Beans are a huge staple in my diet. I eat them at least once a day. And there are so many advantages to buying and cooking dried beans rather than buying canned. First off, a lot of canned foods are stored in cans that are coated in bisphenol A, also known as BPA. It helps preserve the foods, but it also mimics human hormones and has been classified as an endocrine disruptor. BPA has been associated with a variety of health problems, including cancers, early puberty, and developmental problems.
Also, it's so much cheaper to buy dried beans than it is to buy canned. The kidney beans I buy at my local co-op are less than $2.00 a pound. Can you imagine how many beans are in a pound? Most beans that I buy are around that same price too. I always have dried kidney, garbanzo, black, and cannellini beans on hand. I think I even have some mung beans that I got on sale too. I've included a nifty chart for you guys that has the cooking times for each different type of bean on it.
Don't forget to soak them overnight before you cook them! It reduces cooking time and helps in digestion! I always cook mine in my electric pressure cooker, but you can always just cook yours on the stovetop! A pressure cooker just cuts down on the cooking time. The usually ratio for cooking beans is 3-4 cups of water for every 1 cup of beans.