Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit. The More You Eat, The More You….

Na- that’s not right 🙂

Beans are my new favorite things.  They are good, cheap and packed full of nutrients.  In our stocked ‘Vegan’ pantry- we keep a few canned beans (for if I forget to soak overnight)- and a TON of dried beans.  The problem was- I had trouble finding how to cook them.  At whole foods- you get them out of a bin.  They don’t come with instructions.  And I have NEVER cooked dried beans before.  Jeez- until recently- we didn’t even know that you’re supposed to drain the canned beans before adding them to the pot.

So- here is a basic explanation of how to cook different kinds of beans.

Storing Dried Beans

Dried beans can be stored in plastic bags or containers in a cool, dry cabinet, drawer or shelf. High humidity and temperatures are BAD for dried beans.

Dried Bean Math (how much dried will make after cooked)

1/3 cup dried beans = 1 cup cooked

1/2 cup dried beans = 1 1/2 cups cooked

2/3 cup dried beans = 2 cups cooked

1 cup dried beans = 3 cups cooked

2 cups dried beans = 6 cups cooked

Soaking Dried Beans

Put beans in a large bowl and fill with cold water… water amount should be three times the amount of beans measured or more.

Soak the beans overnight (or 8 hours)… you’ll see them double in size and most of the water will have been absorbed by morning.

Rinse and drain the beans three or four times till the water runs clear.

Soaking dried beans activates the beans to begin the germination process. Once wet, the beans release enzymes that begin to break down their complex sugars into more simple ones. It is the bean’s complex sugars that give you gas and indigestion after eating beans that haven’t been pre-soaked. The soak method reduces 60% of the complex sugars in most beans.

There is no need to pre-soak dried black-eyed peas, split peas, peas, or any variety of lentils.

Don’t add salt until the beans are tender and cooked completely. Adding salt will prevent the beans from absorbing water. This is because a bean has an opening that is large enough for water molecules to enter it, but salt molecules are larger and will plug the bean opening, preventing the water to enter… thus you have hard beans that never seem to cook right.

Cooking Beans after Soaking (beans are measured at 1 cup):

Black Beans: 50-60 minutes

Black-eyed Peas: 45 minutes (don’t need to soak)

Butter Beans: 60-90 minutes

Cannellini Beans: 1 1/4 hour

Fava Beans: 1 hour

Garbanzo Beans: 1 1/2 hour

Kidney Beans: 1 1/4 hour

Green & Brown Lentils: 25-30 minutes (no pre-soaking)

Red Lentils: 10 minutes (no pre-soaking)

Black Lentils: 20 minutes (no pre-soaking)

Lima Beans: 40-45 minutes

Navy Beans: 50-60 minutes

Split Peas: 50-60 minutes (no pre-soaking)

Whole Peas: 1 1/4 hours (no pre-soaking)

Pinto Beans: 1 hour

Red Beans: 1 hour

Soybeans: 2 1/4 hours

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