Unless a person is willing to spend a great deal of money on preserved meats a food storage program not including a quantity of legumes is simply incomplete. Legumes are dried beans, peas and lentils from pods containing one row of seeds. Substitute a similar bean if you can’t find the kind called for in the recipe.
MOST COMMON VARIETIES OF BEANS
Black Beans – (Turtle Beans) are small and black, but turn a rich, mahogany brown when cooked. They can be used in soups, loaves, patties and in Oriental and Mediterranean dishes. They tend to bleed when cooked so they are not well suited to being combined with other beans, lest they give the entire pot a muddy appearance.
Black-eye Peas – are small, oval-shaped and creamy white with a black spot on one side. They cook more quickly than most beans and are reputed to cause less gas. They are used primarily as a main dish vegetable. (They are really beans, not peas, but the name is used in some regions of the country.) In the south they eat black-eyed peas and cabbage on New Year’s Day for good luck.
Garbanzo Beans – are also known as “chick peas,” are nut-flavored and are commonly pickled in vinegar and oil for salads. They are the prime ingredient in hummus and falafel and are one of the oldest cultivated legume species known, going back as far as 5400 B.C. in the Near East.
Great Northern Beans – are large, white beans used in soups, salads, casseroles dishes, and baked bean dishes.
Kidney Beans – are large and have a red color and kidney shape. They are popular for chili con carne and add color and body to salads and many Mexican dishes.
Lima Beans – are white, broad and flat, and come in a variety of sizes. They are not widely known as dry beans, but make an excellent main dish vegetable and can also be used in soups and casseroles. In the southern U.S. they are commonly called butter beans.
Mung Beans – are usually served as long, succulent sprouts on Oriental dishes and at salad bars. They are small, green, and slightly oval in shape. They can easily be sprouted at home and used as crunchy sprouts in salads and stir fry. They can also be cooked whole and used in place of any bean.
Navy Beans – include Great Northern, pea, flat small white and small white beans. They are versatile and can be used in any recipe calling for beans.
Pea Beans – are small, oval and white. They are a favorite for home baked beans, soups and casseroles. They hold their shape well when cooked.
Pinto Beans - are of the same species as the kidney bean and red beans. Beige colored and speckled, they are used mainly in salads and chili.
Soybeans – are the ”king” of beans when it comes to protein. Ounce for ounce, the soybean contains twice as much protein as meat, four times that of eggs, twelve times that of milk. It is the only bean that is a complete protein and is loaded with vitamins A,B,C,E, minerals and lecithin. Soybeans can also be sprouted under pressure, as are Mung Beans, to be used in oriental cooking.
MOST COMMON DRY PEAS AND LENTILS
Green Dry Peas – have a distinct flavor and are usually made into a thick soup which can be made from whole or split peas. In Europe, many chefs used powdered beans and peas th thicken soups as well as to add a rich flavor.
Yellow Dry Peas – have a less pronounced flavor than other types and is in demand in the southern and Eastern parts of the country, as well as in many other countries of the world.
Dry Split Peas – are used mainly for split pea soup. However, they combine well with many different foods. Pea flour can be used in the same ways as Dry Whole Peas. Specially grown whole peas are dried and their skins are removed by a special machine. Another machine then breaks the peas in half. Since Split Peas do not have a protective skin, the will not sore as well as whole peas.
Lentils – are an odd lot. They don’t fit in with either the beans or the peas and occupy a place by themselves. Their shape is different from the other legumes being roundish little discs with colors ranging from muddy brown, to green, to a rather bright orangish-red. They cook very quickly compared to the larger beans and have a distinctive flavor.
Uses of Beans
Bean Flour – Beans ground to a fine flour can be added in small quantities to nearly everything you cook. Beans in this form seem to be easier to digest since they require no chewing. Bean flours are used in baked goods made from your regular recipes in combination with other flours, or as cream soups, sauces, dips or in loaves, patties or casseroles. Bean flours provide the fastest and easiest way to prepare bean meals. You can substitute ¼ of your wheat flour in your bread for bean flour or replace the oil in a recipe for the same amount of bean flour.
*** When added to boiling water, bean flours thicken in only 1 minute, and 3 minutes are ready to eat. Bean flours added to baked goods increase vitamins and minerals and provide a source of complete protein.
Mashed Beans – Cooked, mashed beans can be added to soups, sauces, patties, loaves, casseroles, “meat” pies, sandwich fillings, dips, etc.
Cooking beans whole – A pound of beans measures about 2 cups dry, 6 cups cooked. Use 3 cups of water per cup of dry beans for soaking.
Dry beans, whole peas, and split peas need soaking before cooking. Lentils do not.
Overnight soak: Wash and sort beans; place in large sauce pan with 6 cups of water per pound of beans. Let stand overnight.
Quick soak: Follow above instructions, but bring beans and water to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour.
Cracked bean Quick soak: to 2 c. of beans that have been coarsely cracked using a hand grain cracker, blender, add 4 cups boiling water. Cover and let stand 5 minutes, rinse (in strainer) and drain.
Whole, soaked beans can be cooked in a variety of ways, or frozen to speed coking time even further. Cook soaked beans slowly over low heat to prevent broken or floating skins. A tablespoon of oil or butter added during cooking reduces foaming and boil-overs.
—Here’s a hint to get the gas out of your beans—-
Put beans in pan, add water and 2 tsp. baking soda. Bring to boil. Dump out water. Add new water and 2 tsp. baking soda. Bring to a boil again. Dump out water and wash beans thoroughly. Add new water and cook as
BEAN COOKING CHART — 1 CUP SOAKED BEANS COOKING TIME
Black beans 2 hrs.
Blackeye beans (peas or cowpeas) 25-30 mins.
Garbanzo beans (chick-peas) 2-2 1/2 hrs.
Great Northern beans 1-1 1/2 hrs.
Kidney beans 1 1/2 hrs.
Lentils (no soaking required) 25-30 mins.
Large Lima beans 1 hr.
Pea beans (navy beans) 1 1/2 hrs.
Peas, whole 1 hr.
Pink beans 2 hrs.
Pinto beans 2 hrs.
Red Beans 2 hrs.
Soy beans 1 1/2 hrs.
Remember—this chart is cooking time after beans have been soaked.
Cooking Lentils – to cook lentils, combine 2 c. lentils and 5 c. water in a saucepan. Bring to boiling, reduce heat, cover tightly, and boil gently for 30 minutes.