Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April is Beans / Legumes Month


Hungry Tummy Insurance - Suggested items for Beans:
(Buy the type of “Beans” you use the most to equal the 60lbs. per person per year)

There are nineteen varieties of beans: Northern, pinto, large lima, blackeye, garbanzo, baby lima, green and yellow split pea, red kidney, cranberry bean, small white, pink bean, small red, green, red, orange lentil, navy, white kidney, black bean, pearl barley, scarlet runner and soybeans.
Bean Arithmetic
  • A pound of beans measures about 2 cups.
  • Beans triple in volume when soaked and cooked.
  • A cup of dry beans yields 3 cups cooked.
  • A pound of dry beans yields 6 cups cooked.
  • Use 3 cups of water per cup of dry beans for soaking.
  • Simmer each pound of beans 2 hours after soaking.
  • A pound of dry beans makes about 9 servings of baked beans.
  • A pound of dry beans makes about 12 servings of bean soup.
  • A pound of dry beans ground to a fine flour measures approx. 5 cups.
  • A one-pound can of cooked beans measures about 1 2/3 cups.
    Source: "The Michigan Bean Cookbook," published by the Michigan Bean Commission.)
How To Store Dried Beans:  Dry beans should be stored at room temperature in covered containers.  They will keep almost indefinitelyDo not keep dry beans in the refrigerator.  If stored incorrectly, the beans may absorb water and spoil before you have a chance to use them.  For the longest storage life, keep beans in a glass or plastic container with a tight fitting lid.

Sorting:  Remove small rocks, pieces of dirt, beans with holes or cavities, badly misshapen or wrinkled beans and those greatly undersized or discolored.

Rinsing:  Do not rinse beans until you are ready to soak or cook them.  You do not have to rinse beans if you're going to soak them.  If you cook the beans without soaking, rinse them after sorting.

Soaking:  The purpose of soaking is to begin rehydration before cooking, thereby reducing cooking time.  Unsoaked beans take longer to cook and require more attention so they won’t cook dry.  Once rehydrated, beans cook in 1 to 3 hours, depending on the type of bean.  There are basically two methods for soaking: long-soak and quick-soak.  Both work equally well and differ only in the amount of time required to rehydrate the beans.  Choose the one which best suits your time and schedule.  Dry beans, whole peas, and split peas (unless used in soup) need soaking before cooking.  Lentils do not.

Long Soaking:  Takes time and some advance planning.  Cover the beans with water at room temperature.  Soak them overnight or for 8 to 10 hours.  Be sure the soak water is at room temperatureHot water may cause the beans to sour.  Cold water slows rehydration and the beans will take longer to cook.   Cooking time will also be longer if beans are not soaked long enough – at least 8 hours.  Beans soaked longer than 12 hours can absorb too much water and lose their characteristic texture and flavor.   Place in large saucepan with 6 cups of water per pound of beans.  Let stand overnight.

Quick SoakingRehydrates dried beans in little more than 1 hour.  Bring the beans and water for soaking to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Remove the beans from the heat and cover the pot.  Let the beans stand in the soak water for 1 hour.  At the end of the hour, discard the soak water and cook the beans in a fresh pot of water.

Cracked Bean Quick Soak:  Two cups of beans that have been coarsely 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 BeansCan be cooked in a variety of ways, or frozen to speed cooking time even further.  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-over.

Microwave Ovens Cooking:  Microwave ovens are not satisfactory for cooking dried legumes because long slow simmering is required for complete dehydration and cooking.  A microwave is a time-saver for thawing or reheating.

Oven Cooking:  Baking in the hot dry air of the oven is a slow process; it's the only way to create the glazed, crusty top characteristic of baked beans and bean pot casseroles.  Generally, oven cooking is used in combination with cooking in a pressure cooker or in a saucepan on top of the stove.  Be sure the beans are not overcooked before baking or they will be mushy.  You can use glass or ceramic casseroles, metal baking pans are not recommended.

To bake beans, preheat the oven according to the recipe instructions.  Then combine the drained cooked beans, seasonings, liquids and any other ingredients in the bean pot or casserole.  Cover it and bake for 1 to 1½ hours.  To brown the top of the beans, remove the lid and bake the beans 15 to 30 minutes longer.

Cooking Lentils:  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.

Cooking in a Crock PotPlace 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.

Pressure Cooker works great:  For older beans and baking soda is essential for soaking beans.
Soak washed and sorted beans by either the overnight or quick method.
Drain and rinse. Place in pressure cooker (cooker should be no more than 1/3 filled to allow for expansion). 

Add water to cover and 1 T. of oil to reduce foaming.
Cover; cook at 10 pounds pressure 10-20 minutes, depending on size of bean.
OR, place washed and sorted beans - unsoaked - in pressure cooker with 3 times as much water as beans and 2-3 teaspoons of oil or butter.  Cover; cook at 15 pounds pressure for 30 minutes for small beans, 40 minutes for large beans.  Variance in time is due to the inherent texture of each different variety of bean.

High Altitude:   Above 3,500 feet will at least double the time needed for cooking beans under pressure.  Because the cooking time in a pressure cooker is so short, the beans may not absorb the flavor from the seasonings as well as when they cook in a saucepan or pot.  Some cooks let the beans stand 30 minutes or so after cooking in the pressure cooker to help them absorb the flavorings. 

Until Tender:  To check for tenderness, pinch or bite a few beans at a minimum suggested time, then every 10 to 15 minutes until the beans are tender.

Overcooked BeansFall apart, releasing bean starch that thickens the cooking liquid.  This may be desirable for some recipes.

Old Beans Ground into a Flour:  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.

Cooking Times:  These times are approximate. They differ according to altitude, age, and moisture content of beans, and soaking method.
Beans (soaked)
Pressure Cooker*
Black Beans
1 to 1½ Hrs.
5 to 8 Min.
Garbanzo Beans
1 to 1½ Hrs.
5 to 7 Min.
Great Northerns
1 to 1½ Hrs.
5 to 7 Min.
Lima Beans, Large
45 to 60 Min.
Not Recommended
Lima Beans, Baby
1 Hr.
Not Recommended
Navy or Small Whites
1 to 1½ Hrs
5 to 8 Min.
Pink Beans
1 to 1½ Hrs
6 to 8 Min.
Pinto Beans
1 to 1½ Hrs
5 to 7 Min.
Red Beans
1 to 1½ Hrs
6 to 8 Min.
Red Kidney Beans
1 to 1½ Hrs
5 to 8 Min.
3 Hours
12 to 15 Min.

Beans (not soaked)
Pressure Cooker*
Black-Eyed Peas
1 to 1½ Hrs.
Not Recommended
30 to 45 Min.
Not Recommended
Split Peas, Green
30 to 45 Min.
Not Recommended
* At 15 Lb. Pressure
Some ways to minimize the gaseous effect include:
·         Discard the soaking water when preparing dry beans from scratch and rinse beans thoroughly before cooking them.
·         Gradually increase the amount and frequency of beans in your diet.  This will give your body a chance to adjust to them.
  • Try Beano™, a non-prescription product available in the pharmacy section of many stores.
·         Certain spices have been reported to counteract the production of intestinal gas, most notably cumin, coriander  and caraway, it is also reduced by a long period of soaking followed by boiling.
Resource List:
·        Honeyville Grain Inc. - 635 N. Billy Mitchell Rd Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Blue Chip Group – 432 W. 3440 S. Salt Lake City, UT. – 800.878.0099
·        Macy’s Grocery store - 187 E. 1000 N. Spanish Fork, UT. - 801.798.9803
  • Sam’s Club 1313 S. University Av. Provo, UT- 801.374.9700

January 2002 - the Church has suggested minimum amounts of basic foods in home storage, for one person for one year.
  • 400 pounds of grain      – rice, wheat, corn, etc.                         
  • 60 pounds of legumes
  • 60 pounds of sugar or honey
  • 16 pounds of powered milk
  • 10 quarts of cooking oil –2.5 Gallons
  • 8 pounds of salt                                                                       
  • 14 gallons of water (a two week supply)

Remember these minimum amounts are “starvation rations” you will live however you will be hungry all of the time.  May I suggest you store extra, more than the suggested minimums.

(Source: Central Bean Company, Inc. Quincy, WA Ph.: (509) 787-1544;  Waltonfeed.com)

Courtesy of Michael Barr

 Noah’s wife is out shopping for the family’s food storage!
While Noah and his sons continue to build the Ark.

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