Beans – November 2001
What do people do with all these dried beans!??
I've been told to cut down on meat and try some vegetarian recipes...where do I start??
And hey! I don't want to fart!
I don't have time for all that soaking...
This newsletter hopes to help beginners, answer such commonly asked questions, and provide some delicious, tried and true recipes, using soybeans, red kidney beans, blackeyed beans, and chickpeas.
Because of their high protein content legumes are often used as a partial replacement for the protein from animal products. Complementing the protein of legumes with other foods to make it more "complete" is worth learning
about. For example, beans and rice served together gives a complete protein.
Legumes are not only high in protein, but also in fat and carbohydrate. They are rich sources of potassium, calcium, iron, and several B-vitamins. Sprouted legumes are an excellent source of vitamin C and enzymes.
There are many people who do not digest legumes well and experience problems with flatulence and allergies. In many cases the problem may lie in improper preparation, wrong choice of legume, and poor food combining, so do
not give up without some exploration!
Paul Pitchford (Book available for reference at Piko) has some useful hints below:
Chew legumes thoroughly. Small amounts - a few tablespoons of legumes - have nutritional and healing value.
Avoid giving legumes to young children (under approximately 18 months of age) before they develop gastric enzymes to digest them properly. (Fresh peas and green beans are usually well tolerated.)
Make the right choice of legume:
Aduki beans, lentils, mung beans, and peas digest most easily and can be eaten regularly.
Pinto, kidney, navy, black-eyed peas, garbanzo, lima, and black beans are harder to digest and should be eaten occasionally.
Soybeans are the most difficult to digest. However, soy products (tofu, tempeh, soybean sprouts, soy milk, miso, and soy sauce) are easily digested. (Unless too much soy is eaten.)
Use proper combinations, ingredients, and seasonings:
1.Legumes combine best with green or non-starchy vegetables and seaweeds; combining with grains or cooked fruits for desserts is acceptable for those with strong digestion. (see 'Food Combinations' chapter in Pitchford's book for further information.)
2.Season with sea salt, miso or soysauce. Add salty products like these near the end of cooking. If added at the beginning, the beans will not cook completely and the skins will remain tough. Suggested salt: (moderate)
¼ teaspoon unrefined salt or 1 teaspoon soy sauce to 1 cup dry legumes. Salt is a digestive aid to high-protein products.
3.Cook with fennel or cumin to help prevent gas.
4.For improved flavour and digestion, more nutrients, and faster cooking, place soaked kombu or kelp seaweed in the bottom of the pot. Add 1 part seaweed to 6 or more parts legumes. Use seaweed soak water to cook grains and vegetables.
5.Soak legumes for 12 hours overnight in 4 parts water to 1 part legume. For best results, change the water once or twice. Lentils and whole dried peas require shorter soaking, while soybeans and garbanzos need to soak longer. Soaking softens skins and begins the sprouting process, which eliminates phytic acid, thereby making more minerals available. Soaking also promotes faster cooking and improves digestibility, because the gas causing enzymes and trisaccharides in legumes are released into the soak water. Be sure to discard the soak water.
6.After bringing legumes to the boil, scoop off and
discard foam. Continue to boil for 20 minutes without
lid at beginning of cooking to let steam rise (breaks up
and disperses indigestible enzymes).
7.If problems with gas persist, this step and number 8 below are very useful. Pour a little apple-cider, brown rice, or white-wine vinegar into the water in the last stages of cooking legumes. For salad 1. beans, marinate cooked beans in a solution of two-thirds vinegar and one-third olive oil at least half an hour before serving. Combining vinegar with legumes softens them and breaks down protein chains and indigestible compounds; it is often an effective remedy
for those suffering after eating them.
8.Sprouting legumes until they have rootlets maximizes their digestibility. Lentils, mung, and aduki beans sprout most easily. (See recent newsletter on sprouting).
For beginners, remembering to soak beans is simply a new habit to get into. Put beans out to soak before you go to bed at night, or when you get up in the morning.
Alison Holst suggests some types of beans and lentils may be cooked without presoaking- red lentils, brown lentils, blackeyed beans, moong dahl, split peas and mung beans.
However, for digestion problems follow Pitchford's advice above.
Techniques for cooking legumes (Beans, Peas, and Lentils):
Pitchford's recommended cooking times are longer than many of us have been told, but if you are missing out on beans because of flatulence, (or you are causing your dinner guests discomfort!) it is worth following his wise and
Red kidney beans need 15 minutes rapid boiling during cooking, don't forget this.
Water and Cooking Time:
Legumes Simmer Pressure
(1 cup dried) cups water/time cups water/time
-Aduki bean 2-3 / 1 ½ hrs 2-3 / 45 mins
-Black bean 2-3 / 2 ½ hrs 2-3 / 1 ¼ hrs
-Lentils 3-4 / 1 hr 3 / 20 mins
-Green spilt peas 3-4 / 1 hr 3 / 20 mins
-Whole peas 3-4 / 3 hrs 3 / 1 hr
-Pinto - Kidney beans 2-3 / 2-3 hrs 2-3 / 1 hr
-Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas) 3-4 / 4-5 hrs 2-3 hrs
-Limas and Black-eyed peas 2-3 / 1 hr 2-3 / 35 mins
-Mung beans 3-4 / 1 hr 3 / 20 mins
-Yellow or black soybeans 4 / 4-6 hrs 3 / 2 hrs
Alison Holst (whose cooking times for some of these beans are shorter) says, you can flavour beans with garlic, onion, and herbs during cooking, but you must not add salt, sugar, lemon juice, or tomato products until the beans are
completely tender, since these toughen the beans.
Beans are cooked when they are tender enough to squash with your tongue. Nearly cooked beans are not enough!
Times can vary with the age and quality of the beans.
Add about ½ teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of dried beans, after cooking. Liquid drained from beans after makes good stock for soups and sauces. Refrigerate up to 3-4 days. (Holst)
-Coriander, cumin, ginger (lentil, mung, black, aduki)
-Sage, Thyme, oregano (black, pinto, lentil, kidney)
-Dill, Basil,(Lentil, Garbanzo, Split Pea)
-Fennel or cumin (pinto, kidney)
-Mint, garlic (garbanzo, lentil)
1. Place soaked legumes in pot with cold water (and soaked kombu option.)
2.Add 4-5 cups water to each cup of beans.
3.Place pot on stove. Bring to boil for 15 minutes to loosen skins.
4.Pour legumes into baking dish.
5.Cover and place in oven at 350F for 3-4 hours.
6.Add more water when needed.
7.Bake until 80% done.
8.Add salt and seasonings. Cook until soft.
9.Remove cover to brown.
Variation: Add diced onions, kale, or other vegetables when legumes are 50% done.
1 cup dried beans yields 2-3 cups drained cooked beans.
In a Hurry?
-Use a quick soak and cook variety
-Use canned beans
-Soak and cook beans in bulk, in advance, then freeze them ready for use
-Use a pressure cooker.
chickpea pate of middle-Eastern origins
Use as a dip, side dish or sandwich filling. This Moosewood Cookbook recipe is very tasty.
For 6 servings:
1 ½ cups raw chickpeas soaked and boiled
juice from 2 medium lemons
3 medium cloves minced garlic
¾ cup tahini
1 ½ tsp Salt
¼ cup (packed) finely minced parsley
dash of tamari
lots of black pepper
dash of cayenne
¼ cup minced scallions
Mash chickpeas to a thick paste, using a food grinder, or a masher. Combine everything and chill thoroughly. Taste to correct seasonings. Add extra garlic, tamari or tahini
Red Kidney Bean and Pasta Broth
This nourishing Red Kidney Bean and Pasta Broth keeps 2 or 3 of us happy on a winters weekend. Ingredient amounts are approximate - experiment to your liking. Could use cumin instead of thyme, cayenne instead of chilli,- be
creative! Use more water and tomato paste to make more soup like. Soak up with bread and olive oil as my Yugoslav ancestors do. (Shelley)
tomato preserve, paste or puree
3 cups cooked red kidney beans
approx. 2 cups water
1 heaped teaspoon thyme
2 large carrots, 1 bunch kale, 1 onion
4 cloves garlic
3 dried chillis cut very fine
1 heaped teasp salt or to taste
1 Tbsp Umeboshi (or Balsamic) vinegar
This delicious recipe, Alison Holst says is particularly quick, because black-eyed beans cook faster than most other beans.
For 4-6 main course servings:
1 ½ cups dry black-eyed beans
2 med sized onions chopped
2 Tbsp oil
1 small (135g) can tomato paste
1 (410) can coconut cream
2 tsp paprika
½ tsp chilli powder (to taste)
½ tsp cumin
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt and black pepper to taste
Cook the beans. In another pan sauté the onions in the oil until they are soft and clear. Add the tomato paste, coconut cream and seasonings, stirring until they form a smooth and creamy sauce. When the beans are cooked,
drain and combine with the sauce. Serve immediately, or for even better flavour and texture, leave to stand and reheat when needed. Serve on brown or white rice, accompanied by a mixed green salad. (This is nice with
lemongrass added in).
Soya Bean and Sultana Curry
6 oz soya beans - save liquid
1 large onion 1 clove garlic
1 dsp Apple 2 Tbsp Oil
2 Tbsp Flour salt
lemon juice sugar to taste
1 level dsp Curry powder
water 4 oz sultanas
Soak beans and cook 3 hours. Strain off liquid and make up to ¾ pint. Chop onion, garlic and apple. Fry in oil with curry until tender. Add flour and mix well then add water, sultanas, and beans. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, stirring. Serve with boiled rice and tossed green salad.
When you have made these recipes several times to feel familiar and find favourites, you could try: Red kidney bean dip - with or without a blender, and turn it into refried beans;
Red lentil dahl - as a side dish to rice, vegetables, baked potatoes, or as a dip;
Bean salad - such as lima beans with onions and peppers and fresh green beans;
Burgers, loaf, falafel patties ... ask for another newsletter at Piko on these if you are interested.
This newsletter was compiled by Shelley with the help of:
Holst,Alison - Meals Without Meat CJ Publishing.N.Z. 1990.
Katzen, Mollie - Moosewood Cookbook
Ten Speed Press, California,1977
Pitchford, Paul - Healing with Wholefoods
Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition North Atlantic Books, California, 1993