Beans are actually legumes, which are the seeds from certain pod-bearing plants. Among the most popular types of legumes are kidney beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, Great Northern beans, black beans, split peas, and lentils. Beans are low in fat, high in fiber, and contain iron, B vitamins, and minerals. This post contains how to prepare and cook beans, so you get the best beans you've ever tasted.
Basic Cooking Directions for Legumes
Before cooking, beans need to be soaked in order to restore the water lost in drying. (Split peas and lentils, however, do not require soaking.) Soak the beans first, using either of the two following methods. Then, using 2 to 3 cups of water for each cup of beans, bring water to a boil and add beans. (There should be enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch.) Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and simmer for the amount of time specified, or until beans are tender. Cooking times may vary with the size, quality, and freshness of the legumes.
Quick soaking method: Place beans in a pot and add enough water to cover beans by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 2 hours. Drain and cook as directed.
Overnight soaking method: Place beans in a bowl and add enough water to cover beans by 3 inches. Soak overnight, drain, and cook as directed.