I<3 Legumes

January 6, 2009


I love beans. The chickpea, sometimes called a garbanzo bean, is my favourite. Black beans, kidney beans and black-eyed peas are classics. Mung (or Moong) beans and Adzuki beans are becoming regulars. My cupboards are overflowing with beans (don’t even get me started on lentils). And unlike the case in one of my favourite films, Delicatessen, beans are dead cheap.
Until a year ago or so I was a fan of canned beans. I bought them without thinking, lugging the heavy cans back from the grocery store. Once the BPA reports started coming in and with it long distance phone calls with my sister, also a voracious bean eater, as we discussed the validity and concerns of all our canned-bean eating. It was time to change our habits.

Not taking anymore chances I started eating dried beans but I had no idea what I was doing.

Buying dried beans is easy. The basics will be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Better dried bean selections are at Grace on Bank St. and any Bulk Barn.

I tried several different methods of cooking the beans and looked to food blogs trying to sort out the best. After a year this is my standard for any type of bean.

1 part bean: 3 parts water
Soak overnight, or during the day (minimum 10 hours)
Rinse the beans and put them in a pot with water to boil, and then simmer. After the beans have started boiling a foam will appear that should be skimmed off.
The length of time the beans need to simmer depends on the age of the beans. Anywhere from thirty-five minutes to an hour (for very old beans). I usually nibble on a bean to see how soft it is after forty minutes.
I like to do several cups of beans at one time and freeze or refrigerate the extra beans (they’re good for a week). Typically I put them in baggies of the same size as a can of beans so I can simply follow my favourite recipes.
19oz can = 2 cups of cooked beans
14oz can = 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans

As a bean lover, there are two great and immediate rewards for eating beans this way: they taste better and they are supposedly less gaseous. I asked my cat if he thought this was true and wisely he had no comment.


2 Responses to “I<3 Legumes”

  1. althia Says:

    how do you make your article so pretty like that?

  2. Katie Says:

    Felix wouldn’t tell you if you are gassy… he is too polite.

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