How to Cook Dried Beans

The Protein-Packed Super Legume You Always Forget About.

You know what they say. Beans beans the magical fruit, the more you eat, the healthier you are! They don’t really say that. In fact, usually beans get a bad rap for their high-fiber content and its resulting consequences. Some beans can leave people wondering "how do I cook beans?"

True, a lot of people complain that beans aren’t really the most flavorful nor exciting vegetable. If eaten plain they’re right — beans aren’t exactly a party on their own. With some well-cooked beans and a couple of solid bean recipes it’s easy to make beans your healthier, go-to protein meal.

How Much Protein is in Beans?

One of beans' best qualities is that they’re stuffed with protein. A cup of beans rivals any cut of meat with only a portion of the fat. Take a hamburger patty. A 4oz hamburger patty averages about 25 grams to 28 grams of protein and has around 20 grams of fat. Two cups of most types of beans gives you 28 grams (there’s about 7 - 10 grams per half cup) of protein with only a fraction of the fat— and the cost. That’s not to mention all the fiber, water and antioxidants included in beans.

Learn How to Cook Dried Beans

Almost all types of beans come canned but cooking dried beans makes them taste fresher. It takes a little patience so make a whole batch and store it in the refrigerator to keep a handy salad, pizza or taco topper around. The larger the bean (cannelloni beans, lima beans) the longer they will take to cook, and soaking beans makes the process much faster. Although times will vary a little depending on the type of bean, here’s a general guide on how to cook raw beans:

1. Dump out bag and sort beans to remove any damaged beans.
2. Soak beans in cold water for about six hours. [Need beans sooner? Soak for a 2-3 hours. They will just take longer to boil.]
3. For soaked beans, simmer (don’t boil!) approximately 45 minutes to 1 an hour and a half or until cooked throughly. For beans that haven’t been soaked for six hours, increase the simmer time to about two hours. Check the beans progress though— overcooking leads to bitter tasting beans.

Easy Beans and Rice Recipe

Now that you’ve got fresh, tasty beans, complete your bean meal and make beans and rice.  Add 1/2 cup of sautéed onion and 1 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice and combine large bowl. The ratio of beans to rice is up to you, but it's usually half and half. To spice things up, add salsa, a little cheese and jalapeños. It’s the prefect dish to re-heat at work, or eat the whole thing for a protein-rich, low-fat dinner!

How do you cook beans? Let us know on comments.

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