How do you guys cook your beans? Or do you buy them canned? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-25-2014, 08:46 PM
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How do you guys cook your beans? Or do you buy them canned?

So I've been looking at alot of recipes online. They always call for canned beans. Lame.
My favorite bean is the black bean, however I would rather not get it out of a can because it seems less healthy and more costly.

Do you guys have any tips or tricks for cooking black beans so they taste great? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS !

So far I just let them sit overnight in a pot of water.
Put them on the stove with water simmering for an hour and half. Add cumin and some oregano.
Then at the end add some salt and pepper and serve.

Somebody told me to use stock to cook them next time instead of water, has anybody tried this and is it worth it?

TY.
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#2 Old 08-25-2014, 08:59 PM
 
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I use a slow cooker for my beans. This way, I don't have to watch the stove and they're done perfectly every time. You still need to presoak the beans, and drain and rinse. Add enough water to cover the beans and then cook for 6 hours. It takes advanced planning, but is no hassle. Just soak the beans overnight and then let them cook during the day. They'll be ready to eat in the evening.

Another thing I do is cook a large batch and then divide up portions into freezer bags and freeze. That way, I can have specific amounts already prepared that just need to be heated.
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#3 Old 08-25-2014, 09:07 PM
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I use a slow cooker for my beans. This way, I don't have to watch the stove and they're done perfectly every time. You still need to presoak the beans, and drain and rinse. Add enough water to cover the beans and then cook for 6 hours. It takes advanced planning, but is no hassle. Just soak the beans overnight and then let them cook during the day. They'll be ready to eat in the evening.

Another thing I do is cook a large batch and then divide up portions into freezer bags and freeze. That way, I can have specific amounts already prepared that just need to be heated.
Wow awesome, do you think they taste better in the slow cooker?

And one question.. what exactly do you mean cover the beans? Like 1 inch of water over the beans? Less? More?

Thanks.
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#4 Old 08-25-2014, 09:41 PM
 
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I think they taste better in the slow cooker because they're done just right. If you add seasonings while cooking, the flavors meld better. Just don't add tomato or anything acidic until the beans are fully cooked since that will cause them not to soften properly.

You don't need more than an inch of water over the beans. Anything from enough to reach the top of the beans to an inch or so above is fine.

There was one time when 6 hours wasn't long enough. I just let them cook another couple hours and they were fine. I think they'll turn out okay if you cook for 8 hours, even when not necessary. That way, if you're at work and they need to be cooked by the time you're home, you're safe. Experiment and see.
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#5 Old 08-26-2014, 12:07 AM
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I cook them from dry. Soaking doesn't make any difference to me, beans never make me gassy. Though my mom swears that soaking overnight with baking soda reduces any gassiness that might happen.

I usually make dry beans into chili. I rinse dry beans in a colander, add them to a soup pot, add an onion, chili powder, a can of tomato paste, and any tomatoes that are sitting around getting too ripe to eat. Fill the pot with water and simmer away for a couple hours. Add salt as it is getting done.

If I'm making plain beans I just cook them in water, usually with an onion. Salt and pepper to taste.
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#6 Old 08-26-2014, 12:24 AM
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I soak overnight and then boil until tender. I do though have canned beans in my store cupboard for emergencies and find them excellent. It is so good if i arrive home late and can pull a tomato sauce out of the freezer and open a can - very quick meal!
Oh,one important thing guys - red kidney beans need to be boiled hard to make them safe to eat - slow cooking does not do this!
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#7 Old 08-26-2014, 12:25 AM
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I cook them from dry. Soaking doesn't make any difference to me, beans never make me gassy. Though my mom swears that soaking overnight with baking soda reduces any gassiness that might happen.

I usually make dry beans into chili. I rinse dry beans in a colander, add them to a soup pot, add an onion, chili powder, a can of tomato paste, and any tomatoes that are sitting around getting too ripe to eat. Fill the pot with water and simmer away for a couple hours. Add salt as it is getting done.

If I'm making plain beans I just cook them in water, usually with an onion. Salt and pepper to taste.

You soak beans clean them and to reduce cooking time also.. The longer you cook beans the more nutrients they lose. So it is worth it to soak beans purely for health reasons.. Just leave them in overnight.. So easy.
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#8 Old 08-26-2014, 12:26 AM
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I soak overnight and then boil until tender. I do though have canned beans in my store cupboard for emergencies and find them excellent. It is so good if i arrive home late and can pull a tomato sauce out of the freezer and open a can - very quick meal!
Oh,one important thing guys - red kidney beans need to be boiled hard to make them safe to eat - slow cooking does not do this!
Thank you for the advice, I had no idea they were toxic when uncooked!
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#9 Old 08-26-2014, 01:54 AM
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You soak beans clean them and to reduce cooking time also.. The longer you cook beans the more nutrients they lose. So it is worth it to soak beans purely for health reasons.. Just leave them in overnight.. So easy.
They don't take that long to cook, less than 2 hours, usually. I can't typically plan what I'm going to cook the day before, so I improvise. Works for me.
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#10 Old 08-26-2014, 02:06 AM
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Depends on what sort of bean, pea or lentil I'm using really ...

Beans & peas I prefer soak before use and mostly cook in the slow cooker ... if it's at the weekend I'll bring the to the boil in a pan first (for about 10mins) as I generally don't have 10 hrs for them to putter (so tender mmm).

Black/kidney/borlotti/navy beans almost always used in chilli so I cook them in passata, stock and spices
Canellini/Butter beans - cooked in stock
Chickpeas - cooked in lightly salted water

Split peas (for soup)
Always cooked in stock and then whizzed to a smooth soup.

Lentils - no soaking needed yay!
I chuck handfulls of them in all sorts of things but for black lentils (puy) I will cook them in stock and some veggies (I adapted this recipe in a Jamie Oliver book - finely minced onion, celery & carrot fried till translucent add lentils, herbs and stock let them bubble till tender and stir in some spinach in last few minutes)

All that being said. I'm not very fancy so will use tinned ones if time is of essence and for convenience.
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#11 Old 08-26-2014, 02:11 AM
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I too soak my beans overnight and then cook them on low heat and let them simmer an hour to two hours depending on the bean. I also add just a little bit of kombu to the pot when I cook them to help release nitrogen and add nutrients to the water. For some occasions I do use canned beans but most often dry. I have cooked dried limas, great northern white beans, kidneys, black beans, red beans, Cannellini , chickpeas, adzuki, fava, you name it. I also sometimes save the cooking water for watering my plants and herbs.

I have eaten raw lentils. I have soaked and sprouted them in the past. I would soak for 24 hours, then rinse off and put the beans in a jar with a screen lid upside down, and let them sprout for several days before consuming (rinsing them two or three times a day if I remember). I only did this a few times but never had any issues with it. The raw lentils done this way go well in garden salads and add a nice crunch. Some people have had issues doing this so it is something I would be cautious about.

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#12 Old 08-26-2014, 04:43 AM
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Beans are such a stable in my diet and I like variety, so I used canned. Whole Foods has a brand that is salt free that I like.

When I do use dried I pretty much do what the guys above do...soak over night and simmer until done.
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