7 Awesome Uses for Dried Beans at Home
Not sure what to do with that bag of black beans in the pantry? Here are a handful of unexpected uses for dried beans.
1. Pie weights
If you have ever blind-baked a pie crust, you know that you usually need ceramic pie weights. A cheaper option is to use beans instead. Just line the dough with foil or parchment paper first and then add the beans. This works out wonderfully! Plus, you can always use the beans for blind baking.
2. Use for game pieces
We know you were looking forward to being the race car in the next Monopoly game, but if the car took a trip into the unknown, would you settle for a bean? Beans make great substitute tokens for everything from checkers to snakes to ladders to bingo.
3. Treat sore muscles
Is your back or tennis elbow sore again? A hot bean bag might be just the remedy. Place a few handfuls of dried beans in a cloth bag, old sock, or folded dish towel (tie the ends tightly) and heat on high in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Let it cool for a minute or two and apply to your sore muscles.
4. Practice your percussion
Make yourself or your kids a homemade percussion shaker or maraca. Fill 1/2 cup (125 g) of dried beans into a small plastic container or soft drink or juice can - even an empty coconut shell. Cover all openings with electrical tape or duct tape. You can use this noisemaker at sporting events or for dog training by shaking it a few times when the dog misbehaves.
5. Make a beanbag
Fill 3/4 to 11/2 cups (175-375 g) of dried beans into an old sock and shake it to the toe. Tie a loose knot and pull it tight while pressing it against the beans. Then cut off the remaining material about 2.5 inches above the knot. Now you have a beanbag to throw around or juggle. You can also use it as a squeeze bag to exercise your hand muscles.
6. Recycle a stuffed animal
Craft yourself a beanie by removing the stuffing from one of your child's old, unused stuffed animals. Replace the fluff with dried beans and sew the hat shut. This will rekindle interest in the old toy.
7. Holder for makeup brushes
Beans make a great addition to your makeup brush holder. Fill a clear glass vase or cup with beans and stick the makeup brushes inside. The beans not only look beautiful but also stabilize the brushes.