What you need to know about soaking legumesIf the legumes you are preparing just need a quick soak then put them in a saucepan with at least three cups of cold water for each cup of beans. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat, cover and stand for 1-2 hours. Beans will soften faster in hot water. When soaking beans for more than 4 hours or overnight, they should be covered in water and left in a cool place. It is important to discard the soaking water and thoroughly re-rinse.
How are legumes cooked?Each cup of beans requires 3 to 4 cups of water. Each cup of dried beans will give approximately 2 cups of cooked beans. Always discard the cooking water and rinse well.
How long is needed to soak and cook the different types of legumes?Check this handy soaking times and cooking chart for legumes...
|SOAKING AND COOKING CHART FOR LEGUMES|
|Dried Legume||Soaking Time||Cooking Time||What do they look like when cooked|
|Black Eyed Beans||Overnight||1¼-1½ hours||Stays whole when cooked|
|Borlotti Beans||Overnight||1¼-1½ hours||Stays whole but will split easily|
|Chickpeas||Overnight||1-3 hours||When cooked – can be flattened when pinched|
|Cannellini||Overnight||1/¼-1½ hours||Stays whole when cooked|
|Kidney Beans||Overnight||1/¼-1½ hours||Stays whole when cooked|
|Brown Lentils||1 hours||50-60 minutes||May go mushy if overcooked|
|Green Lentils||1 hour||50-60 minutes||May go mushy if overcooked|
|Red Lentils||Wash only||15-20 minutes||Splits open when cooked|
|Puy Lentils||15 minutes||40-50 minutes||Stays whole when cooked|
|Lima Beans||Overnight||1/¼-1½ hours||Stays whole when cooked|
|Soy Beans||Overnight||4 hours||Stays whole when cooked|
|Split Peas||Wash only||45-60 minutes||Have a soft texture when cooked|
What are the benefits of eating dried legumes?Legumes are a low-fat source of protein and are high in fibre. They contain no cholesterol and are typically high in folate, iron, folate, potassium and magnesium.
How do I store legumes?Dried legumes are best stored in a air-tight glass or plastic container at room temperature. Once the packet is opened they will last for 6-9 months. Make sure you also check the use-by-date. Older legumes often need extra soaking time.
Some tips for cooking legumes:
- Cooking legumes with the lid off allows the substance that causes wind to escape and can help to reduce flatulence.
- Adding a 5cm piece of kombu can also help to reduce wind.