Dry bean production occurs predominantly in Zone 1 in the irrigated fields of Southern Alberta surrounding Bow Island, Taber and Vauxhall.
Which dry beans are grown in Alberta?
Preparing Dry Beans
- Remove any shrivelled or broken beans.
- Rinse the beans under cold running water.
- Soak your beans. To soak overnight, add 3 cups (750 mL) of cool water for every 1 cup (250 mL) of dry beans, making sure beans are covered completely, and soak for 8–24 hours. For a quick soak, place 1 cup (250 mL) of beans in a large pot with 3 cups (750 mL) of water, bring to a boil for 3 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.
- Drain soaking water and rinse beans in cool water.
- Combine soaked beans and fresh water, bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 60 to 90 minutes or until beans reach desired tenderness.
- When ready, drain any excess liquid and gently rinse.
- For every 1 cup (250 mL) of beans, use 3 cups (750 mL) of water.
- Bean cooking time varies by type. When a bean is fully cooked, the skin is still intact but the bean can easily be smashed between two fingers.
- For the slow cooker: pre-soak beans, then boil for 10–12 minutes in fresh water before adding to your slow cooker.
- During hot weather, soak beans in the refrigerator to prevent fermentation.
Blending with Beans
- Adding cooked beans to your favourite meals is a great way to introduce pulses to your diet and add additional protein and fibre.
- It can be as easy as adding 1/2 cup (125 mL) black beans or pinto beans to 1 cup (250 mL) of your favourite salsa.
- Power up smoothies by adding 1/4 cup (60 mL) white beans and then blend!
- You can extend your recipes by adding beans to soups, stews and chilis.