Dried beans are a great source of inexpensive protein, fiber, vitamins, etc. etc. They also make great fall and winter dishes. The trouble with dried beans is you have to plan ahead. Most beans have to soak. The good news is you can put them to soak before you go to work! Come home and they’re ready to cook. Beans cooked properly taste lovely.
OK, let’s cook beans. If you own a pressure cooker, beans are a snap and you are probably already a bean cooker. Basically, a pressure cooker cuts your cooking time in half. If you don’t own one don’t worry. Everything is the same, it just takes longer.
Buy dried beans from a store that has high turnover. Buy them form the bulk section. Don’t buy more beans than you will use in a month. Put them in a closed container away from light and moisture.
Cooked beans expand in volume. For example, a cup of dried chickpeas will yield 2 to 3 cups cooked. For learning purposes, I will cook 1 cup of beans. Feel free to cook as much as you like.
Basic bean cooking:
Reading over this, I realize cooking beans sounds like a nightmare. The truth is, once you do it a couple times and you get a rhythm, it’s really simple. The bottom line is: clean, soak, rinse, boil, scoop, add Kombu, cover, simmer. OK, go.
Here is a chart on the internet for minimum soaking and cooking times. Always take cooking times with a grain of salt: Bean Chart