Cooking Guide for Beans

by Gentle World on September 16, 2010

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There are many different varieties of beans, so if you’re interested in taking advantage of their excellent nutritional benefits, I would suggest that you try a few different varieties to see which type appeals to you the most. Even if you think you’re ‘not a fan’, you may well be surprised by how much variation there is in the legume family.

To cook beans easily and in less time, use a pressure-cooker. Check out this link for more information about this method.

  • Most dry beans need soaking overnight before cooking. Soak in 4-5 cups of water to 1 cup of beans. Rinse with fresh water before cooking.
  • 1 cup dry beans yields approximately 2 1/2 cups cooked beans.
  • To cook: Bring water to a boil. Add beans, then simmer for specified cooking time.

Lentils (brown)
1 cup dry lentils to 3 cups water.
No pre-soaking necessary. Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Red lentils require less cooking time.

Garbanzo Beans (chick peas)
1 cup dry beans to 4 cups water.
Soaked overnight, cooking time is 2-3 hours.

Soybeans
1 cup dry beans to 4 cups water.
Soaked overnight, cooking time is 3 hours.

Black Beans
1 cup dry beans to 4 cups water.
Soaked, cooking time is 60-90 minutes.

Navy Beans
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
Soaked, cooking time is 90 minutes.

Pinto Beans
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
Soaked, cooking time is 2-2 1/2 hours.

Great Northern Beans
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
Unsoaked, cooking time is 90-120 minutes. Soaked, cooking time is 60 minutes.

Kidney Beans
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
Soaked, cooking time is 60+ minutes. Unsoaked, cooking time is 90 minutes.

Lima Beans
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
No soaking required. Cooking time is 90 minutes.

Split Peas
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
No soaking required. Cooking time is 45-75 minutes.

Adzuki Beans
1 cup dry beans to 4 cups water.
Soaked for one hour, cooking time is 1 hour. Unsoaked, cooking time is 90-120 minutes.

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Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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