Ideas for Cooking Beans on the Stovetop
Cooking beans on the stovetop
Cooking beans need not be a mystery, you can do a few different things to prepare these protein filled and nutrient rich food. The first thing I am going to share is fairly simple, it just takes some simple steps that can't be rushed.
Basically, you will want to wash your beans by rinsing them with water. Pick out any extra non bean material that can sometimes get inside the packaging(there may be little pebbles in there, etc.). Soak overnight, (again very easy, but it means you can't just whip these up right away). Rinse again, which helps with the sometimes unpleasant gassy effects that come with eating beans. I think that if I was going to flavor my beans for eating as soon I was done cooking them, it would be after this point. That way you can rinse them again, but not lose any special broth or flavorings.
Place your beans in a large pan, and cover with about two inches of cold water. Put on high heat, and bring to a rolling boil. Upon reaching the boiling point, turn it back down immediately to a slow barely bubbling boil. This keeps the beans from breaking apart. Do this for at least a half hour, or until your beans textures has the same "doneness" all the way through.
Storage of beans after cooking with this technique is easy and space conscious. If you don't plan on eating all the beans right away, store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for use in the next 3 days or so.
If you are wanting to store longer term, get freezer bags that have well over one and a half to two cup. Scoop in approximately one and a half cups of beans into the baggie, and push out extra air as you flatten down the bag. Be careful to not put too much pressure on the beans as they are soft. You can label the baggie with a sharpie marker and date it so you know when you made that batch of beans. These will store beautifully in your freezer and take up very little space. Whenever you need beans for anything, know that you have approximately one cans worth of beans stored in each bag in your refrigerator.
The added benefit to this, is that you have complete control over what goes into your beans. No preservatives, no added salt, etc.
Tip: I have learned that if I am going to add anything acidic or salty to my beans that its best to do it towards the end. The reason is because these things can slow down the softening of the beans, which is opposite of what you are going for. Tomatoes, vinegar and molasses are examples of acidic things, to wait to add till toward the ends, or at least until your beans are softened.