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Culinary Basics: Ingredients - Using Beans

Updated on June 2, 2010

CULINARY BASICS USING BEANS

Knowing Beans About Beans

There are many different kinds of beans available to us – dried beans or already cooked/canned. However, to understand more about the culinary basics using beans, here is a chart that shows the exact breakdown of each type of bean (including calories).

It is a great way to figure out the calories in any particular kind of bean as some are higher in calories.

It is also an easy way to figure out how many carbs for instance are in a particular bean – again, some are higher in carbs and some are extremely low in carbs.

No matter what the diet you are striving for, there are many beans to choose from and if one particular bean doesn’t fit into your diet criteria, you can always try another.

 

Culinary Basics - Storing Beans

Of course, if you have canned beans, there is no method simpler! Simply store in your cupboard or pantry and use as you need them.

You can buy dried beans and legumes in almost any supermarket - whether prepackaged or in bins.

I've read that beans keep forever but I've also heard that it is best to use them within a year because they just become drier and drier.

Store in jars or air-tight containers in a cupboard or pantry and use them as you need them.

A great use for beans over a year old? Use as pie weights in a single crust baked pie shell. They work just as well as gourmet store pie weights. Simply line your pie shell before baking with a piece of foil.  Then fill with beans to weigh down the shell and keep it from bubbling or puckering. Remove the beans and throw away when finished.

STOVE TOP METHOD FOR PREPARING DRIED BEANS

This method will destroy any potential toxins created by undercooked beans.

Sort, rinse and cover the dried beans with plenty of water – soak for at least 12 hours.

Drain and rinse the beans. Cover with fresh water.

Boil vigorously for at least 10 minutes.

You will need to simmer them for another 45-60 minutes to get them to tender – or add to a recipe where they will be cooked for approximately that amount of time, such as a chili or a minestrone soup.

For soy beans, follow the above instructions but they generally need to be boiled at a vigorous boil for 1 hour and then cooked 2-3 hours further to get them to tender.

DID YOU KNOW?

If you've cooked too many beans to eat within a few days, you can cool them quickly and freeze them. They freeze very well whether in soups or ‘as is’.

Another great way to use cooked beans (especially black or pinto) is for breakfast! They make a great adjunct to eggs – or even better use in huevos rancheros or a breakfast burrito.

You should avoid drinking coffee or tea for a half hour after consuming beans because they contain a lot of iron. These drinks slow down the ability for your body to absorb the iron!

Summing Up the Culinary Basics of Beans

There are several different ways to cook dried beans but the most important thing to remember is to cook them thoroughly, especially kidney beans.

You can also cook beans in a pressure cooker for quick cooking but be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions as a pressure cooker can be a very dangerous appliance to use. It is really important when using a pressure cooker to never overfill as there is a danger of explosion.

You can prepare beans as the method below shows - the traditional stove top method.

You can even cook beans in the oven.

No matter how you cook dried beans or if you use canned beans in recipes, this is one healthy ingredient and part of the culinary basic ingredients to have on hand.

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    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thanks very much MPG Narratives.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Well done on winning and thanks for all the great info on beans.

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      CheapinMadrid - I think it was pure luck - but I'll take it! Many thanks for the tag.

    • CheapInMadrid profile image

      CheapInMadrid 6 years ago from Madrid,Spain

      You deserve the win!

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thanks Phoenix!

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

      Great Hubpage and Congratulations !

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Money Glitch - thanks for stopping in!

      Austin Star - that was it - I planted my lucky beans!

      Sylvia - no kidding - I'm so sick of beans I don't want to look at one for a while.

      Purple Perl - Thank you!!

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 6 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Great hub,akirchner. Congrats!

    • sylvia13 profile image

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 6 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      Gee, so many things that can be said just about beans!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      You must have been eating lucky beans! Congratulations! I knew this one was a winner.

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

      Nice hub, catchy subtitle "knowing beans about beans." Congratulations on your win! :)

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thanks so much abidareacode!

    • abidareacode profile image

      abidareacode 6 years ago from Areacode , Kerala, India

      Congratulations for being the first winner.

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thank you, Sandy!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Congratulations and thanks for the bean tips.

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thanks 4youreyes - look forward to reading yours too!

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      4youreyes 6 years ago

      What a great hub and congratulations on winning the contest your hub was very,informative.I love all the pictures it really explains things so much nicer.I look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Vibhavari - thanks so much for stopping in and for the tag.

      Loren's Gem - thanks to you as well. there's only so much we can say about beans though after all and I think we've had a full dose by today!

    • Loren's Gem profile image

      Loren's Gem 6 years ago from Istanbul, Turkey

      Great hub about beans. Congratulations!

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 6 years ago from India

      Congratulations!

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      calicoaster - thanks so much for tagging me!

    • calicoaster profile image

      calicoaster 6 years ago

      Congratulations!! :)

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      K9keystrokes - thanks so much for the kudos and for the tag on the win! Great day for me!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 6 years ago from Northern, California

      Congrats on the win akirchner! I learned a great deal about beans! Your chart is very usefull and a fantastic addition to the piece. Very happy for you on the daily win! Will look for more of your work here on the hub!

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      oceansnsunsets - Thanks so much for the kudos! Surprised to win and thanks for stopping by.

      Likewise, liswilliams - thanks so much for stopping in.

      Twenty One Days - I'm skipping in my chair! Thanks for stopping by....

    • profile image

      Twenty One Days 6 years ago

      Congrats on the Daily Victory!

      James

    • liswilliams profile image

      liswilliams 6 years ago from South Africa

      Well Done!, this is great, I like your chart as well

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      This is a great hub, with many tips and information. Thanks for sharing it. Congratulations on your win as well, thats awesome. Keep up the great work

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      jysyyoung - Thanks!

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Pakpub - very clever! Thanks so much for the tag.

    • pakpub profile image

      pakpub 6 years ago from Ohio

      Congrats on your lucky bean hub.

    • profile image

      jysyyoung 6 years ago

      Nice Hub

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thanks so much laeerieartists!

    • lakeerieartists profile image

      Paula Atwell 6 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Congrats on winning, and your hub has a lot of great information. :)

    • akirchner profile image
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      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thank you Angela - sounds delish - all this talk about food today is making me hungry, hungry!

      Thanks, Soni - appreciate the tag!

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Congratulations akirchner. You are a lucky one.

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 6 years ago from Around the USA

      Great hub- lots of interesting info about beans. And I, for one, do enjoy beans at breakfast. I make black beans a bit spicy and eat them with scrambled eggs. They go great together! And congratulations on the win!

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