I am happy to announce that Whitney Johnson of EatSleepCuddle will be gracing us with her presence for a bit. As soon as I found Whitney’s blog, I fell in love with her gorgeous photography and simple approach to eating – so it only made sense to reach out to her about teaming up for a food column! One of the things that I struggle with is eating healthy and on a small budget. We decided to dive into that struggle and share what we learn along the way. We hope to inspire you to eat more wholesome foods while keeping the piggy bank under wraps. We can’t wait to hear your feedback.

Hi everyone! I am sooo excited to be a new contributor here on Emmadime! Today I wanted to share with you a little how-to on cooking & preparing dried beans. Bit by bit I have been trying to learn more ways to include more natural “whole” foods in my diet, and using dried beans instead of canned beans definitely fits the bill! They are SO easy to make, and just take a tiny bit of planning and thinking ahead. Totally worth it, considering it is such a simple, easy way to make positive changes on your health.

The BENEFITS of using dried beans –
( instead of their canned alternative… )
01. Less preservatives
02. Less added salt/sodium
03. Less processed
04. Less expensive!
05. Less waste on the environment (sans the can)

**I also think they taste better, have a better texture, and you have more control over the flavor you want in your beans. Here’s how you do it…

01. Rinse 1 cup of dried black beans in cool water, discarding any debris or broken beans
02. Soak in 3 cups of cool water for 6-8 hours
03. Drain water
04. Put soaked beans in a pot with 3 cups of water, and any seasonings you want to add. I added granulated onion, cumin, cayenne pepper, and a tiny tiny bit of granulated garlic. ( don’t add the salt yet, this could slow down the cooking process )
05. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 45-60 minutes. ( check periodically to stir and make sure the water has not all been absorbed yet )
06. Add fresh cilantro and season with chilli powder, salt, and pepper before serving

Now that you have your yummy Mexican-style beans, gather your favorite taco fillings and eat up…!

+ Prepared black beans
+ Roasted corn on the cob ( seasoned with cilantro, cayenne, paprika, lime )
+ Fresh salsa ( I made mine, but this is an easy one to pick up at the store )
+ Fresh cilantro
+ Cotija cheese ( cheddar or feta also work )
+ Avocado
+ Lime wedge
+ Corn tortillas ( lightly grilled/toasted in a saucepan with a bit of olive oil )

Chow Down.
Hope You Enjoy!