The Art Of Cooking Dried Beans

It’s seems so simple cooking a dried bean?

It turns out there are actually some very important methods and techniques to turning a simple bean into a delicious, creamy, and perfectly-cooked addition to your meal.  They are also a excellent source of fiber and protein!

It is always good to take a look at your dried beans beforehand. If they look dirty, give them a rinse. Sort through the beans and watch out for pebbles within the mix. If time permits, soak them overnight in the refrigerator covered with double the amount of water as dried bean. This will allow them to cook much faster. If time does not allow, fast-soak them. Put them in a big pot, cover with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Take the pot off the heat and cover with a lid. Let them sit for one hour and proceed with the following directions:

  1. Transfer your beans to a big pot and make sure they are covered with 2 inches of water, at least. You can cook them in the same water you used to soak.  Add more water if needed.
  2. Bring them to a gentle simmer. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface and discard. Don’t allow to boil hard!
  3. Add enough salt to flavor the broth, a bay leaf, half an onion, carrot, maybe a chili or herbs? Anything that will impart a little flavor to your cooking liquid.
  4. Cook until beans are tender. Keep the water level consistent throughout the course of cooking, by continuing to add water as needed. All beans vary in cooking time depending on type of bean, how long they have been dried, and how long they were soaked.
  5. Adjust seasoning to taste and allow the beans to cool in their liquid, completely submerged.

TIP: Make large batches of beans as a time-saving “make-ahead staple.” They will keep in their broth for five days in the refrigerator or they can easily be frozen (in the broth) and reheated at your convenience. Add them to soups, make a simple side dish or salad, or puree them for a delicious dip!

Learn more:

Life’s Building Blocks: Protein

Healthy Aging and the Mediterranean Dietary Pattern

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables


Categories: In The Kitchen