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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.

 

What do you think about cooking vegetables in a microwave?

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips, Food Safety, Vegetables, Vegetarian

For The Vegetarians: Red Curry Kohlrabi

For The Vegetarians: Red Curry KohlrabiHealthy Food Tip

What do you think about cooking vegetables in a microwave?

We get many questions about whether we recommend cooking vegetables in a microwave. As you will see throughout our website, light steaming is our cooking method of choice for most vegetables. Loss of nutrients in the microwave depends on the same factors involved with loss of nutrients on the stovetop.

To predict the nutrient loss, it’s important to know answers to questions like: “Is the vegetable placed in water? How much water? To what temperature are the vegetable and water heated? For how long? We’ve seen studies showing minimal loss of nutrients from microwaved vegetables, and we’ve also seen studies showing substantial loss. In general, we prefer stovetop steaming that can be accomplished in as little time as microwaving while providing a more even heat.

http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=newtip&dbid=38&utm_source=daily_click&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_email

Are the carbs in vegetables the same cooked or uncooked?

Carbs (carbohydrates) in vegetables can definitely be affected by cooking. They are not affected as quickly or as extensively as phytonutrients like flavonoids or carotenoids, but they are still subject to changes from baking, boiling, steaming, and roasting. The exact impact of cooking on vegetables-and on other foods as well -depends on how long you cook them, how high a temperature you cook them at, and how much moisture you use when cooking them. But here are some basics about vegetables, cooking, and carbs that you should know.

Conversion of starch to sugar

Heat can help increase the rate at which vegetable starches get converted into vegetable sugars. A baked Russet potato, for example, will lose about 10% of its raw-form total starch content and convert that starch content into sugar. From a nutritional perspective, this loss of starch and increase in sugar is relatively small and not typically a cause for great concern. However, the baking of a starchy vegetable can also raise its glycemic index (GI) value. This increase in GI (often related to the conversion of starches to sugars) holds true for vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, plaintains, and carrots. A raw carrot typically has a GI value in the 15-20 range. A cooked carrot’s GI will typically fall into the 35-50 range. (You can find a reliable list of GI values in the website established by David Mendosa and based on research at the University of Sydney in Australia at http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm.)

Changes in resistant starch

Research studies show definite changes in levels of resistant starch naturally occurring in vegetables (and other foods). Resistant starches are generally viewed as helpful carbohydrates that resist breakdown in the digestive tract long enough to reach the large intestine and support the metabolic needs of helpful bacteria and cells lining the large intestine. However, the precise relationship between vegetable cooking and resistant starch is not yet clear. In some cases, the cooking of vegetables has presented some very favorable results with respect to the amount of available resistant starches. In other cases, no change in resistant starch levels has been determined to result from cooking. While the jury is still out in this area of research, look for future studies about the impact of cooking on the levels of resistant starch in vegetables and other foods.

Dry versus liquid heat

When vegetables are boiled in water, some of their sugars and starches are lost into the cooking water. When vegetables are roasted or baked in the oven, this loss of sugars and starches into water does not take place. For this reason, vegetables like boiled green beans will typically lose a small percent of both sugars and starches into the cooking water, whereas oven-roasted green beans will not. However, these changes in carbohydrate composition are once again relatively small and not usually a major factor in deciding about cooking method.

WHFoods Recommendations

When it comes to their carb content, vegetables can generally be enjoyed without problems in either cooked or raw form. Ratios of sugar to starch may change during cooking, as can amounts of available resistant starch and GI value. Among all of these factors, GI value may be the most important factor to consider for individuals who are following a diet that is focused on blood sugar control and insulin balance.

photo by: Tobyotter

CAN COFFEE AND TEA HELP PREVENT KIDNEY STONES?

Categories: Articles, Beverages, Food Education, Kidney Stones, Research Studies

coffee cup

http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=30199

 

coffee cupCAN COFFEE AND TEA HELP PREVENT KIDNEY STONES?

Kidney stones are common, painful and expensive to treat. It is estimated that about three people in every 100 in the UK will suffer from them.

And Koo Stark, former girlfriend of Prince Andrew and herself a sufferer, recently revealed in ‘Hello’ magazine that the condition will prevent her having the home birth she would have preferred for the baby she is carrying.

But according to a new report drinking plenty of coffee, tea, beer or wine could reduce the risk of getting a kidney stone while apple juice and grapefruit juice could, however, increase the risk.

The finding comes from a six-year survey of more than 45,000 American men, aged 40 to 75, by a team from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA. The survey is part of a long-term study of cancer, heart and other diseases in which more than 50,000 health professionals are taking part.

Their drinking habits, with 21 different beverages from water to hard spirits, were compared with the development of 753 kidney stones among the men, none of whom had had one before.

After allowing for other effects, including other elements of the diet, the Harvard team put the decrease in risk at 10% for each 240ml (just over one and half cups) of coffee a day and 14% for tea. The same amount of beer (under half a pint) gave a reduced risk of 21% and of wine 39%. The risk increased by 35% for each 240ml of apple juice, and 37% for 240ml of grapefruit juice.

While the survey was on men over 40 who had not had a stone there was no reason to believe the findings would be any different for women, younger men or men who had already had kidney stones containing calcium oxalate.

The Harvard team suggest that caffeine interferes with the action of a urine-reducing hormone on the kidneys, while alcohol slows production of the hormone, resulting in more and weaker urine with less chance of crystals forming. More research is needed, they say.

Patients are usually advised to drink a lot to increase the volume of their urine, but this does not always work in preventing another stone. It would seem that what people drink could be as important as how much they drink.

Note to Editors:

Known medically as calculi, kidney stones may be formed due to an infection in the urinary tract or from an excess of salts in the bloodstream which crystallise in the urine. Stones which remain in the kidney may cause no discomfort but even a small stone on the move to the bladder can cause excruciating pain by tearing the lining of the urinary tract.

Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of Coffee News Information Service


Contact details for all releases are only available to the media via PR Newswire for Journalists.


photo by: Moyan_Brenn

30 day cleanse (non-grain)

Categories: Blogs, Cleanse, Food Culture, Paleo

Whole9life website

Whole9life websitehttp://whole9life.com/resources/

From Josylnn Adams

Mediterranean & Asian Foods & Recipes

Categories: Asian, Cooking tips, Mediterranean

http://www.mediterrasian.com/food.htm

MSG and what it is

Categories: Asian, Food Safety, Western Medicine

http://www.msgtruth.org/whatisit.htm

Great summary of TCM food basics

Categories: Articles, Asian, Eastern Nutrition, Food Energetics

http://www.shen-nong.com/eng/lifestyles/food_property_food_tcm.html

Over Drinking Milk Can Lead to Calcium Being Pulled From the Bones

Categories: Articles, Beverages, Kidney Yin Vacuity, Nutritional Information, osteoporosis, Western Medicine

http://milk.elehost.com/html/why_does_calcuim_leave_the_bon.html

Japanese cooking basics, food blog, & resource site

Categories: Asian, Blogs, Cooking tips, Eastern Nutrition, Food Culture, Japanese

http://www.justhungry.com/

 

 

Farewell To “Paleo”

Categories: Diets, Food Culture, Meat, Paleo, Vegetables

http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/06/farewell-to-paleo.html