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Cooking Beans

June 9, 2010

Last night I decided to cook raw (not-canned) beans for the first time. The process was much easier than I thought, though the cooking time was incredibly long.

I used Goya’s 16 Bean Soup Mix because it seemed like a really good blend of some of my favorite beans (blackeye peas? black beans? lima beans? yes, please).

In order to first prepare them for cooking, I basically just followed the instructions on the back:

  • Rinse them first with cold water.
  • Add 3 to 4 cups of hot water to 1/2 pound of beans, then boil for 2 minutes.
  • Set aside for an hour (I guess this is to soften the beans).

After these steps, the beans are still quite hard. To cook, I did the following:

  • Drain beans and add fresh water into your pan. I added about 3 to 4 cups again
  • Continue to cook on a low heat until beans are tender. This took about 1 1/2 to 2 hours for me.
  • Beans also need a lot of seasoning, as they soak up a lot during the cooking process. I drenched mine in vinegar, Bragg’s Amino Acid, sesame seeds, Italian seasoning and curry powder. A weird combination, I know, but it totally worked and was delicious.
  • I also added an half onion into the mix for more flavoring.

With a bit of cooked rice, this makes for quite the hearty meal!

Of course, many people steer clear of beans because of their…ahem, ‘gassy’ reputation. It’s definitely an uncomfortable (and embarrassing) feeling, though of course normal. I did a bit of online research, and there are some great tips for combating it. Here are a few good articles to read:

I’ve also read somewhere that garlic is a great help in cutting the gas in beans. It seems to work for me.

Beans are so healthy and cleansing for you that you should definitely try using the tips in the above articles to remove their discomfort. Do you have any tips of cooking or preparing beans? What seasonings and spices do you use? I’d love to know!

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