tips for cooking beans

Categories: Cooking tips, Legumes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Tips on cooking beans:

The Dried Bean Sort
Measure out the beans you will cook.

Use a white plate or bowl and sprinkle a few on the plate to search for dirty beans, tiny stones or damaged, wrinkled or broken beans that may be mixed in with the good beans.

Remove any misshaped or damaged beans, dirt or stones.
Yes, you must do this step or you could damage teeth when eating them later!

Pour the checked beans into a large bowl.

Cover the beans with water and remove any “floaters”. Floaters are DUDS and will not cook properly.

The Dried Bean Soak

After inspecting the beans and rinsing them, put them in a large bowl and fill with COLD water… water amount should be three times the amount of beans measured or more.

Soak the beans overnight… you’ll see them double in size and most of the water will have been absorbed by morning.

In the morning, rinse and drain the beans three or four times till the water runs clear.

Soaking dried beans activates the beans to begin the germination process. Once wet, the beans release enzymes that begin to break down their complex sugars into more simple ones. It is the bean’s complex sugars that give you gas and indigestion after eating beans that haven’t been pre-soaked. The overnight soak method reduces 60% of the complex sugars in most beans.

Never cook canned beans in their liquid! Rinse several times in water and drain before cooking, otherwise your flatulence will be great!

Bean Boil Foam
Add the rinsed beans to the pot and cover them with water. Use enough water to cover the beans and have at least one inch above the bean level. Do not use excess water, just enough to keep them from drying out during the boiling process.

When the pot contents begin to boil, the surface will form a white foam from the gases being released from the beans. This is not a time to leave the kitchen! I have had this boil over many times and the clean-up is no fun. While the beans boil, skim off the white foam that appears on the surface of the cooking water with a large spoon and discard.

Turn the burner down to the lowest setting for a gentle simmer and cover the pot with a lid… cook till the beans are done.

Taste Test
After simmering the beans for three quarters of the suggested cooking time, taste a bean to make sure it is soft enough, if not, cook for another 15 to 30 minutes and taste test again.

Once the beans are done to your taste test, turn the heat off, drain the liquid off, add seasonings or sauces and serve.