Legumes — or beans as we call them — are a wonderful source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Like grains, it is essential to presoak beans before cooking. This not only greatly reduces cooking times, but also makes beans more alkaline by neutralizing phytic acid. Again, like grains, we recommend adding a bit of kombu to your cooking pot. Kombu helps make beans more digestible, reduces their gas-producing tendency, and adds valuable nutrients.
According to Dr. Steven Pratt, author of Super Foods,
The truth is that beans are a virtual wonder food. A delicious
source of vitamin-rich, low-fat, inexpensive, versatile protein,
beans deserve a place at the table for those reasons alone.
But the full power of beans to lower cholesterol; combat
heart disease; stabilize blood sugar; reduce obesity; relieve
constipation, diverticular disease, hypertension, and type II
diabetes; and lessen the risk for cancer make this ancient food
an extraordinary and important addition to any diet.
We recommend pre-soaking all beans and peas. Rinse them well and then place in a pot with water. For each cup of beans add 1 tablespoon of organic raw apple cider vinegar and 3 cups warm water and soak overnight or longer.
• Lentils, split peas: Soak 10-12 hours
• Aduki, Navy, Lima, Black, Kidney, Mung Beans:
Soak 24 hours
• Garbanzo Beans: Soak 24-48 hours
Drain the soaking water and rinse the beans, then place in a pot with fresh water, covering by at least one inch. Add a generous piece of kombu and bring the beans to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until the beans are tender. Discard the kombu.
Bean cooking times vary widely based on the freshness of the beans, altitude, and how long the beans were soaked.
1 cup of dry beans will yield about 2 to 3 cups of cooked beans.
Beans freeze well so consider cooking a larger amount than you
need and freezing the left-overs for future use.
• Lentils: 18 – 20 minutes for use in salads, up to 35 minutes if you want them very soft
• Split Peas: 45 – 60 minutes
• Aduki & mung beans: 45 – 55 minutes
• Most other beans will be tender in 30 - 60 minutes.
To test beans, remove one from the pot and let it cool for a few minutes, then taste. The beans should be soft with no starchy taste.
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