Versatile and colorful Colorado beans

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    By Wendy White
    Special to The PREVIEW
    Colorado produces a wide range of bean varieties, including pinto, light red kidney and black, and the state ranks eighth nationally in dry bean production. Beans are low in fat, high in fiber, rich in antioxidants and a good source of protein.
    Look for Colorado beans at your local grocery store or at restaurants across the state.
    Each month, the Colorado Department of Agriculture features a different commodity to highlight the variety and quality of products grown in the state.
    Campfire beans
    Recipe courtesy Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C.
    3/4 pound thick applewood bacon, cut into 3/4-inch strips
    1 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
    1 teaspoon fresh garlic, crushed
    2 pounds andouille sausage, cooked and cut into 1/2-inch slices
    5 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
    3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
    2 tablespoons cumin
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    3 tablespoons apple cider
    1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    2 cups tomato sauce
    1 cup beef stock
    Heat a large Dutch oven (8 quart or larger) over high heat for 7-10 minutes. Add the bacon and onions and sauté until bacon is browned and onions are caramelized about 50 percent. Cook for 5-7 minutes then add the remaining ingredients to the Dutch oven and mix well. Tilt the cover (approximately 25 percent open) and adjust heat to simmer. Simmer for one hour, slowly remove cover and stir to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Tilt the cover and let cook for another hour or more depending on preference. Remove from heat when finished and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve with a steak, grilled chicken or pulled pork.
    Visit www.coloradoproud.org for a complete list of recipes.
    Upcoming events
    April 8: Potato Workshop, 10 a.m. at the Extension office. Learn about how to grow potatoes in the high country. Call 264-5931 to sign up.
    April 13: Mountain High Gardeners Garden Expo, 10 a.m.-noon at the Extension office.
    April 30: Pesticide Education Workshop, 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Extension office. This is a free workshop.
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    CPR and first aid certification classes are offered monthly by the CSU Extension office on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m. Anyone needing to receive or renew certification can register by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.
    We will also attempt to schedule classes on additional dates with five or more registrations. Cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. The type of first aid information provided will vary by the needs of the audience.