Beans and legumes are a great source of fiber, protein and antioxidants. The high fiber and water content in beans are filling, and it doesn’t take much to satisfy your hunger—and they are easy on the wallet!
- Dry beans will keep indefinitely if stored in a tightly closed container or glass jar in a cool, dry place. However, as time passes, their nutritional value and flavor can be depleted and the cooking times lengthen. Depending on the type of bean, the average cooking times vary from one to three hours. For each cup of dry beans, it yields about 2½ cups of cooked beans (lentils, chick peas, lima beans and great northern beans yield about 3 cups cooked).
- Before cooking the beans, sort and rinse them thoroughly to remove any stones, dirt or discolored beans. Cover the beans with three to four times their volume of water. The dried beans should then be boiled for approximately 10 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat and allow to soak over night. This will not only shorten the overall cooking time but it will also release the hard-to-digest complex sugars that can cause flatulence. Discard the soaking water once this step is complete.
- Follow the specific bean cooking requirements. Cover the beans with water or stock (one part beans to two parts liquid) and bring the beans to a boil; lower the heat to medium simmer for approximately one to two hours or until done. Stir beans occasionally and add additional water/stock if necessary. Drain and save the cooking water for soups and sauces. Beans must be thoroughly cooked for digestibility.