Beans are awesome for you and hopefully you’ve read my educational article on how beans help you lose weight. Now let’s put that education to work for us by learning how to cook dried beans.
Buying a bag of dried beans is cheap, but figuring out what to do with them when you get home is a completely different matter. Learning to cook well forces you to plan ahead, and, if that’s not your strongest suit, cooking will help you hone it.
Buying a can of beans takes no forethought whatsoever, and ironically, has no nutritional value besides sodium (if that counts?).
Buying, then soaking dried beans takes forethought, but is worth it in taste, discipline, and fiber.
Unlike rice, there’s no real water to bean ratio, so you can relax on the measurement cups Tina. Because they double in size, they’ll also double in measurement after cooked. Tina the perfectionist would tell you that 2 cups of dried beans equals 4 cups of cooked beans. But I’m too busy eating my finished product to remeasure.
1. Decide how many beans and gas you intend on producing.
2. Add dried beans to a large bowl filled with water and allow to soak for 8-9 hours. (Translation…overnight)Neat Fact: You don’t need to soak lentils. (“Lentils are for the lazy” Tina says as she wags her finger at me.)
3. After beans have soaked long enough (or you’ve woken up the next morning), strain out water and prepare to cook.
Cooking Dried Beans
Wine drinker Tina says you should set a timer like a reasonable adult, or you can burn your tongue periodically testing their density.
2. You can try different liquids to cook your beans in like various broths, crushed tomatoes, or even coconut milk.
3. Feeling fancy? Add in onions, peppers or garlic while simmering to give more flavor.
Neat Fact: Don’t overcook your beans! Remove from heat as soon as they’re tender unless you’re making hummus or paste…because that’s exactly what’s gonna happen if you overcook them.
Whether you’re making Good 4 You Brownies, Hummus, or your grandpa’s favorite chili, buy the real stuff and leave the canned beans at the store. You’ll save money, get healthier and perfect PTA parent Tina can’t stare down her nose at you and your lack of cooking skills.
Whether you're a beginner or a pro, you're guaranteed to learn something new to make you an even better chef in the kitchen!
1. How To Check An Old Slow Cooker
Haven't used your slow cooker in a while? Did a friend give you theirs or maybe you bought one at a garage sale? Here's a fool proof way to make sure your slow cooker is working properly.
2. Checking A Brand New Slow Cooker
Follow the same procedure as above, but make sure you are home. Always, always make sure you're at home the first time you use your slow cooker in case it implodes from pressure and covers your kitchen in raw meat. Sure, that's 99.9% unlikely, but safety first chef slow cooker, and get that hair net on!
If you're under 40, you probably have never used a slow cooker, and if you're over 40, you probably have. Slow cookers get the grandma treatment too often and aren’t nearly as beloved as they should be in this generation of instantaneous desires.
What Is A Slow Cooker?
Now That We Got That Out Of The Way...
What To Choose
The Cost and Clean Up
Benefits of Using a Slow Cooker
Slow cookers won't heat up your entire house like your oven will, and they use low indirect heat so it's almost impossible to burn anything. (you're welcome 20 somethings) Rachel Rappaport writes in her book The Everything Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook,"Since liquids do not evaporate in the slow cooker, very lean meat will not dry out or overcook the way they might on the stove top or grill, leaving them amazingly tender."
Simple Foods For Slow Cookers
Slow cookers are great for learning to cook or just as a fill in for busy days. If you don’t own one, buy one. If you have one, pull it out from the cabinets, dust it off and get ready to start using it to create healthy and filling dishes!