Sunday, June 12, 2011

Beans, Beans and Beans


* A pound of beans measures about 2 cups dry, 6 cups cooked

   (Some varities only double in volume).

* A pound of dry beans ground to a fine flour measures approx. 5 cups.
* Use 3 cups of water per cup of dry beans for soaking.
* A pound of dry beans makes about 9 servings of baked beans, 12 servings of bean soup. 
* A one-pound can of cooked beans measures about 1 2/3 cups 

(From"The Michigan Bean Cookbook," published by the Michigan Bean Commission.

Dry beans, whole peas, and split peas (unless used in soup) need soaking before cooking. Lentils do not. 
* Overnight soak: Wash and sort beans; place in large sauce pan with 6 cups of water per pound of beans. Let stand overnight. 
* Quick soak: Follow above instructions, but bring beans and water to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. 
* Cracked bean Quick soak: Two 2 c. of beans that have been coarsley cracked using a hand grain cracker, blender, or small coffee grinder, add 4 cups boiling water. Cover and let stand 5 minutes, rinse (in strainer) and drain. 

Whole, soaked beans can be cooked in a variety of ways, or frozen to speed cooking time even futher. Cook soaked beans slowly over low heat to prevent broken or floating skins. A tablespoon of oil or butter added during cooking reduces foaming and boil-overs. 

These times are approximate. They differ according to altitude, age, and moisture content of beans, and soaking method. The following list is a fairly complete list of average cooking times for soaked beans: 

Black beans - 1 to 1 1/2 hrs
Black-eyed peas - 1 to 1 1/2 hr. 
Garbanzo beans - 2 to 2 1/2 hr. 
Great Northern Beans - 1 to 1 1/2 hours
Kidney beans - 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Lentils - 30-45 minutes (NO soaking required.)
Limas, baby - 1 to 1 1/2 hours
Pink, pinto and red beans - 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Soybeans - 3 to 3 1/2 hours
Split peas, green and yellow - 35 to 45 min (NO soaking required.)
White beans (navy) small - 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Note: Old beans ground to a flour still cook in only 3 minutes for soups. If using very old beans, make a small amount of soup to test for bitter flavor before using in soups or breads, etc. 

To cook lentils, combine 2 c. lentils and 5 c. water in a saucepan. Bring to boiling, reduce heat, cover tightly, and boil gently for 30 minutes. Lentils do not require pre-soaking. Cook sprouted lentils only 5 - 10 min. 

Place washed and sorted beans in boiling water (enough to cover) and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain off water. Then place beans in crockery cooker and add 6 cups of water per pound of beans and season to taste. Cook on low 12 hours.

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