Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘dried beans’

Quick Soak Beans

Posted by terrepruitt on May 11, 2013

As you might know, I purchased some dried garbanzo beans.  I thought I would go the dried bean route and try to avoid the canned because of the stuff they say is in the can that you should avoid.  But then I didn’t know how to process them.  A quick search on the internet said I needed to soak them for at least 4 hours or that I could do a “Quick” Soak Method.  Well, I did the soaking method a few weeks ago and I have been meaning to do the “Quick” Soak Method but I have not had time.  I mean, honestly, putting beans in a bowl and letting them soak for however long—until I am ready to use them—seems so much easier than boiling them on the stove.  Well when I finally went to do the “Quick” Soak Method I looked it up again and one blog said to boil them, rinse them, let them set for an hour, then boil them again, rinse them, let them set for an hour . . . . I was failing to see the QUICK in that method at all.  Then I found one that said boil them until they had little bubbles then let them set for an hour then rinse them. Ok, that is more like it, but still, I had to be in the kitchen to watch for the bubbles.  In the “long” soak method, I left them to soak unsupervised.  I am thinking that the “Quick” Soak Method might be quicker, but to me it is not easier.

So I followed the directions I found on About.com:

Rinse beans in cold water. Put them in a large pot and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Bring almost to a boil (small bubbles appear around the edges of the pot), cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 1 hour. Drain. The beans will be “soaked” and ready to cook.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaI actually let them sit for TWO hours because when I poked them they didn’t seem very soft.  What I have been seeing articles say is that if the beans looked shriveled to begin with they will not get soft.  Well, one of the reasons I don’t like beans is because of the texture.  I don’t like soft and mushy.  So I really think I like the dried beans because they don’t get that soft.

This time I managed to NOT burn them when I cooked them.  I like the roasted chickpeas crunchy.  So I really like this dried bean route.  I think I will use them from now on.  I will have a few cans on hand in case I don’t remember to soak them in advance, but really if I don’t remember to soak my beans in advance the “Quick Soak Method” is not going to help me.  It doesn’t really save that much time.  I mean, if the “long” soak method only requires four hours and most “Quick” soaks require at least 90 minutes . . . . I think I can plan ahead.  I might even try freezing some that I have soaked.

Anyway . . . the end result to me, is that either soaking method results in about the same type of textured bean and the “Quick” Soak is not quick or easier enough for me.  I like the put-them-in-a-bowl-full-of-water-and forget-about-them-method better.

Now I need to try it with other beans, right?  Since the only other bean I eat is kidney beans, I will try it with them . . . . eventually.  But I will skip the “Quick Soak Method” and just use the overnight one.

How about you?  Do you have a preferred method for soaking your beans?   

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Dried Garbanzo Beans

Posted by terrepruitt on April 27, 2013

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaYou might have gathered from my posts that I am not a fan of beans.  Beans are great for fiber and protein, but I just don’t like them all that much.  I was sometimes ok with garbanzo beans/chickpeas, but that was it.  I didn’t like any other type of bean, but I went to a friend’s house and she had this yummy two bean salad.  So I decided that I am ok with red kidney beans and garbanzo beans in this salad.  Then I came across a recipe that had kidney beans it in and I decided to use half kidney beans and half garbanzo beans.  This recipe is one of my husband’s and mine favorites.  I also like roasted garbanzo beans.  Recently I was in the area – after teaching a Nia class as a sub in south San Jose –  of a store that I have been hearing a lot about.  It is called Sprouts.  The name is “Sprouts Farmers Market: Healthy, Natural & Organic Grocery Stores”, which I don’t really understand, as it is NOT a farmer’s market and not everything is natural nor organic.  They have the produce section kind of set up like you might imagine a market on an actual farm in that nothing is in nice neat rows and it seems kinda hodgey-podgely put together . . . but that is it.  Their organic section of fruits and vegetables was no larger than the one at my “regular” grocery store.  But whatever, I digress (WHAT? ME?  NO!) . . . my post is actually about that fact that I bought some dried garbanzo beans.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaWhen I first discovered the Red Beans and Rice recipe my friend and I were talking about dried beans and we wondered if we could buy dried garbanzo beans.  Later she reported back that she had seen some in the store.  I had asked my chef friend about them and she gave me some advice on how to process them.  And of course I forgot what she said.  But anyway . . . I finally was in a store that had them when I remembered to look.  So I bought some.

When you look up how to process dried beans on the internet you will probably come across two different methods.  There is the long soak and then the quick soak.  My idea was to do both and then report the results on my blog in one post.  But funny as it sounds, I have not had time — more accurately, I have not made time — to do the quick soak method.  I know, you would think that would be the easiest and fastest one to do.  But to me it was much easier to throw the beans in a bowl and let them soak for 13 hours and 45 minutes.  I’ve read they should soak for at least 4 hours.  Mine just turned into 13 hours plus.

Since I have not yet gotten around to doing the quick soak method I will report on what I found with the long soak method and then when I do the other one I will post about that.

The “long soak” method has no cooking involved.  I was interested in not cooking the beans.  Everything I read said that they double in size.  I don’t recall that happening.  NOTHING I read told me they would pop!  I kept hearing this odd sound and wondering what it was.  If you have a pet you might do as I do and the first thing I do when I hear something unfamiliar is I blame my pet and find her first to see if she was responsible.  But when I heard the pop she was right next to me.  So, I kept thinking it was coming from outside. Finally it dawned on me that it might be the beans and I stood by the bowl until I heard one!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaI had decided to split the bag in between the two methods.  So I got a huge bowl and put half of my beans in it.  Then I filled it with water.  I did this at 11:00 am on a Friday.  I changed the water twice.  I rinsed the beans both times.  My report is that beans themselves have gas.  My kitchen smelled gassy the whole time the beans were soaking.  I kept lighting a candle.  I drained the beans at 12:45 pm on Saturday.  I decided I was going to roast them.  So I drained them to let them start to dry out.

I roasted them.  They were gorgeous.  I like them because they seem less “mushy” than the canned beans.  And for me “mushy” is part of the reason I don’t like beans.  So I really liked this dried/soaking method.  I left the beans in the oven a tad bit too long.  I was doing too many things at once and when I took them out to check them I forgot to put the timer on when I put them back in.  I realized my error when I smelled burning beans.  So . . . . they are ok, but not as I would have liked them.

The verdict in regards to soaking beans is good.  I am going to do that.  I have a feeling that soaking them will turn out to be easier than the quick soak method.  We will see.

The questions I have been thinking about though is . . . . the canned beans I buy say “Organic” whereas the dried ones I bought did not.  So really which are better?  I will look for organic dried beans, but I am not sure where to find them.  I know I didn’t see them at the “Farmers Market” that claims to have healthy, natural, and organic food.  🙂  Well, at least I didn’t see a sign that claimed the dried beans were organic.

Do you used canned beans or dried?

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