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Recipes for Good Food Habits

Cooking with Dried Beans and Peas
/ Categories: Mains, Vegetables

Cooking with Dried Beans and Peas

Beans are a cheap healthy way to increase protein and fibre as well as make meat dishes go further, provide a protein alternative to meat or to simply add variety to your meals.

Canned beans are an easy way to introduce beans into your diet. Make sure you rinse them first to remove some of the salt. Dried beans are usually the cheapest option and there is a greater variety available, but these do require some preparation. The preparation doesn't have to be difficult. I recommend soaking and cooking 3-500g of beans at a time then freezing them so they are ready to use when needed. No need to defrost; these can usually be added straight from freezer to pot. A pressure cooker can make cooking faster but is not essential.

There are 2 soaking methods:

Overnight Soaking Quick Soaking
Place beans in a bowl or pot.
Add water (3-4 times the amount of beans)
Leave covered for 4 to 6 hours. Longer than 12 hours will          
   cause the beans to break up.
Place beans in a pot and add enough water to  
    cover the beans.
Bring to the boil and simmer 2-5 minutes.
Drain and rinse under cold water. Soak for 1 hour.


Do not add salt to the soaking or cooking water - this will make the beans tough.


Guide for Cooking Beans / Peas
Dried Bean
(1 cup)

Water (cups)   

Simmer Time
(Covered after
Pressure Cook
(After reaching 
End Quantity
Adzuki 4 45 minutes 5 minutes 22/3
Black Beans 3 11/2- 2 hours 5 minutes 21/2
Black-eyed Beans 21/2 30 minutes Not recommended 2
Cannellini Beans 3 1 -11/2hours 8 minutes 2
Chickpeas 4 2 hours or longer 12 minutes 21/2
Kidney Beans 3 2 hours 3 minutes 23/4
Lentils, green or brown
(No soaking)
21/2 30 - 45 minutes Not recommended 2
Lentils, red
(No soaking)
21/2 7 minutes Not recommended 2
Lima Beans 21/2
45 - 60 minutes 2 minutes 21/2
Mung Beans 3 30 - 45 minutes      Not recommended     3
Navy Beans 3 11/2- 2 hours 7 - 10 minutes 21/2
Peas, split
(No soaking)
2 30 -45 minutes Not recommended 21/2
Borlotti Beans 31/2 11/2- 2 hours 10 minutes 21/2
Soybeans 31/2 21/2- 31/hours 20 minutes 21/3







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