All Canned Beans are Not the Same

I realized after completing my post for the hummus recipe that I had not provided one important piece of information.  I preferentially use organic brands of canned beans.  I use them not because I think organic foods are better (I think that they are not as much better for you as they are touted to be, but still have value) and not because most of them use BPA free linings (I’m not super-concerned about BPAs, but think less chemicals in my food is generally a good thing), but because they are typically significantly lower in sodium:

Here are the nutritional values, recalculated with the values for a conventional brand of beans (see the original values here):

15  Servings
Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Calories 53   Calories from Fat 30
% Daily Value
Total Fat 3.4 g 5%
   Saturated Fat 0.4 g 2%
   Trans Fat 0 g
   Cholesterol 0 g 0%
Sodium 102.3 g 4%
Total Carbohydate 5.1 g 0%
   Dietary Fiber 1.4 g 5%
   Sugar 0 g
Protein 1.8 g 4%

Sodium jumps from 6.6 grams to 1o2.3 gram.  In the grand scheme of things, it initially seems like 4% of your sodium intake for the day isn’t a huge amount.  Keep in mind, the foods that hummus is usually served with: bread, cheese, pita chips and olives.  All of these foods tend to be rather salty.

I like to choose how much salt I add to my food, not leave it up to food manufacturers. Draining and rinsing canned beans can significantly reduce the amount of sodium.  There are also quite a few low sodium options on the market as well, which are a less expensive than the organic brands.

Of course, if you want total control, you could always cook the beans from scratch.