Originally published January 24 2010
As Times Get Tough, It is Time for Beans and Rice
by Paul Fassa
(NaturalNews) With jobs getting scarce and the economy falling amidst rumors of food shortages in large communities, here is a suggestion. Use bulk rice and beans. You'll cut your food costs considerably if you shop for bulk rice and beans at your local organic food supplier. Good nutrition and high fiber, and a good deal of protein, are included. You may be surprised at how tasty this staple can be.
Choosing the Right Stuff
Avoid even organic canned beans. By now you should know about the health hazards from linings inside of cans. Besides, those items have been precooked, heavily compromising their nutritional value. Don't bother with any packaged rice. You'll spend more for less without getting the best rice.
Go to the bulk sections of your health food store where there are organic grains and dry beans.
For optimum nutrition, buy mostly brown rice. Some white rice is okay, if you select organic Basmati white rice. Basmati rice is used in virtually all Ayurvedic (ancient medicine of India) recipes because it is easy to digest and it balances the doshas. There are three mind/body constitutional doshas or qualities that are the basis of Ayurvedic medicine.
A Short Course in Cooking Rice and Beans
Black beans need to be soaked in good water longer than garbanzo beans (chick peas). Make sure you put two and a half to three times more water than beans in the container. The beans absorb the water and swell considerably. Let them soak overnight so they'll be ready the next day. But lentils soak and cook quickly and are great with brown rice. There's your quicker, easier dinner on a budget.
Most brown rice usually needs very little rinsing. Basmati rice requires a thorough rinse to get rid of the oil coatings. Rinse until the milky quality from the oil coatings vanishes. There are several methods for cooking rice on the internet. But here's an easy fool proof cooking method, originally designed for brown rice that apparently works for white rice too.
Place one cup of rice with one and one/half cups of water in a pan. Bring to a boil, cover snugly, and put the heat on simmer for around 20 minutes. After that time, turn off the heat but keep the pan there for another 20 minutes with the lid on. Then it's ready to serve. Lentils can be timed along with this 40 minute rice cooking period, but other beans, especially resveratrol rich black beans, need more time and should be started earlier.
Yes, black beans contain the same resveratrol found in grapes, though not as much, which supports heart health and is a super anti-oxidant.
Time to Eat
The combinations of olive oil and lime or lemon, or perhaps a fermented soy sauce or a liquid amino sauce, along with chopped onions or tomatoes or some finely chopped nuts or ground flax seeds over the beans and rice adds nutrition, flavor, and variety. Black beans and white rice with lots of olive oil, some chopped onions, and a generous squeeze of lime or lemon is a favorite Cuban dish. Brown rice with lentils or garbanzos is great too. Peas and chopped nuts can be used with either rice as well.
Trial and error with other combinations will be inexpensive, fulfilling, and healthy. You'll be spending less for food now while keeping bulk items on hand for the future. It may be wise to start experimenting with various combinations so you'll be used to mixing and matching these basic foods for your benefit before things get worse.
Sources for this article include:
About the authorPaul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com
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