Friday, January 7, 2011

Beans, Beans and more Beans

I thought I would post about beans.  I have decided to use dry beans whenever I can.  I admit I still have a few cans of beans in my pantry, just in case.  But I really DO NOT want to use them because they are in a can.  See my blog post on BPA if you wonder what my deal is with a nutshell anything in cans is BAD!!!!!!  I wish this was not true....but alas it is what it is....BAD!!

(I have found a brand called Eden Organic, their cans are bpa free!  Yay!)
So, back to beans.  We are having friends over tonight, I am making a tortilla soup and need beans in my soup.  I am using black beans, kidney and pinto.  We are eating around 6:15pm so I am starting the process now at 11:00am.  So, here is what ya do.....

-Buy ORGANIC dry beans
-Store them in an airtight glass jar away from heat.  Try to use within 6 months.
-If you need 1-1.5 cups (8-12 oz) of beans in your recipe, use 1/2 cup (4 oz using liquid measuring cup) of dried beans.  They swell...ALOT!  LOL
-Sort:  Sort and rinse your beans.  Remove any bean that appears shriveled.  Rinse well in cold water.
-Soak:  Soak beans over night covered in water and apple cider vinegar (1 tbsp organic apple cide vinegar to 1 cup of water, so that water covers beans).  Cover bowl with lid and place on countertop over night.
-Cooking:  Put your beans in a cooking pan (no t-fal if possible, stainless steel is the way to go.  My mom found me a very nice set at Goodwill), cover the beans with 1 inch of clean cool water.  Bring to a boil.  (Use 3-4 cups of water for each cup of dry beans).  DO NOT ADD SALT or any acidic flavoring yet.  Only do your major seasoning 30-45 minutes before beans are due to be done.  Spicing too early can cause the flavors to break down.  You can cook from the start with the basic spices:  chopped onion, garlic cloves, bay leaves, cumin, epazote or kombu.
-Cooking Times:
Black eyed peas 1-1.25 hours at boiling.
Chickpeas 3 hours at boiling.
Great Northern 2 hours at boiling.
Green Lentils 45 minutes at boiling. (do not presoak)
Lima (baby) 1.5 hours at boiling.
Navy 2.5 hours at boiling.
Pinto 2.5 hours at boiling.
Red Kidney 1.5 hours at boiling.
Soy 3 hours at boiling.     

There are a few more beans I did not list here.  Email me if I did not list the bean you are looking for.

Happy cooking and ENJOY cooking healthy for you and your family!!!!