Friday, November 6, 2009

Cooking Beans

Soaking and cooking beans before mixing with other recipe ingredients helps to get the right tenderness and can minimize final cooking time.

Preparations: Rinse all beans and legumes in cold water. Remove all dirt, rocks and bad beans.

Overnight Soaking: For each pound of beans, dissolve 2 tsp salt in 6 cups of water. Wash beans, add to salted water and soak overnight.

Quick Soaking: For each 1 pound of beans, bring 8 cups of water to boiling. Wash beans, add to boiling water, boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover and soak 1 hour.

To Cook Soaked Beans: For each 1 pound dried beans, dissolve 2 tsp salt in 6 cups hot water, bringing to a boil. Add soaked beans, boil gently, uncovered. Add water if needed to keep beans covered. Cook until tender. Yields 6 to 7 cups.

To Cook Old Hard Beans: Wash and sort to remove any discolored beans or foreign material. For each cup of dry beans, add 2 ½ cups of hot tap water and 2 tsp of baking soda and soak overnight. Drain and rinse two times, then add water to cover and cook until tender and soft (about 2 hours), adding more water as needed.

Helpful Tips:
• Adding 1/8 tsp of baking soda and 1 TBSP of oil to each cup of beans while soaking will cut down on foam as beans cook and shortens the cooking time
• Add meat, onions, celery and herbs during the cooking to add more flavor. Add tomatoes, catsup, vinegar and other acid foods after the beans are tender. The acid prevents softening of the beans.

Storing Cooked Beans
• Freeze cooked beans in zip lock bags. They will keep for 3 to 6 months.
• Store cooked beans 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Beans spoil easily so don’t keep them too long

Cooking Times

Black Beans - 1 to 1 ½ hours
Kidney Beans - 1 to 1 ½ hours
White Beans -1 to 1 ½ hours
Black Eyed Peas - 1 to 1 ½ hours
Great Northern Beans - 1 to 1 ½ hours
Lima Beans - 1 to 1 ½ hours
Pink, Pinto & Red - 1 to 2 hours
Garbanzo Beans - 2 to 2 ½ hours
Soybeans - 3 to 3 ½ hours

Split Peas, Green & Yellow - 35 to 45 minutes (no soaking required)
Lentils - 30 to 40 minutes (no soaking required)

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