Friday, April 30, 2010


I did it. It may not seem like a big deal to most people, but I had one of those mental blocks about it. I made beans. Real beans, not from a can.

I think I heard one too many horror stories (or at least complaints) about cooking dry beans. They won't soften, they get too mushy, they take too long, etc. Really, they weren't a big deal to make. They just take some forethought initially, like most whole foods.

Some things I learned along the way:

1. Once you soak the beans, they almost triple in size (at least mine did). Thus, number two.
2. It's helpful to soak in batches of a pound or so, so that you know how much water to use when you cook them (a pound of dry black beans is about two cups).
3. Soak the beans in a bigger bowl than you think. When I saw mine this morning they had soaked in all of the water and I thought I had generously covered them.

I made some of my beans in my pressure cooker and some on the stove in a pot. I actually liked the outcome of the stove beans best. They were firmer and held together better than the other (but I'm pretty sure I was off with the water measurement with the pressure cooker).

A good idea:
Make a bunch at a time and then freeze them in little baggies for use in future recipes. I did about a cup per bag.

Now I feel more self reliant and better about the fact that there won't be BHT in my next casserole. Wahoo!

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