Tuesday Tip: Drain and rinse canned veggies and beans

Please Rinse me off

Please Rinse me off

I’m probably one of the few people who actually like Rachael Ray.  I say this because it seems like most people give her a lot of crap for just being her and that’s kind of sucky.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are a few things she does that are sort of annoying.  And okay, yes my husband and I created a drinking game for 30 minute meals, but that really isn’t important at this stage.  To give you an example of something she does that sort of makes me cringe, is when she uses canned beans.  She drains the beans into her garbage bowl (which also baffles me, but whatever) and then into the dish the beans go.

This makes me turn into teh cra-ZY!  Here’s the deal, canned beans and canned veggies tend to have a good bit of sodium attached to them for preservation purposes.  And beans tend to have what seems like sludge in the bottom of the cans (black and chick peas are the worst offenders) and quite frankly, I don’t want to eat sludge.  Also, that’s where the sodium lives!  And a good idea is to reduce that as much as possible.

In order to do that, you’ve gotta rinse the stuff off.  I dump the beans or veggies, in a strainer that sits in the sink.  Then I give them a good rinse for about a minute or so.  Shaking and jostling everything around so that I can get all the pieces rinsed.  Only then can I feel good about using and eating them.  Ms. Ray sometimes will tell you that the stuff in the can of beans can help thicken up your dish.  And a part of me dies inside when I see her do this.

Please do not use the bean sludge to help thicken up anything!  Rinse them off and help get rid of some of that sodium.  We just don’t need it!  Canned veggies don’t typically have sludge like beans, but they still get a good rinse from me.

Next time you use canned beans or veggies, make sure to give them a good shower first.  And if you see DoubleR not doing that, it’s two drinks down the hatch.

15 thoughts on “Tuesday Tip: Drain and rinse canned veggies and beans

  1. emily says:

    that grosses me out too! How could anyone eat that sludge, does she not see what it looks like, and not to mention the smell – ugh. I have to rinse off all my canned products thoroughly before i use them..

  2. bluepen61 says:

    Sodium added for preserving canned beans? Not! Canned beans are pressured cooked in the can, the salt is added for taste. I suspect that much of the fiber and nutrition is in the liquids that you drain off. You could reserve it for a soup or casserole dish. Most canners add too much salt.

    If salt was added for preservation, then you would have pickles, salt pork, etc.

    I suspect the recipe requires beans only, and the cloudy liquid that accompanies the beans is not desirable. An appearance issue.

    I rarely drain my canned vegetables, but then I rarely add salt to my food, even if the recipe calls for it.

    The best thing to do is to start from scratch and use dried beans, avoiding the canned version. Then you have control over sodium.

  3. Holly P says:

    Actually when the bean are cooked many nutrients are leached out into the liquid. I still agree with rinsing – it will reduce sodium and allow you to control the liquid texture and content in your dishes. I appreciate canners – makes my life easier.

  4. Cinny says:

    I’ve been trying to research whether there is or isn’t nutritional value to the water from soaking beans or canned beans and am still searching. As for the water & salt in the canned bean water, if you are adding canned beans to a soup recipe just reduce the remaining required water and salt… seems like a no brainer. As far as the sludge at the bottom, that is simply cooked beans… you don’t think there is bean sludge in the bean dishes you cooked? Come on! Of course there is. Ever heard the story of the woman who always cut the end of the bone off her leg of lamb (or whatever it was). When asked why she did it she said because my mother always did. Finally she asked her mother why she did it and she said… because otherwise it didn’t fit into the pan I used to cook it in. My point… question why you’ve adopted certain ideas.

  5. keri says:

    I agree! Think about why you do what you do. That’s why i’m looking into this. I don’t want to just throw out the bean water I just pressure-cooked my dry beans in. It seems like a waste. Wouldn’t it be good for a soup base?

  6. Jason says:

    Why use canned beans in the first place?

    If you’re going to the trouble of washing them, why not use beans that haven’t been chemically processed? Then there’s no “sludge” at all!

  7. pete says:

    Rachael is Rachael, you are you, don’t compare only to bash. Give different ideas like using dried beans or instead of using the whole can as a thickener, rinse the beans and add your own thickener such as ???.

    Yours truly, a friendly writer…

    and NEVER used canned veggies except corn period.

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