Tip of the Day
Soak Up Some Beans
Beans are the perfect addition to any fall menu. Add them to soups, stews and casseroles, or serve them alone as a side dish. Beans are loaded with protein, fiber, iron and other vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients, yet contain little fat and no cholesterol.
If you buy dry beans (not lentils or split peas), you can reduce cooking time by up to half by soaking them before cooking. (If you are short on time, you can always buy canned, frozen or fresh beans.) There are two ways to soak beans:
- The leisurely method. Soak beans for at least four hours or overnight in a pot filled with room-temperature water. Use a large enough pot because the beans will expand.
- The quick method. Bring water to a boil and let beans soak in hot water for one to four hours, depending on the type of beans.
To enjoy beans while reducing the intestinal gas you might experience from eating them, rinse the soaked beans and discard the soaking water and any debris and cook them in fresh water. Unlike some vegetables, beans keep most of the essential nutrients they contain instead of losing them to the soaking water.
Check out our Cooking Tips and Trends page for more useful food preparation material.
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Reviewed July 2013