Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ice, ice, baby

Pssst... let me let you in on a little secret. As the hot weather sets in this summer, (as if it hasn't already been here!), I avoid standing over a hot stove by storing already cooked and portioned out whole grains and beans in the freezer. That's them on the top row of my freezer door. On the bottom row in glass jars are about 15 kinds of nuts and seeds, always freezer fresh, but that's another story for another day. Back to the grains and beans... We try to include these nutrient dense foods in our diets, and dried beans take time to soak overnight and cook, so for me this is the perfect solution. Sure, in a pinch I'll grab a can of beans, but this is my preferred method, especially since I can find more unusual beans in the dried form—for example, Umbrian lentils, baby borlotti beans, black beluga lentils, French flagiolet beans, butterscotch beans, Japanese adzuki beans... Well, you get my point, right?  For the grains I just make extra when we cook it (on cooler days!) for meals and then freeze some of it. My ever revolving inventory could include barley, quinoa, farro, or brown basmati rice and some sort of those interesting beans or lentils. Then when I need some for a for a quick salad, side dish or soup I'll just remove it from the plastic bag, but it in a glass bowl and zap it in the microwave. So there you hot stove needed on those scorching, humid, 95° days.

Click to learn more about beans and grains.

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