Some people prefer using dry beans while others like the convenience of simply opening a can. No matter the route you choose, both are nutritious and locally grown! Here’s how you get those versatile beans to your table!
Beans are boring? Think again! Cooking with dry beans is easy and rewarding, try these simple steps:
Before rinsing and soaking your dry beans, check through them and remove any that are shriveled or have broken skins. And even though they go through a rigorous cleaning process before they are packaged, the occasional pebble or twig can slip through the cracks, oooops, just remove it.
Give the beans a quick rinse under cold, running water to remove any surface dust or dirt.
For most beans, it’s best to soak them. Use 3 cups (750 mL) of water for each cup (250 mL) of sorted and rinsed beans. All the deets on the soaking process are below!
Drain the beans and then move directly to step 5, do not pass GO.
Place soaked beans in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer. Add water as needed to keep them covered, and continue cooking until beans are fork-tender, about 45-60 minutes.
Bing, bang, boom! Your beans are now ready for your recipe!
Dry beans come in many shapes, flavours and textures, are widely available at your local supermarket, and are an affordable and nutritious option. Regardless of the bean type, you must soak them before you prepare. Try one of these easy dry bean soaking methods:
Bring water and beans to a boil, cover and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Drain.
Let beans and water stand overnight. During hot weather, soak beans in the refrigerator to prevent fermentation. Drain.
Combine hot water and dry beans in a 4 qt. (4 L) microwaveable dish. Cover and microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 15 minutes or until boiling. Let stand 1 hour. Drain.
Once your beans are soaked, now it’s time to cook them! Use 3 cups (750 mL) water for every 1 cup (250 mL) of soaked beans. Then follow one of these methods:
Place soaked beans in a large pot, cover with water by at least 2 inches (5 cm) and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer. Add water as needed until beans are fork-tender, about 45-60 minutes.
In a 4 qt. (4L) microwaveable casserole dish combine 3 cups (750 mL) of water and 1 cup (250 mL) of soaked beans. Cover and microwave on high for 10-15 minutes or until boiling. Stir and microwave at 50% power for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or until fork-tender.
Bean cooking time varies by type. When a bean is fully cooked, the skin is still intact but the bean can easily be smashed between two fingers.
For the slow cooker: pre-soak beans, then boil for 10–12 minutes in fresh water before adding to your slow cooker.
During hot weather, soak beans in the refrigerator to prevent fermentation.
Make sure your saucepan is big enough, as beans double or triple in size during cooking.
To prevent foaming, add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of oil to the cooking water.
Tomatoes, vinegar or other acidic ingredients should be avoided until beans are tender. Acids slow the cooking process.
Beans naturally have a toxic compound in them called phytohemagglutinin. This is destroyed by adequate cooking. For slow cooker recipes, pre-soaked beans should be boiled for 10-12 minutes in fresh water before adding to the crock pot.
Did you know that canned beans are just as nutritious as dry, but are already cooked and ready to go? Delicious canned beans are a cinch to prepare:
Black, red, kidney, navy the options are endless. Not sure which bean to use? Check out all the Canadian grown beans here to help you choose the right bean for your recipe.
Pour the contents into a colander and drain off all the canning liquid (also known as aquafaba). Easy peasy!
Thoroughly rinse beans with tap water for 10+ seconds and allow to drain for two more minutes. Draining and rinsing canned beans reduces the salt from the canning liquid and reduces the carbohydrates that can cause gas.
Use canned beans in anything from desserts to appetizers.
Draining and rinsing canned beans removes salt and reduces the carbohydrates that can cause gas.
Choose no-salt-added canned beans to control the salt level or if salt ain’t your thing!
Aquafaba is the thick water in which beans have been cooked. Reserve this liquid and use it in other recipes such as meringues, mayonnaise, and batters. It is also great for emulsifying, and thickening soups, stews, and sauces.
Canned beans bring the nutrients! They are high in fibre, low in fat, and a source of protein and folate.