how it goes. Thanks, Kellene, for always giving me fresh ideas!

Gosh, Kellene, I'm sure grateful that you share all your knowledge with us. I love the info about beans - have GOT to use them much more than I do now. Thanks a bunch!

Just making sure I read it right--It says try a recipe with bean flour--then it says mashed pinto beans... was going to make them, but just thought I might be mistaken--you mean cooked mashed pinto beans (right??) Thanks for all you do, everyday we are trying to read a little, organize a little, try out freeze dried foods, use pressure cooker, add things to the stockpile--everyday small things hopefully will add up to something BIG.. Thanks, Kristin

I have a question; I have heard from different sources (AFTER I bought hundreds of pounds of beans/lentils/peas) that dried beans older than 7 years are nearly impossible to cook because the outer layer becomes too hard to soften even with hours of soaking. I'm understanding you to say that the 7-year rule does not apply if the beans were packaged with an oxygen absorber or using the Food Saver oxygen remover attachment. Is that correct? I appreciate any insight you give on this matter, because I need to eat more beans than grains because of hypoglycemia. Thank you.

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful information. I am so pleased and grateful that I happened upon your website. I guess that I have had a rather "snooty" attitude about beans as I rarely used them - until I read this today. We live in Mennonite country so I can buy many things in bulk at excellent prices. However, I have never seen any bean flour anywhere. Can this be made at home, and if so, how is it done?

Of COURSE it can be made by yourself. You just grind the hard beans like you would grains. Neat, huh? I also like using my flaker on beans. (I usually just use it to make oats out of oat groats)

Wholly beans, I think I just fell in love with the bean link on your site! Who ever knew there were so many different types of beans out there. Guess I will have to put lifters on the guest bed so that I can cram these underneath there. Thank you for this site and the great information.

What is the name of the tool/gadget that you use to remove air from containers, jars, etc.? I am just getting started and need all the information I can get. Many thanks. I am a new fan of yours. Thanks for everything you do for people.

I am a senior citizen and have been involved in preparedness most of my life.
I enjoy bean of all kinds and have stored them for year's, long before Rita Bingham's book "Country Beans" and Joanne Saltzman's book "Romancing The Bean" came out. The problem I'm having is working with older beans, even though they have been canned with Oxygen Absorber's, they are like trying to cook little bullets. I've tried everything I've ever heard of and still can't soften them. I'm afraid to put them in an electric grinder for fear of breaking the equipment. I've soaked, used baking soda, pressure cooked, you name it I've tried it, and nothing seems to have worked. I'm not even sure I could plant them and have them grow. Since my arm muscle has diminished over the years, hand grinding the little bullets doesn't really appeal to me. If you happen to come up with any new idea's for old beans (some of which are 10 yrs.). Please share, as I've numerous cases of all kinds needing to be used.
Thank you so much for all you do to promote this great work. God Bless You.

I have been checking the Food Savers.They all talk about the bag sealing. Nothing specifies an air port or tubing that can be used on jars. Their descriptions on food saver web doen not specify either. Can oll models be used for jars as well, or how will I know if I am ordering the correct thing? Still confused.

I, too, love beans and have been storing them. One of my favorites, although I am not sure if it is consider a bean, is purple-hulled peas. (Yep, I am from the South!) Surprisingly, I have not been able to find dried PH peas anywhere. I plan to buy, shell and can as many bushels as possible this year, but wondered why dried PH peas aren't available. Any ideas?


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