Cooking with Dried Beans, Lentils, and Peas

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Lentils

I found this very well-written info on the Whole Foods website and am re-posting here for my readers 🙂

Dried beans, peas and lentils — a.k.a. legumes or pulses — are a vital food source and one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops. Evidence of cultivation goes back more than 7,000 years in some parts of the world. That’s a heck of a long time!

An excellent source of protein, dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates, legumes and pulses are flavorful, nutritionally dense, inexpensive and versatile.

Cooking Dried Beans:

  1. Sort: Arrange dried beans on a sheet pan or clean kitchen towel and sort through them to pick out any shriveled or broken beans, stones or debris. (Take our word for it; running your fingers through the beans in the bag doesn’t work the same.)
  2. Rinse: Rinse the sorted beans well in cold, running water.
  3. Soak: Soaking beans before cooking helps to remove some of those indigestible sugars that cause flatulence. There are two simple ways to get the job done:* Regular soak: Put beans into a large bowl and cover with 2 to 3 inches of cool, clean water. Set aside at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight; drain well. (If it’s really warm in your kitchen, soak the beans in the refrigerator instead to avoid fermentation.)* Quick soak: Put beans into a large pot and cover with 2 to 3 inches of cool, clean water. Bring to a boil then boil briskly for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and set aside off of the heat for 1 hour; drain well.
  4. Cook: Put beans into a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water or stock. (Don’t add salt at this point since that slows the beans’ softening.) Slowly bring to a boil, skimming off any foam on the surface. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if necessary, until beans are tender when mashed or pierced with a fork. Cooking times vary with the variety, age and size of beans; generally you’re looking at about 1 to 2 hours.

For Peas and Lentils: Sort and rinse dried peas and lentils as you would dried beans (see above). Then simply bring 1½ cups water or stock to a boil for each cup of dried lentils or peas. Once the liquid is boiling add the lentils or peas, return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

Cooking Tip: Uncooked dried peas and lentils can be added directly to soups and stews, too. Just be sure there’s enough liquid in the pot (about 1½ cups of liquid for every 1 cup of lentils or peas).

cooking-with-dried-beans-lentils-and-peas

 

Read the Comments +

  1. Sandy J says:

    It has been proven that adding salt while cooking does no harm. You might want to wait for acidic foods as tomatoes till after they are cooked. Salted beans while cooking taste WAY better.

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Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life. 

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