The Reason You Should Be Buying Boxed Beans Instead Of Canned

There are a variety of reasons why you might be buying beans at the store. Maybe you're making your favorite chili recipe, or preparing a hearty soup like pasta e fagioli. Perhaps you're making classic red beans and rice, or a meatless Monday meal like black bean burgers. No matter your reason, you might find yourself at the store trying to choose between buying pre-cooked beans in a can, or dry beans in a box. 

It's a tough choice, and timing is always a consideration if you're in a hurry, or trying to prepare something quick and simple. It can be tempting to grab a can, pop it open, et voilà: Cooked beans! But while it may feel like canned beans are the perfect time-saving way to add more protein and fiber to your plate, dried beans are far superior to canned in every way. Sure, dry beans take a bit longer to prepare, but that little bit of extra effort is well worth it. 

Boxed Beans are Better

With anything you make at home, the more you can control what goes in it, the more you can control the taste, texture, and nutritional value. While canned beans can be a quick fix, many brands contain more sodium than you may want to take in per serving. Not only that, but anything that's been sitting in a metal can is at risk of having a metallic, tinny flavor. 

Another consideration to make is texture. Most canned items are sitting in a canning liquid, and beans are no exception. Cooked beans can actually come out of the can a bit soggy in texture, so, if you're eager for perfectly cooked beans that are not mushy, going with dry beans is your best bet. Dried beans also cost less than canned beans per serving, and once you soak them, they aren't much of a nuisance to cook. Dried beans that have been properly soaked can be gently simmered and left on the stove while you do other things. They are way more of a set-it-and-forget-it food item than rice, pasta, or vegetables. In a hurry? Swap your can opener for a pressure cooker and you can have fresher beans fast. 

Next time you find yourself in the canned foods section of your local grocery store, consider hopping over to the dry goods aisle instead. You'll thank yourself for it later.