The legume family includes dried beans, peas and lentils
They are nutritious, inexpensive and versatile
They are a good source of proteins, carbohydrates, fibers and Vitamin B 12
So go ahead, add beans, peas and lentils to your meals more often and learn the healthy way to cook them
Beans and lentils come canned or dried
To prepare dried beans, peas and lentils:
- Inspect for small rocks and poor quality beans
- Wash and soak overnight in water to help them cook faster
- Frequently change the soaking water to help make the legumes more digestible and less gassy
- Once soaked, boil dried beans in fresh water
- Gather and discard any foam that comes to the surface while cooking.
When dried beans boil, a foam forms on the top of the cooking liquid. This foam is water-soluble protein released from the beans and it will be absorbed back into the bean cooking liquid. It is not necessary to remove the foam
- To keep the foam down when cooking beans, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable salad oil, for each cup of beans
- Cook until tender. Depending on the bean, this may take 1-2 hours.
- You don’t need to presoak dried lentils or split peas. They are smaller and cook faster
- So if you are running out of time, you may cook lentils or black eyed peas for lunch or dinner as a great low calories high fiber meal
- Add salt or lemon juice or vinegar, tomatoes or juice, near the end of the cooking time, when the beans are soft
- If these ingredients are added early in the cooking process they will increase the cooking time
- Beans are well cooked when they can be easily mashed
STOCK UP ON BEANS
- You can cook and freeze beans
- To freeze cooked beans for later use, finish the cooking process first then immerse them in cold water until cool, drain well and freeze.
- You may choose to portion them in small freezer bags for later quick use as they make the perfect healthy meal.
- When consuming beans, do not forget to combine them with whole wheat bread and acidic addition such as lemon juice or orange or tomatoes, in order for your body to be able to absorb the full nutrients.