Why aren’t I eating more beans!
I know beans are nutritious, high in dietary fiber and fat-free but not until doing a little research for this post did I realize all of the health benefits beans provide.
Canned beans aren’t expensive but dried beans cost even less, don’t have the sodium and other additives that canned beans may contain and taste better!
Eating beans is economical and pack a lot of health benefits. This easy, tutorial shows you how to cook dried beans for freezing, eating and recipes.
How to Cook Dried Beans
* Sort * Rinse * Soak * Cook *
Sort and rinse the beans
Begin by sorting through the beans looking for small stones or other foreign objects and discard. Rarely do I fine anything but it is best to check carefully.
Rinse by running cold water over the beans.
Soak the beans
It’s important to soak your beans before cooking them. Soaking reduces the cooking time and it breaks down the compounds in beans making them more digestible.
The outer coatings of many varieties of beans contain sugars called oligosaccharides. When beans aren’t soaked, these sugars can bypass your stomach and small intestine without being fully digested. When these sugars enter your large intestine, bacteria break them down, producing intestinal gas in the process. Soaking dried legumes dissolves the membranes that cover beans and releases their oligosaccharides. After soaking, discard water and rinse beans to remove sugars (source)
Here are two different ways to soak beans.
Traditional Soak Method
You can soak beans overnight by adding water (about 8-10 cups per each pound beans). Soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans and discard soak water and rinse with fresh water
Quick Soak Method
(my preferred method)
Optional: adding 1/8 teaspoon baking soda can help soften beans, especially if you have hard water or the beans are a little older.
Cook the beans
After the beans are soaked, they are ready for cooking.
- Beans are done when they are tender, but not mushy. Fresher beans will cook quicker than older beans. Test by biting into one.
- Check the expiration date. Just because beans are dried doesn’t mean they last forever. Old beans lose their nutrition and sometimes will not become tender with cooking. Beans older than two years should be discarded.
- Cooked beans can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months in an airtight freezer container.
More about Beans
- Beans are a member of the legume family that also includes lentils, peas, peanuts and soybeans.
- Navy beans are small, oval-shaped beans with white skin and a delicate flavor. They were named navy beans because of their inclusion in the US naval diet during the second half of the 19th century.
- My plate.gov considers 1 cup cooked beans to equal one cup vegetables. 1/4 cup of cooked beans equals 1 ounce protein equivalent.
- Beans are a good source of vegetable protein and fiber, which increased satiety, reduces hunger, and helps control appetite.
- Frequently consuming beans may reduce risk of heart disease, colon and rectal cancer, lower blood pressure and lower risk of prostate cancer