Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cooking Dried Beans for Easy Digestion

Satisfying, versatile, and very inexpensive  -about $1 per pound - at a time when budgets need to be stretched to put gas in our vehicles!   I just cooked another 4 pounds today!  They freeze very well!

A few months ago I shared how to cook beans to be easily digestible.  A nutritionist told me to soak grain overnight by adding 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar for every cup of grain.  However, I adapted this recipe and found it works just as well without the beans soaking up so much vinegar.

Soak the following overnight in a large Dutch oven or cooking pot:
4 pounds of dried beans, washed thoroughly in a colander (Great Northern or pinto beans are very good)
1 gallon of distilled water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Note: Do NOT add any salt at this point!  Salt will prevent the beans from getting tender.  Salt and season later.

After soaking overnight or at least 8 hours, drain and rinse the beans several times.  Cover with more pure water and bring to a boil.  A foam may cover the top after they come to a boil.  Skim off the foam with a large spoon.  I hold the lid in my left hand and spoon the foam into the lid, then pour it down the drain.  This needs to be done until the foam is about gone (5 minutes or so).  Simmer beans for about an hour or more until the beans are tender.  I drain the beans unless I plan to make bean soup.  You can season at this point or wait until serving.  Spoon some of the beans into containers to freeze.  Save some with the liquid for bean soup, and make hummus with the remaining beans for dipping carrots, celery or crackers into this high protein snack.

Complete protein:  By eating a grain with beans, you will have a complete protein (a meat substitute).  Whole grain bread or crackers, rice cakes or crackers, or a bean and rice dish will suffice.