QUestion-- how do you cook dry beans? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 12-21-2002, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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This is probably a "dumb" question for you seasoned pro's, but I have never cooked beans from the "dry" state before. I know you need to soak them, but I was wondering if you could give me exact directions, times, etc. And, could I use my crock pot? And, what flavoring alternatives are there to putting fat in them for flavor?

Thank you!!!
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#2 of 6 Old 12-21-2002, 12:16 PM
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beans are really easy to cook - plus there cheap and very healthy. There are 3 ways to cook them.
First, you should look in your natural foods cookbook for a bean chart. It will give you water amounts and cook times. Here is an approximate. Lentils, split peas and adzukis don't need to be soaked. Just cook 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Also, there is a sea vegetable called kombu which you can cook with the beans. It helps to tenderize beans and make them less gassy. Never had salt or fat when cooking beans or they won't soften.
1- place them in a bowl with 5 times as much water and soak 6 hours or overnight, drain soak water. Place in pot with about 4 times the water. Cover, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
2 - place them in pot with about 4 times water. cover. Bring to boil. Shut off heat. Let sit 1 hour. Turn on heat. Cook recommended time.
3 - you can place beans in crock pot in morning without soaking and let them cook all day.

I never add fat to season beans. Just some sea salt or Bragg Liquid Aminos and spices. (Chili powder, ginger, cumin, curry powder are all good choices with beans.)

Hope this helps.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#3 of 6 Old 12-21-2002, 01:05 PM
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You can also soak them for 4 hours, then drain them and freeze for later use. When you are ready to use just put them in a pot of boiling water and simmer for about 20 min (or until soft). This helps to break down some of the fiberousnous (is that a word LOL) which makes the nutrients a little more absorbable as well as making them less gassy.


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#4 of 6 Old 12-22-2002, 08:32 PM
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When I cook beans, I usually substitute vegetable broth for about 1/3 to 1/2 of the liquid. (Sometimes I just use bouillon cubes if I don't have real broth on hand.) It makes them much more flavorful. We're not vegetarian, so I frequently also add diced ham. You don't have to add much at all to get good flavor, and it's such a tiny amount that I don't worry about all the nasty things that are in ham. I do eat meat, but I would never eat just a slice of ham.
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#5 of 6 Old 12-22-2002, 08:57 PM
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You don't have to soak beans, if you don't have the time. Although they will take longer to cook. I prefer a pressure cooker and don't soak. Cooking times vary with the beans. I like Lorna Sass's Cooking under Pressure for bean recipes and cooking times.
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#6 of 6 Old 12-22-2002, 09:18 PM
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Overnight in the crock pot is the EASIEST way to do it.

Pressure cooker is the FASTEST way to do it.

No presoaking for either method.
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