Nothing balances the first chill of fall like a kettle of hearty, homemade chili. Excited by the change of seasons, I rummaged through the pantry where I discovered a neglected bag of dried black beans. I then poured those little beauties into a large bowl of water to soak overnight. The next day, the beans were ready for our first batch of cool weather chili. Canned black beans would have served the purpose, but it just didn’t seem right. This batch of chili needed dried beans… as well as red and yellow bell peppers, green chiles, tomatoes, yellow squash, and ground beef. With so many other wonderful ingredients, the ground beef wasn’t necessary. In fact, it would have been just as good prepared as a vegetarian chili.
Did you know…
When cold soaked and cooked at a very gentle simmer, beans retain most of their nutrients, as opposed to the quick soaking method which requires boiling the beans for several minutes before soaking. Hot water softens the cell membranes of the beans and accelerates the loss of nutrients. Unless you’re in a hurry, cold soaking is the way to go.
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