I had a party scheduled for late morning with a Fiesta theme - we made quesadillas using THRIVE FD Cheddar and FD Mozzarella and Chicken Tortilla soup (recipe coming) with THRIVE brownies for dessert. Having had an extremely overbooked week, I thought I was prepared to make the soup in the morning but as I started cooking, I realized I had failed on several counts, one being the black beans. I knew that I wanted to use the THRIVE Instant Black Beans in my soup but completely failed to prep them. As I was adding all my soup ingredients into the pot, I realized that not only hadn't I prepped the beans, I hadn't even gotten out them out of our storage.
I ran back to our food storage (opposite end of the house from my kitchen), dug through my cans (because I don't have a Harvest 72" #10 food rotation system, yet - and that would have saved me a lot of time instead of shuffling all the cans around!), and pulled out the THRIVE Instant Black Beans. As I ran back to the kitchen, I read the instructions...Yikes! I don't have time to prep the beans before adding to my soup! So I cheated. I just threw them into the soup knowing they would be in the soup for at least an hour or two before I was serving it. I followed the rest of my soup directions which had the soup come to a boil and then simmer.
About 20 minutes later, just before I poured the soup from the pot into a crockpot (to keep it warm for serving at the party), I tasted it. Yum! The flavors were great and the beans were cooked! I went from panic mode into celebration! I could share the story of how having the THRIVE Instant Black Beans saved my soup. I was in such a panic mode about not having prepped the beans I had even looked in my storage to see if I had one last can of black beans to cheat with. (I'm demo-ing THRIVE and was thinking about using a non-THRIVE ingredient that I had.)
I also have to brag about my Crank Can Opener that I bought from Shelf Reliance. For years and years, I've stored food in #10 cans and opening them is a PAIN (caps intended). I normally have to flip the can over and open it from the bottom and it's still not easy. I bought the Crank Can Opener about a month ago and have falled in love! It opens my #10 cans quick and easy. No more opening from the bottom. No more tired wrists after I finally get all the way around the can. So when I ran back to get that #10 can of THRIVE Instant Black Beans., they weren't open yet. So I grabbed the can opener out of my party box and in 10 seconds or less had access to my beans. If you had told me the can opener was $20, I'd consider it worth it, maybe even for more. But it's $11.49! Add it to your next Shelf Reliance order (not available to add to a Q order).
So let's talk THRIVE Instant Black Beans.
First - what's in them? The ingredients are simple: Black Beans.
How to prepare: - Bring 6 cups water to a boil and add 2 cups beans, then simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain if desired, season and serve. Compare that to dry black beans and you'll see why I buy the instant. And remember my soup from above - I did 0 prep.
Why buy Instant Black Beans instead of canned black beans? Two members of our family think that they can NOT eat beans. But 2 of us LOVE black beans. So what normally happens when I make a recipe calling for beans, I cut the amount in half and then those who don't like beans pick out the beans and add them to the plates/bowls of those who do. I also have some recipes that call for 1/2 can of beans - really 1/2 can?! I don't make beans constantly so I end up throwing away what the recipe doesn't call for. The instant black beans lets me add just the amount I need, with very little prep work ahead of time. I don't have to think the day before "time to start soaking beans".
The current Home Party/Q Club price (as of Oct 2012) for a #10 can of Instant Black Beans is $14.29. That #10 can has 35 servings of 1/4 cup each. The Opened Shelf Life is 1 year and the Unopened shelf life is 30 years (with optimal storage conditions).
Now for those of you who think it's no big deal to soak your beans ahead of time, a #10 can of THRIVE Black Beans is $13.49 (as of Oct 2012) with 65 servings with a 5 year opened shelf life and a 30 year Unopened shelf life.