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Cooking With Dry Beans

Cooking With Dry Beans

Whether you are using dry-packaged or canned beans,
the following tips from the Bean Education Awareness Network
(B.E.A.N.) will ensure the best tasting beans for all of your favorite recipes.

Soaking Dry-Packaged Beans
Before cooking, soak dry-packaged beans to help soften and return moisture to
the beans and reduce cooking time. Most beans will rehydrate to triple their
dry size, so be sure to start with a large enough pot.

Preferred Hot Soak and Quick Soak Methods. Hot soaking helps dissolve
some of the gas-causing substances, making the beans easier to digest. For
each pound beans, add 10 cups hot water; heat to boiling and let boil 2 to 3
minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for at least one hour (Quick Soak),
or up to 4 hours (Hot Soak).

Traditional Overnight Soak For each pound (2 cups) dry-packaged beans, add 10 cups cold
water and let soak overnight, or at least 8 hours.
Cooking Dry-Packaged Beans
Drain soaking water and rinse beans; cook in fresh water. In general, beans take
30 minutes to 2 hours to cook depending on variety. Check bean packaging for
specific cooking times and instructions.
Spice up beans while they cook. Seasonings such as garlic, onion, oregano, parsley or
thyme can be added to the pot while beans are cooking. Add acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes, vinegar,
wine or citrus juices, only at end of cooking, when the beans are tender.
Add salt only after beans are cooked to tender. If added before, salt may cause bean skins to become
impermeable, halting the tenderizing process.
To test for doneness, bite-taste a few beans. They should be tender, but not overcooked. When cooling,
keep beans in cooking liquid to prevent them from drying out.

Cooking with Canned Beans
Canned beans are a great convenience since they
are already presoaked and precooked. Always drain
and thoroughly rinse canned beans before adding
them to a recipe. It is not necessary to recook
canned beans, just heat them if a recipe calls
for it. Canned beans, like dry-packaged beans, absorb flavors
from other ingredients in a dish because their skins are
completely permeable.

Beans and Health
Beans are an extremely beneficial
component in all diets because they
are high in complex carbohydrates,
protein and dietary fiber, low in fat,
calories and sodium, and completely
cholesterol-free. As little as a half-
cup of beans added to the daily diet
can be very helpful in reaching
important nutrition goals.

Cooking With Dry Beans