You should seriously consider adding canned beans to your diet if you are in search of an inexpensive way to add protein to your diet.
However, that being said, the main question is “Are canned beans healthy?” and the detailed answer to the above question will be given in this guide.
As you are aware, beans are an affordable yet well-rounded ingredient with a wide variety of uses, including soups, sides, salads, baking, and main courses.
You can even use them as a pasta substitute. Beans provide you with a great source of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients, whether you prefer a nutritious soup or just a light salad.
Are Canned Beans Healthy?
The short and straight answer to the above question is yes; canned beans are healthy.
They are also just as hearty as their fresh counterparts.
As a matter of fact, most times, they are considered healthier thanks to the fact that they have been preserved longer.
Additionally, canned beans are likely to cost less compared to fresh ones.
After harvest, freshly picked vegetables lose most of their nutrients within days.
On the flip side, a lot of the compounds that you find in canned beans reduce over time, which means that these foods retain more of their nutrients than fresh produce.
How Are Canned Beans Made?
Well, beans are partially cooked, then canned under high heat and pressure.
In the case of industrial bean canning, the dried beans are first rehydrated with hot water at 167 to 185 degrees F (75 to 85 degrees Celsius).
At the same time, this process kills any microorganisms on the surface of the beans.
After that, they are treated with any food additives, including salt, and then canned under high pressure and heat.
Canning actually reduces the polyphenol content of the beans.
And, if you are wondering, polyphenols are advantageous plant compounds that you will find naturally in beans and can have protective effects on your body.
The weight and color of some beans are also changed by canning, and it might also slightly reduce their protein content.
What Is the Healthiest Canned Bean?
It is actually hard to consider just one to be the healthiest canned bean given that all beans are high in protein, fiber, and several nutrients.
There are several excellent choices available.
However, of all the popular beans, canned lentils have the fewest calories.
They are filled with fiber and are ideal for people who are watching their weight. Plus, they have the most folate.
In comparison with the average bean, soybeans have all nine essential amino acids and around twice as much protein.
And, that being said, it then makes them more calorie-dense compared to the normal legume.
Now, coming to the more traditional bean varieties, kidney, black, pinto, navy, and garbanzo beans are all fat-free.
They also make excellent choices for people who are looking for a hearty, protein-rich addition to their meals.
Healthy Ways to Use Canned Beans
Canned beans are a nutritious pantry staple. Beans actually boast fiber, folate, protein, and lots of minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium.
Just rinse and drain the beans before using if you are worried about sodium, as this will help cut back on the salt by as much as 40%.
From hummus and dips to sandwich spreads, try with white beans, black beans, and chickpeas, then get creative with your spices.
All you need to do is place the ingredients in a food processor and blend until they become smooth.
For this classic bean dish, you can do whatever you want.
However, keep in mind that the ingredient list might appear to be lengthy.
But all you need to do is throw everything in the pot. You can even make this easy recipe on a busy weeknight.
You can create a healthy side dish with a combination of fresh and canned beans in addition to a simple vinaigrette, and it tastes better the longer it marinates.
You have a vegetarian dish here with high amounts of filling fiber and protein. Even meat lovers will keel over for these burgers.
Canned beans do double duty in soup. Add texture, leave some whole, and paste the rest to thicken the mixture.
Are Canned Beans Already Cooked?
Canned beans must be cooked before shipping, as this is part of the processing needed to safely can beans for a long shelf life.
They are normally blanched before being added to the cans, and then they are sterilized.
But to do that, the cans are cooked at high temperatures in a pressure cooker. This process cooks the beans simultaneously.
Most people actually prefer canned beans because it takes quite a commitment to soak and cook dried beans at home.
Before you add canned beans to your meal, they don’t need to be soaked or cooked.
However, you need to heat them thoroughly.
You can make an incredible, healthy family meal in less than thirty minutes with this simple addition.
On average, compared to dry beans, canned beans cost two to three times more for each serving.
It will definitely save you money to buy uncooked bagged beans if you have the time to cook your own.
You can always get creative with it. You can make canned beans taste great with just a little extra prep.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Canned Beans?
- In the case of canned beans, you don’t need to soak them overnight.
- You can actually purchase large bags of canned beans and use them right away without having to store them in the pantry.
- They are very useful when you have limited space.
- They are inexpensive and do not need to be refrigerated.
How Should Canned Beans Be Stored?
Keep canned beans in the refrigerator until they are needed immediately after they are opened.
Make sure that you don’t leave them out for too long, or they will start to spoil.
Also, ensure that they are not exposed to direct sunlight so that they won’t get warm.
You can also freeze them if you are interested in extending their shelf life.
Be sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a tightly sealed container.
After that, you can place them in the freezer, and they will last for up to three months.
Final Thoughts on Healthy Canned Beans
Canned beans are a well-rounded processed food, and they provide you with a nutritional profile similar to that of dried beans.
They are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients like potassium and folate.
In general, canned beans are safe to eat regardless of the possibility of contamination.
There’s also great evidence that they are a convenient and hearty alternative to dried beans.
With all that being said, this will be the wrap-up of this guide, as you now have the detailed answer to the question, “Are canned beans healthy?”