Cooking Dried Beans

There are many opinions on-line on the best way to cook beans.  You can buy at least canned or dried beans,  As long as you find canned beans with no added salt I think both options are great!  However for me personally it comes down to prep time, if I have the time I prefer to cook dried beans.  There are many reasons that dried beans have some added benefits to their canned counterparts but only if you take the time to pre-soak them.

2013-03-30 09.50.01_Hagrid_Scrub_Carc     2013-03-30 09.28.22_Satya_Ball_Carc

Pre-soaking dried beans claims to have many benefits, below you can find a few:

  • Less cooking time is required after pre-soaking which can help save more nutrients and the cost of energy required when cooking.
  • According to the California Dry Bean Advisory Board it also helps increase your bodies ability to digest beans, as pre-soaking removes complex sugars which can help cause gas if your body is sensitive to fibre or you have recently introduced beans into your diet. For more information click here.
  • Any dirt on the beans will likely be removed after pre-soaking and a few rinses before cooking.
  • Lastly pre-soaking causes beans to start sprouting (when I first read this I was pretty sceptical but as you can see in my picture above, it is no joke!).  According to Wikipedia, sprouts are said to have more nutritional benefits (for more information click here).

There are many different methods for pre-soaking your beans, all methods suggest the longer the soak the better.  Most people recommend soaking overnight.  It is also important that you shouldn’t let them soak too long either as the beans soak up a lot of water so if any parts are no longer covered they can begin to allow mould or other bacteria to grow!  I have learned that the hard way as well, so take it from my wasted bag of dried beans that it is no myth.

Preparation:

  1. Add your desired amount of dried beans to a bowl (or pot if you want to do a hot pre soak)
  2. Remove any shrivled beans or other matter that doesn’t look like it belongs
  3. Add enough water to cover your beans by at least half of your first finger (a couple of inches)
  4. If you are doing a cold water overnight soak just leave the beans as is and wait, and wait some more.  If you prefer to do a hot soak you can bring your water and beans to a boil for a few minutes then remove from the heat and let soak covered overnight.
  5. Rinse your beans after the pre-soak to remove the water and any remaining residue.  Do not use the remaining water for any of your cooking, dispose of it!  The water contains many of the complex sugars that you will want removed to avoid excess gas!
  6. Your beans are ready to cook!  I often enjoy throwing mine into a crock, pot after to cook on low heat for a few hours until I am ready to prepare a snack or dinner later on that day.

2013-03-30 09.46.15_Hagrid_Dragomir_Carc     2013-03-30 09.46.24_Josh_Red_Carc

I was up earlier than I expected this morning and found that I had left my sprouted beans for too long (over 24 hours) and had to re-soak another batch.  I decided to take my pictures for the post as well so you could all see what they looked like.  I figured I could edit the pictures during some point of our family Easter get together when I needed a break from all the conversation and yummy eats.  Apparently others took notice!  My brother decided to post an edited pic of me editing my pictures for this blog, check it out below and stay thirsty my friends 😉

photo

Advertisements

Clean Fifteen

Yesterday I listed all the fruits and veggies that you really should try to buy organically because they are the top 12 pieces of produce that contain the most pesticides.  Today I will share the positive side of the story…not only is there 12 fruits and veggies BUT 16 that you can likely get away with buying in the regular produce aisle!  This can help you SAVE $$$ and spend the extra on buying organic for the dirty dozen for more effective results for Eating Clean!

The Clean 16 Fruits/Veggies with the least amount of pesticide residue:

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweat Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Domestic Cantaloupe
  12. Sweet Potatoes
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms

Source:

EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Dirty Dozen

Every year a list of the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables is published to help consumers, especially those interesting in eating cleaner, choose where to spend their money when buying organic.  The list below is the top 12 dirtiest fruits and vegetables – meaning that each one tested for the highest levels of pesticide residue for the year of 2012.  Kale and Collard Greens made it off the list this year, with Cucumbers being the kid on the block.  If you are trying to eat cleaner it is highly recommended that you purchase the items below only if they have been certified organic.  Alternatively you can grow these items yourself in your own garden for even more benefits.

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Sweet Bell Peppers
  4. Peaches
  5. Strawberries
  6. Imported Nectarines
  7. Grapes
  8. Spinach
  9. Lettuce
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Blueberries
  12. Potatoes

Half ApplecelerypepperpeachMP900049583necterineConcord GrapesspinachlettuceCucumberblueberryPotato

Special Note: A warning was also listed for Kale / Greens that they may contain a special pesticide of concern!  Not quite sure what it is but I will investigate further and provide an update as it is always good to know what pesticides which should specifically watch out for when trying to Eat Clean!!!

Source:

EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™