How to Cook Beans

     Do you know how to cook beans from scratch?   Not as big a deal as you might think.   Every bean variety is a little different in terms of cooking time and they all taste very different. So, in the hopes of making your low glycemic eating plan effortless, you will find descriptions and cooking times below.

how to cook beans

      Beans are the cheapest, low glycemic, super foods on the planet!      They are really easy to prepare when you've got the cooking and soaking times down.   The only hard part is remembering to soak them early.   In addition to cooking them, the other issue is digesting them and the flatulence that goes with that.

AVOID GAS: Some suggestions for this problem are to go slowly. Eat small portions often until your body is used to them. Eating them early in the day before you’ve walked or gone to the gym helps. Adding garlic, cumin, ginger or a little vinegar at the end of cooking helps.   How to cook beans includes the preparation which means soaking most varieties which will make them more digestible.   Soak them over night the night before you plan to cook them.    Sometimes this is all it takes!

     Beans are high fiber, highly nutritious, low glycemic and can be delicious if prepared properly. They are well worth the time to plan for and prepare them. Make a big batch every couple of weeks. The taste difference between canned beans and cooking your own is huge and will likely make the difference between eating them a lot or hardly ever.   Once you’ve cooked up a big batch you can store them in your refrigerator and just add them to a soup, a salad, put them in a taco or on a tostada.   They are a perfect food for a diabetic plan.

     The first step in the preparation of beans is sorting through them and rinsing them carefully. The easiest way to do this is to just put them in a shallow pan and fill it with water. The grass and rocks and bits of what have you float to the top and you can scoop them up with a strainer.

      Once they're clean just cover with water and soak them overnight. Now you've reduced the flatulence problem and cut back on the cooking time significantly.

     Be sure to cook them in the soaking water to retain the nutrients. Add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches to cook them. If they boil over, let the lid slide over to ventilate a bit. Beans yield about twice the amount of the dry measure – 1 cup dried beans usually produces 2 cups cooked. Add salt towards the end of the cooking time for more tender beans – 1/2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup raw beans.

How to cook:

adzuki beans - These beans are the easiest to digest (no gas issues) and are delicious with a little soy sauce, ginger and chopped bell pepper. Simmer covered for 30 – 40 minutes.

black beans - Black beans are yummy with a little olive oil, some chopped onions, lots of garlic and chopped cilantro. You could also squeeze a little lemon on them just before serving. Great in chili or soups. Simmer covered for 30 minutes to an hour.

black eyed peas - Simmer covered for 30 to 60 minutes. Great with chopped tomatoes and onion. Mild and easy to digest like the adzukis.

cannellini beans - Simmer covered for about 30 minutes. Use in stews and soups. Good with carrots, celery and onion, season with oregano, salt and pepper.

kidney beans - Simmer for an hour. Great chilled in salads or added to chili or soups.

lentils - My personal favorite! No soaking required. They are so mild and the green or brown ones only take 20 minutes to cook. Red or yellow lentils take just 5 – 8 minutes!

Really yummy and they go well with anything, fish, eggs, in stews. You could add them to brown rice when the rice is 20 minutes from being done and they could bring down the glycemic index of the rice.

lima beans or butter beans - Simmer 50 to 90 minutes to your taste. When I learned how to cook beans I realized that I tend to like my beans cooked on the lighter side so they are more crunchy. If you like more texture always go for the shorter time. They are great with bulgur and veggies and make a wonderful soup.

pinto beans – These are the king of beans for chili and Mexican food. Simmer covered for 50 – 60 minutes.

split peas - Everybody can handle split peas in a soup! They can be made into a soup in about 1/2 an hour with onions, and your choice of vegetables, carrots or cabbage are good. If you want a heartier soup and start with bulgur just throw in the split peas and vegetables when it's half cooked.

yellow split peas - Yellow split peas have a much milder, different flavor and can be added to soups or stews.

white beans - These would be the great northern, small navy beans and all the other white beans. The bigger ones take an hour – 1 1/2 hours but the small white beans can be cooked in half the time. They are great in soups and stews on a cold, winter night.

     In learning how to cook beans it is essential to know how to serve them as a substitute for meat so that you will get all the essential amino acids. To make a complete protein you can combine beans with brown rice, nuts, seeds or wheat. Bulgur and barley are both from the wheat family.

     These beans all make into great, nutritious low glycemic recipes. You can center a meal around the beans or have them for a side dish or just add them to salads, soups, stews, tacos etc. Now that you know how to cook beans, in fact a variety of beans, you will always be able to come up with cheap, high fiber, low glycemic meals that do not necessarily require meat.

      When you are eating more high fiber foods and less meat you are losing fat faster, managing your blood sugar, keeping your cholesterol low and your blood pressure down!

     You can print out our bean cooking times list from our printable low glycemic index recipes.

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