Helpful Information

Our products are produced with Certified Organic ingredients. These certified ingredients are not processed or altered in any way. They are simply weighed and measured in our clean environment, into our FDA approved clear bags in the appropriate quantities to create our products.

Certified Organic means grown, harvested, and processed without the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, GMOs, synthetic chemicals, growth agents, and free from irradiation and chemical sterilization. The certification agency is USDA accredited and certificates are issued. The vendors that we purchase our ingredients from are all either certified organic themselves or they monitor the certifications of their suppliers.

According to the USDA, organic beans may contain foreign material. This could include small bean-sized stones, dirt, or foreign seeds. We recommend that you (sort) visually inspect, rinse, and remove any foreign material or discolored beans before soaking.

Beans are an excellent source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber, and have been proven to have many health benefits. Some people avoid beans because of the longer cooking time and because they can sometimes be harder to digest if not properly cooked. By following the methods on our label you will create a delicious and healthy soup without these digestive effects.

Relax and appreciate the wonderful smells of a pot of soup on the stove. Using the traditional cooking method described on our labels, you will be simmering your soup for approximately 1 ½ - 2 ½ hours. During the cooking time, stir and monitor your soup for consistency. You may need to add additional water. Don’t worry if you are briefly interrupted. Simply turn off the burner, attend to the need as long as it’s only an hour or two, and then turn the burner back on when you return and finish cooking. Here are the 5 simple steps to a hearty pot of soup:

 Step 1: Sort and rinse your beans in cold water. Some people have asked if sort means that they need to sort the beans out from the rest of the ingredients in the package. Of course we smiled and said, “we are providing good food, not an exercise in mental stability.” Depending on the soup mix, there are several clear packages nested inside the other, separating the ingredients into the proper order.

Step 2: Soaking the beans. The quick soak method removes 80% of the hard to digest complex sugars. You can soak the beans overnight, but it does not remove the complex sugars as well as the quick soak method. In the quick soak, the beans are put into a heavy pan and covered with 2 quarts (8 cups) of water. Then the beans are brought to a boil, the heat is then turned off,pan covered, and they are left to set for 2 hours or longer. Longer means up to 4 hours. If you find a delay in cooking occurs, rinse the soaking water from the beans and put them in the refrigerator until you can return to them.

Step 3: After soaking the beans for 2 hours or longer, drain the soaking water off the beans and rinse the beans. You will be pleasantly surprised that your beans have increased in volume by 3-4 times. Add the amount of fresh water indicated on the soup instructions card and begin the cooking process. Don’t add salt, miso, tamari or soy sauce, sugar, tomatoes, wine or lemon at this time. These items will toughen uncooked beans and significantly increase the cooking time.

Step 4: In the final stages of cooking, you will add the other ingredients called for like the tomatoes, or pasta, or veggies and you will add salt to your taste. This is usually 1-2 teaspoons in the whole pot. Try one teaspoon, add another ½ teaspoon if need be, and then continue to add in small increments until the taste is satisfactory to your taste buds.

Step 5: Serve your soup in large, deep bowls and enjoy all the delicious smells, health benefits, and gratification of having made a pot of wholesome soup. If you don’t finish the pot, remember that soup always tastes better the second day. Also, freeze it in individual servings or family sized servings and enjoy it another time or two without the cooking time involved.

Alternative Cooking Methods include a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. Slow cooking for the soup requires most of a day, depending on the heat level on your cooker. Follow all of the instructions, including the sort, soak, and then put your beans and herbs into the slow cooker with the recommended water and olive oil. Meat can be added as well at this stage. Don’t add the other ingredients called for or included until the beans are cooked. These can be added in the last hour or two of cooking.

Pressure cookers are miracle workers when it comes to cooking anything, especially dry beans. They not only save significant amounts of time, but energy as well. I highly recommend this method of preparing the soup if you have limited time. Again, follow all of the instructions, including the sort, soak, and then put your beans and herbs and olive oil into the pressure cooker. Follow your pressure cooker’s instructions for cooking dry beans. The beans included in our soups will typically cook in 6-10 minutes.

The basic times for cooking our 7 soups after the cooker has reached full pressure on the high pressure setting is as follows:.

Life's Good Lentil              6 minutes (add all ingredients except salt before cooking)

Snowy Mountain Chili      8 minutes (add all ingredients except salt and tomatoes before cooking)

Kalispell Calico                  7 minutes (add all ingredients except salt before cooking)

Glacier Park Pink            8 minutes (add all ingredients except salt, tomatoes, and pasta before cooking)

Yellowstone                      7 minutes (add all ingredients except salt before cooking)

Three Bears Black Bean  7 minutes (add all ingredients except carrot, orzo, salt, and tomatoes before cooking)

Missoula Minestrone      8 minutes ( add all ingredients except salt, pasta, veggies, and tomatoes before cooking)

If you choose to add meat, that may effect the amount of time in the pressure cooker. Your cooker’s instruction book and experience will be the best source for these timings. After cooking the appropriate amount of time, turn the burner off and allow the pressure to drop naturally. Don’t add the other ingredients called for or included until the beans are cooked. These can be added after the pressure is released and the soup simmered another 15-20 minutes until they are done.

The dry beans and herbs, as well as the other ingredients that we use in our products are as fresh as we can possibly get. Of course crops only mature once a year. Beans and herbs including our finished product are best stored in a cool, dark area with moderate humidity. Stored as such, we like to say they are best used within a year... or two... or three. Nothing goes bad if they are stored longer under these conditions. The beans may dry out a little more and require more hydration or longer cooking. The herbs may mellow and lose a little of their flavor, but they remain totally safe and edible.  The same goes for our Dressing/Marinade Mixes. These are dry and may be stored for a long time.  The only exception to this is possibly the sesame seeds in the Shiitake-Sesame Mix and this is because Sesame Seeds contain a small amount of oil which could become rancid, but harmless over a long period of time.

Our baking mixes contain either dried yeast or baking powder which can lose their effect over time.  It is best to use these by the expiration date on the bottom of the package.

If you are putting up long term stores, it's always good to consider a variety of food. These mixes are far superior to storing canned goods and many are complete with only the addition of clean water and salt. They should remain viable and delicious for many years when stored in a cool location, in airtight containers, with the oxygen removed. This being said, it’s always better to rotate your stores over a 2-3 year period.

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