Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Homestead Tips on Tuesday: How To Cook Dry Beans

Beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you.... really love beans! Oh sure, I guess you can buy your beans in a can, but using dry beans not only saves money, but allows you to prepare them properly!

Beans are a wonderful source of inexpensive nutrition. They contain minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and fiber. But poorly prepared beans can, ummm, yeah, back to the whole musical fruit thing.

But flatulence is not really the worst part of poorly made beans..... Beans have phytic acid. If not neutralized during soaking or cooking, the phytic acid can actually impede mineral absorption. Who wants to eat something that can do that!?!?!

Proper preparation of beans is key, and I'm going to tell you just how to do that! So go grab yourself a few bags of beans and let's get to it!

Soaking the Beans

You are going to "soak" the beans in the same pot that you are going to use to cook them in. Why? Well, because you are going to give them a little heat before leaving them to sit. Make sure your pot is big enough so you can put 1/3 parts beans and 2/3 parts water.

If you are using a stockpot, bring your beans to a simmer, then turn the heat off. If you are using a crock pot, turn it on high for about 45 minutes and then back off. Either pot you decided to use, you are going to let the beans sit for at least 8 hours before cooking (longer is better, like 24 hours.)

When making lentils, navy/white beans, black beans, or fava beans you will want to add 1 Tablespoon of acid for each cup of beans. Acid can be apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. If you are doing chickpeas it is 2 Tablespoons for every cup of beans. Acid is not needed for other types of beans.

Cooking the Beans

Once your beans have soaked, it is time to drain the water from the soak and rinse them. Place your beans back in your pot and cover with about twice as much water as there is beans. If you are using a stockpot, bring the beans and water to a boil. Once you have a nice boil going, reduce your heat to a very gentle boil/simmer and cover your pot.  Beans should take an hour to an hour and a half to become tender. If you are using a crock pot, place your beans and water in and turn it on high for an hour and then down to low for another 8-10 hours.

Either way you cook your beans, a scum/foam will appear, just scoop it off. For beans that don’t seem to want to soften up, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the cooking water to help them. Baking soda will also help reduce the gas "issues" of beans.

Now wasn't that simple!?!?!

Seriously, that's it. Once your beans are done, use/flavor them as you want and enjoy! Dried beans may take more time (cause they sit around soaking) but trust me, you haven't eaten, till you make your own!

**Homestead Tips on Tuesday is a weekly series where we help you learn skills, tips, and trick to help you on your journey of homesteading. Many places post list of things you should/could do as far as homesteading skill, but I feel lists are at times overwhelming and can make people give up before they even start. So every Tuesday I share one thing for you to try or consider. I hope you join us every Tuesday and I would love to hear about your adventures with each weeks topic.**

48 comments:

  1. I definitely soak beans here at least once a week. I've never added any acid to certain beans though, I'll have to give it a try the next time I soak black beans (or any of the others you mentioned). :)

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    1. Let me know what you think of the difference when you do!

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  2. I love cooking beans in the pressure cooker! Bean soup is the best :)
    I have never heard of adding acid to beans.

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    1. It helps make them more digestible and allows you to absorb all the nutrients.

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  3. This is one thing I've never been able to succeed at. I will attempt it again using your methods. I have never added acid / baking soda to chick peas before. I don't think I've turned on the heat before they soak either. So I will try all your suggestions.

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  4. Great post, thanks for sharing it at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  5. I can still remember seeing bowl of soaking beans on the kitchen cabinet when I was a little girl! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

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  6. As a Southern girl, I love beans! Any kind of bean and I eat it!! Thank you for your tips for perfect beans!

    Thanks for sharing at #InspireMeMondays !

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    1. LOL I love it! I bet your house is very musical :)

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  7. Great tips! Thanks for sharing and linking up!

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  8. I always cook my beans in the crockpot. Thanks so much for linking up at the Totally Terrific Tuesday Link Party last week. Please come back again this week...we'd love to know what you've been up to. The party starts at 10pm. I hope to see you there!

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  9. Surely a better way than the canned option.

    -Tanya
    http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/

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  10. We were just talking about beans at the supper table the other night. Sadly, neither my husband or I care for them so they don't make it on to our table. I know they are such a good source of nutrition and super cheap but we just don't like the texture of them. Oh well. Best wishes to you and yours!

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    1. By the smell of our house, we might eat too many LOL

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  11. We eat a lot of beans, they are such a great way to stretch your food budget. Thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday; hope to see you again this week.

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    1. We might eat too many LOL But your right, they do stretch the food budget!

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  12. I love this tip and tutorial. I just recently cooked dried beans for the first time. Thank you very much for joining in the celebration of #purebloglove, we enjoy having you each week. I hope to see you on Thursday at 8PM, EST through Sunday night. ~Cydnee

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    1. Wouldn't miss it! Thanks for coming by. :)

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  13. These are excellent tips - being able to cook a pot of dried beans should be a basic 'how to be a grown up' skill, in only because you can get good nourishing food at very low cost if you know how! Thanks so much for linking up to Awesome Life Friday! http://rchreviews.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh my boys will have "how to be a grown up" Skills. Heck my 8 yr old basically does all the laundry.... well except folding it... he sucks at that part, but we are working on it. LOL It is nice not to have to run to the basement anymore :)

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  14. Great post, I never cook with beans but if I do I know where to refer. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!! Laura@Baking in Pyjamas

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    1. You never, ever, ever, eat beans? Wow.... you are missing out on some good stuff! You should give them a try!

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  15. Very good post. Saving this one in my arsenal. Pinned and shared. Thanks for linking up at #OverTheMoon! I hope you will join me at #Wonderful Wednesday.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed! Thanks for popping by!

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  16. Thank you for this. One, because it was right on time, as I've been wanting to incorporate more beans and legumes in to our diet. Two, because you made this super easy to understand and follow without all of the fluff. Love it!

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    1. I am a keep it simple kind of girl! Enjoy your beans!!

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  17. I didn't know you need to add some type of acid to the beans, that's good to know! Thanks for the helpful info!

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  18. I love cooking with beans.
    Thanks for sharing these tips at our Monday Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    We hope to see you again!

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  19. Hi Mindie - just stopping by from the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop . . . . I grew up watching my mama make a big pot of bean soup on a regular basis so this is great information for my family. Thanks for sharing! Nina @ Vintage Mama's Cottage

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    1. So glad it brought back happy memories. Enjoy your beans!

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  20. I cook dried beans regularly. I always find that they're sort of mushier and the skins come off a lot more than what you find in canned beans. Am I doing something wrong or is that just one of the differences caused by how they're prepared?

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    1. You might be cooking them a tad too long. Without know exactly how you cook them I can be sure what might be going on other then being over cooked.

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  21. I struggle with my beans, even when soaking and adding acid. I will give your method a try - thanks for posting this (visiting from the Farm Hop!)

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    1. Good luck with your beans! Thanks for visiting :)

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  22. Definitely a great tip! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  23. We always soak our beans but never heated the water to warm before so. Thank you for that tip. I will have to try it! Thank you also for linking up with the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth this week! :)

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    1. Thanks for hosting. I hope these tips help :)

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  24. Homemade beans are so delicious, wholesome and frugal, and I love how many recipes they can be used in! Thank you for sharing this really helpful post with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.

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    1. They are frugal for sure. I used to be scared of using them, but that was before I learned how simple they really are to prepare!

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