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Sarah Britton is a Toronto-born, Copenhagen-based holistic nutritionist. Her blog, My New Roots, has earned her the title of Quinoa Queen, but as we learned when talking to her for our new year’s health series, Britton’s knowledge goes way beyond ancient grains. And no, we’re not going to talk about kale, either.

Canned Beans Are OK, But They Can Do Better

Photo credit: Getty Images

If you’re not already soaking and cooking your own beans, this should be a 2014 resolution. Yes, opening a can, pouring out its contents, and rinsing them in cold water is monkey-could-do-it easy, but so is soaking beans overnight (you know, that thing you can do while you simultaneously sleep) and then simmering them in a pot of warm, salty water for a while. Here is why you should go the extra less-than-a-mile:

Cost: Dried beans are way cheaper, even when you compare apples (your run-of-the-mill canned beans) to oranges (heirloom dried beans).

Health: You control what goes into your own cooked beans. Have you ever looked at the sodium levels on canned beans? Woof. Ever read the ingredients on a bag of dried beans? They are: Beans.

Flavor: “The flavor and texture of home-cooked beans is light years beyond anything that has been sitting in a tin” for Lord knows how long, says nutritionist Sarah Britton. Also, you can get a variety of textures from dried beans, whereas with canned beans, what you get (mushy) is what you get (ew). 

Variety: ”It’s pretty difficult to find a can of Christmas lima beans at the grocery store, isn’t it? How about flageolets? Anasazi? Lupini? The beauty of buying dried beans is the enormous selection you’ll find,” says Britton.

Convinced? Good. Now try your hand at Britton’s Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup, made with beans cooked by you

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