My star ingredient: Beans

Borlotti beans

Beans, lots of beans, lots of beans. They appear in my meals several times a week, how about yours?

These are just some of the reasons why I love beans and I use them so often: they’re cheap, they’re filling, they’re good for you, they make for a quick meal, they help to make expensive ingredients stretch, there’s a huge variety to choose from and they’re extremely versatile.

I mostly use tinned beans for speed and ease but, when preparing the dried ones, I always batch cook them. Either I store them in the fridge for when I need them over the following few days or I store them, in water, in the freezer. Incidentally, if you open a tin and can’t eat them all soon enough then they too can go in a box, in fresh water, into the freezer for another time.

My top tip for cooking dried beans is to soak them overnight then cook them in the slow cooker. Boil them first for 5 to 10 minutes and then simmer gently until tender. They are so much more creamy in the middle when cooked this way.

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