Beans are one of the most important source of proteins in the balanced diet. The term bean includes different legumes like peas, soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils. Be it the immature form (green beans) or the matured seeds (beans), they are used in a wide range of food recipes and traditional cuisines. In fact, we can say, there are very few vegetables or grains that are as versatile as beans.
The popularity of beans as an ingredient in many food recipes is also contributed by the fact that they can be eaten fresh or stored for future use. For example, green beans can be frozen and preserved for winter months, when there is shortage of vegetable supply. Likewise, you can find beans in the form of dried grains and canned beans. Let's take a look at dried beans vs. canned beans in terms of their mode of preparation, storage, and cooking methods.
An Overview of Dried Vs. Canned Beans
The most noticeable difference between dried and canned beans is that, the former type is available in loose form and in simple plastic packets; whereas the latter is available in jars and containers.
Mode of Preparation
Dried beans are harvested from the matured pods, when the beans inside harden and turn brown. The pods are then opened for removal of dried beans. After sorting the beans, they are stored in plastic bags or containers. Coming to canned beans, as we all know, they are cooked lightly and stored in air-tight containers.
Storing the Beans
For storage of dried beans, you do not need special preparation. They can be retained and stored in superior quality plastic bags or containers with tight lids. If you want to preserve already opened canned beans, you can toss them with a splash of vinegar and store them in the refrigerator.
Shelf Life of Beans
Food experts are the opinion that dried beans, if stored properly, can be kept without losing their nutritional value for about 30 years. While canned beans, kept in a cool and dry condition, stay good for about 5 years. For both dried and canned beans, the shelf life depends entirely on the storage conditions.
Way of Cooking
Both dried and canned beans can be cooked directly after rinsing and washing them. However, soaking dried beans beforehand (for at least 4 hours) reduces the cooking time. In case of canned beans, there is no need to soak the beans prior to cooking.
Speaking about dried beans to canned beans conversion, you can replace dried beans with any other form of beans in food recipes; what actually differs is the cooking time for preparation of the beans. Also, the culinary importance of dried beans or canned beans depend upon the user. Dried bean recipes serve the best option for preparing a filling dish, without going to the grocery store; while canned beans are used for fast cooking.