Master Recipe for Cooking Beans Many recipes in this book include beans, because they’re a great source of protein, fiber, and other nutrients, so I figured I’d better include a basic recipe for cooking them. I cook beans with kombu, which contains an abundance of glutamic acid, an amino acid that helps break down the starches in the beans and makes them less combustible. Adding lemon juice to the soaking water and skimming off the foam make the beans even easier to digest. SERVING SIZE: ONE CUP OF DRIED BEANS YIELDS ABOUT 2 CUPS COOKED; ¼ CUP OF COOKED BEANS IS A PERFECT SERVING SIZE FOR MAXIMUM DIGESTIBILITY.
1 cup dried beans 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 6-inch strip of kombu 1 teaspoon sea salt Rinse the beans well in a strainer, then put them in a bowl or pot with water to cover by 2 inches. Stir in the lemon juice and soak overnight. Drain the beans and rinse well, then put them in a pot, add water to cover by 3 inches, and add the kombu. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, skim off any foam from the surface, and gently simmer, covered, for 20 minutes to 2½ hours depending on the bean (see the chart above). Start testing the lentils after 20 minutes and other beans after 45 minutes; when they are tender but still al dente, stir in the salt. (Adding salt too soon retards the cooking process.) Check the beans occasionally to see if more water is needed. During the last 15 minutes, the beans will start to cook faster; test them often to ensure they don’t overcook. However, if you plan to store and reheat the beans, leave them slightly undercooked. Drain the beans and discard the cooking liquid. At this point, you can add them to recipes or store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. PREP TIME:
4 to 12 hours for soaking