Dried beans are so much cheaper than the tinned variety but not as convenient. My biggest reason for not using them in cooking was that I often forgot to soak them the night before until a friend made a brilliant suggestion "why not cook them and freeze them?" Okay they take up more room in the freezer than when they are dried but they are better for you and the environment than tinned ones. You can also cook up a few portions that you can sling into a meal and when they run out then cook some more. I ususally use the slow cooker to cook mine to at least the point where another half an hour and they would be cooked, ie not completely cooked. I then drain them and freeze them on trays before bagging them up which means that I can get out as many, or as little, as I need.
I usually forget to soak them overnight, too, so I use the quick soaking method. Put them in cold water, bring them to the boil, boil for 2 minutes, turn off the heat, leave in the water for an hour and then put them into the recipe.
Next time I soak too many I will freeze them on trays, so thanks for that!
I know when my friend suggested it I was left thinking now why didn't I think of that?
On the whole, I believe generations of bean cookers and eaters rather than extreme health and safety warnings. As long as beans are boiled for a while, I suspect they are safe.
It is like microwave cooking times, which in England are so long that the food would be dead and unappealing, just to protect against some idiot who undercooks something, leaves it out for ages, and half warms it again before eating it. (, that is more of a rant than a comment.)
I think it is just red kidney beans that poisonous without a rapid boil and there are usually safety warnings on the packet
I'll second that. I'm sure I heard somewhere that there are only a couple of beans which need boiling intensively and kidney beans are one of them. I think haricot might be the other but I can't remember.
There are some websites which claim you has use a pressure cooker and cook beans for about 10 minutes instead of boiling for 2 hours. I tried this once but chickened out and still simmered the beans for half an hour afterwards.
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Have found a couple of snippets concerning beans from this site:
Chickpeas produce an especially wonderful broth, better than any canned vegetable broth I've tried. Freeze this broth in a muffin tin, then pop out the little cups of broth to use for making rice, chickpea-noodle soup, or any recipe that calls for chicken broth.
Optionally, drain and add fresh water. I usually cook beans in their soaking liquid. Some people throw away the soaking liquid and cook beans in fresh water (always do this with kidney beans). This will throw some of the taste and nutrients down the drain but may help if beans give you gas, especially when you first start eating them regularly.
Chickpeas are some of my favourites too
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