How to Cook Dry Beans
Beans (legumes, pulses)
Beans are an essential component of a nutritional diet, especially for vegetarians and vegans.
Beans are high in:
- complex carbohydrates
What is Wrong With Canned Beans?
Canned beans are extremely convenient, but they do carry many disadvantages to the earth as well as your health. Besides the unnecessary packaging, causing additional waste in our landfills, canned foods are lined with the synthetic chemical bisphenol A (BPA). BPA has been used in food products since about 1910. In canned foods, it is the plastic lining that was added to protect the food from contact with the metal can.
Learn More about Bisphenol A from Other Hubbers
If you are interested in reading more about the negative effects of BPA, check out the following hubs:
- What Is Bisphenol A? BPA Plastic Bottle Health Hazards
- Bisphenol A in Plastic Bottles: Play It Safe with Alternatives
- Bisphenol A Free Baby Bottles
- How To Protect Your Kids From Xenoestrogens
Recent studies and research has shown that BPA can be leached from the plastic lining of the can into the food, especially if the product has been exposed to high temperatures.
Bisphenol A is being studied further and is believed to be the contributor of many of the world's epidemics, including:
- heart disease
It is damaging to the reproductive system and may cause ovarian and breast cancer in women and low sperm counts and prostate cancer among men. BPA has also been linked to neurological disorders including ADHD and other learning disabilities.
What Can We Do to Protect Ourselves from BPA exposure?
One way is to not buy or cook with canned foods. I know it's easier said than done, but I wanted to write this hub to show you that cooking bulk beans, while time consuming, is not very difficult. Best of all, you can cook a whole big batch in one day and then separate and freeze for later use.
Preparing Dried Beans
- The first step is to sort and rinse your dried beans. I like to spread the beans out on a cookie sheet and pick through them. Remove any beans that appear cracked, dull or wrinkled.
Tip: If you have children, this is a fun task to help get them involved in food preparation and you can use the defective beans to make crafts, such as bean mosaics or bean bags.
- After your beans have been sorted, they should be thoroughly rinsed in cold water.
Short Soak/Boil Method
I prefer the short soak method, rather than the long soak method (soaking beans for 8 hours or overnight). The short soak method is a time saver and it reduces hard to digest complex sugars by 80%.
- Place rinsed beans in large stock pot
- Cover with cold water
- Boil beans in water for 3 minutes
- Cover and set aside for 2-4 hours
After your short soaked/boiled beans have sat for 2-4 hours, it is time to fully cook them.
Dry Bean Cooking Table
Type of Bean
Boiling Time on Stove
*Use pinto beans to make homemade refried beans in the crockpot.
Storing & Freezing Cooked Beans
After beans are finished cooking, allow to cool and then separate into freezer bags into usable portions and store in the freezer for later use.
Enjoy Your Beans!
What are your favorite uses for cooked beans? Share your recipe ideas in the comments section below.
Cooking with Beans: Recipe Hubs by Veggie-mom
- Vegetarian Sandwich Recipe: Chickpea Salad
Super quick, easy & delicious vegetarian sandwich filling made with mashed chickpeas.
Kids Cook Monday: Vegetarian Tacos
Everyone loves taco night at our house. It is a great family dinner to prepare together. There are lots of tasks that children of all ages can help with, so get everyone to the kitchen and make it a family taco night!
How to Make Refried Beans in the Crockpot
Super easy, set it and forget it slow cooker recipe for making refried beans. Make a big batch and freeze for later use.