Cook­ing school

Ev­ery­thing you need to know about dried beans

Diabetic Living - - Contents -

STEP 1

PREP SOAK

Look for beans that are uni­form in size and have a smooth ex­te­rior. A good place to buy them is in a whole­foods store, where you can buy only as lit­tle or as much as you need. Store them in an air­tight glass or plas­tic con­tainer in a cool, dry lo­ca­tion un­til ready to use.

To pre­pare, pour the beans into a large colan­der. Pick through them to re­move any peb­bles or de­bris, then rinse the beans.

TO SOAK OR NOT TO SOAK?

It isn’t nec­es­sary to pre­soak dried beans. How­ever, soak­ing will re­duce the cook­ing time and may help pre­vent the beans from get­ting “blown out” or split­ting.

To soak, choose a method (be­low) based on how much time you have.

OVERNIGHT SOAK

Trans­fer rinsed beans to a large bowl or pot and cover with at least 5cm of water. Soak at room tem­per­a­ture, cov­ered, for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

QUICK SOAK

Rinse beans and trans­fer to a large pot, then cover with at least 5cm of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 min­utes. Re­move from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain beans and rinse with cold water.

STEP 2

COOK

You can cook beans on the stove­top, in the slow cooker or in a pres­sure cooker. Cook­ing times will vary de­pend­ing on the age and type of bean. As a rule of thumb, taste-test 3-5 beans be­fore de­ter­min­ing whether they are done or not.

Beans will cook in noth­ing but water, but you can also in­clude a few aro­mat­ics to add sub­tle flavour. We like to toss in a bay leaf, a few cloves of gar­lic, a chopped onion and some freshly cracked pep­per.

ON THE STOVE­TOP

1 Trans­fer soaked, drained beans to a large pot and cover with at least 5cm of water – use about 2L (8 cups) of water for 450g of beans. Add aro­mat­ics, if us­ing.

2 Bring to a boil, skim­ming off any de­bris that rises to the sur­face. Re­duce heat to low and cook, stir­ring every 30 min­utes or un­til ten­der, for 20-45 min­utes for lentils or 1-2 hours for beans.

IN THE SLOW COOKER

1 Trans­fer the soaked, drained beans to a slow cooker and cover with 5 cups of boil­ing water. Add aro­mat­ics, if us­ing.

2 Set the slow cooker to High, cover and cook for 1-3 hours 30 min­utes. ➤

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