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    Nutritious Beans

    Beans are among the healthiest food you can eat. They are low in fat, calories, and sodium, but high in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. They are also an excellent source of protein. When combined with grains such as barley or oats, they provide all the amino acids necessary to make a complete protein.

    How to Prepare Dried Beans

    Generally speaking, the larger the bean, the longer they need to soak: and the longer you soak beans, the faster they cook. Dried chickpeas, beans and whole dried peas need about eight hours of soaking. One cup of dried beans makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups cooked.

    1. Select beans that are smooth and unblemished. Sort beans on a cookie sheet or light kitchen towel to discard any cracked, wrinkled or discolored beans and pebbles or soil.
    2. Soak beans overnight or in the morning for at least 8 hours before cooking. Use a lot amounts of fresh water (4 to 5 cups per cup of beans) and drain away soaking water before replacing with fresh water for cooking. In warm weather, you may wish to soak in the refrigerator to avoid fermentation.
    3. If unable to soak 8 or more hours, use quick soak method. Boil beans in water (4 to 5 cups per 1 cup beans) for 3 minutes using a large, heavy pot with lid. Turn off heat and set aside for 2 to 4 hours. Drain and discard soaking water, rinse beans and replace with fresh water or broth/stock (3 to 4 cups per cup beans). This method removes much of the hard to digest sugars in the beans that are responsible for flatulence.
    4. Cook beans in a covered, heavy bottom pot. Bring to a boil over a high heat, then reduce the heat to simmer. Place lid slightly off to allow venting and minimize boiling over. Skim and discard foam as it forms. Add salt and other seasonings mid-point or towards the end of cooking.
    5. Spices to try: bay, garlic, cumin, salt or celery or onion salt, miso, tamari, soy sauce, chili powder, coriander, pepper, garam masala, Ms. Dash or Vegit low-sodium blends.
    6. Vegetable add ins: chopped onion, celery, carrots, greens: kale, collard greens, spinach, etc., chopped tomato, water chestnuts, green or red bell pepper, parsley or cilantro, etc.
    7. Finish with a tablespoon of apple cider, balsamic or red wine vinegar or lemon juice before serving.

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    Cooking Times for Beans

    Bean

    Boiling Time

    Pressure Cooker-high

    Notes

    Adzuki

    1.5 hours

    25 minutes

    Looks like a dark pinto with white designs.

    Baby lima

    1 hour

    Not recommended

    More tender than standard.

    Black turtle

    1.5 hours

    25 minutes

    Latin American cooking.

    Black-eyed peas

    1 1/4 hours

    25 minutes

    Use for New Year’s Hoppin’ John.

    Cannellini

    1 1/2 hours

    25 minutes

    Creamy and soft. Use for Italian dishes.

    Chana Dahl

    2 1/2 hours

    30 minutes

    Top salads or use in hummus.

    Lentils

    20 to 45 minutes

    Not recommended

    No presoak.

    Navy

    2 hours

    25 minutes

    Hearty winter soup bean.

    Pinto

    2 hours

    25 minutes

    Add latino flavorings, use whole or mashed.

    Kidney

    1 1/2 hours

    25 minutes

    Chili staple.

    Split peas

    1 to 1 1/4 hours

    25 minutes

    Curried dishes, or dahl.


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