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Discover Dried Beans

Don’t believe all the scary talk about cooking with dried beans. We think it may be a conspiracy by the canned bean industry. It’s really not as daunting as it seems. We’ll give you some helpful tips on preparing and using dried beans in some of your favorite recipes.
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There is still an ongoing debate about soaking vs. not soaking dried beans before using. We’ll give you the facts and you can make up your own mind on the great soaking debate.

Pro soaking: Soaking dry beans cuts down on cooking time and, as the Bean Institute points out, soaking them also breaks down flatulence-causing compounds. Sounds like a win.

Con soaking: Unsoaked beans pack more flavor than soaked beans.

As far as cooking times, soaking the beans cuts the cooking time by 20 to 30 minutes. So, it all comes down to time vs. taste.

If you choose to soak, use plenty of water (cover beans by at least 2 inches) and soak 6 hours to overnight. Drain before using.

Here are a few more tips to help you in your dried bean adventure:

  • Fresher is always better even with dried beans. Check the date on the bag and make sure beans are not more than two years old.
  • Let beans cool completely in their cooking water. If you drain them while they’re still hot, they will shrivel and crack.
  • Save time and cook the entire bag of beans even if you don’t need them all for one recipe. You can freeze what you don’t use for up to a month. Be careful – any longer than that and they are very mushy when you thaw them.

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