Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Central Coast, California
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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.