Cooking your own dried beans…

As regular readers might have noticed, I’ve taken to cooking my and freezing dried beans myself, rather than buying canned. Yesterday it was the turn of a bag of Judion de la Granja “giant” Spanish butter beans – not cheap at 8 quid a kilo, but they taste great even if the giant aspect of this batch was rather lacking. And they were 6 months past their BBE date which matters little – they just take a tad longer to cook. Since they normally take a long time, this is hardly noticeable.

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Vegetarian Recipe Tip…

Those of you who follow my vegetarian recipes will have noticed that I get through a lot of beans, generally Napolina brand canned beans. In terms of cost these work out around the same as soaking and cooking my own beans on the hob, and vastly cheaper than cooking them in the oven.

And yes, I know I’ve said that before, but I have a bit more info now.

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Veggie Kitchen Tips – Cutting costs and colouring soup…

One of the problems making soup (specifically this one) with canned beans is that there is no bean stock for flavour. While weight for weight, canned beans cost the same as soaking and cooking your own (more or less, depending on brand – I use Napolina exclusively – and special offers), there’s no getting away from the lack of stock. The solution is to soak and cook your own – and cut food costs while doing so by using a slow cooker.

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A slow cooker that might actually get used…

A slow cooker should be a Spoonie’s best friend, especially as many Spoonies are on benefits and need to economise – they’re cheap to run** (and can be cheap to buy if you shop around***). However, they have a major design fault – they’re heavy buggers!

**Current models are nowhere near as economical as the early ones, as the low power, a few years ago, was deemed Continue reading