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Old 10-15-2012, 08:25 AM   #11
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Sorry Addie but salt doesn't toughen beans. Adding salt at the beginning greatly improves flavor. A lot of people actually salt the soaking water, even.

Acid will toughen beans and old beans will never get soft.

A lot of food science geeks claim that beans soften better when cooked in a minimal amount of liquid but I don't know much about that.

I've never figured out how a 16 bean mixture would cook up evenly given that you can readily see that within the mix there are beans that take quite awhile to cook and beans or lentils/peas that cook in 20 min.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:34 AM   #12
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First I soak in plain water for a few hours and dump the soaking water.

Put them in a pot with enough water to cover by 1/2 inch or more.

I add about 1 teaspoon of sea salt in the cooking water for each cup of beans at the start of cooking.

Cook until tender but keep an eye on the water level. They have to stay covered.

I will taste for salt and if needed I adjust at the end of cooking.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:46 AM   #13
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The same rule for soaking beans is the same for cooking root veggies. Always soak them in cold water. Do not start them in hot or warm water in the belief that it will hurry up the process.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
I've never figured out how a 16 bean mixture would cook up evenly given that you can readily see that within the mix there are beans that take quite awhile to cook and beans or lentils/peas that cook in 20 min.
Exactly. I've seen this multi-bean mixture in stores but have never purchased it for that very reason. Well, that, and the packet of dried "stuff" that doesn't look very appealing. It just seems kind of gimmicky to me. In my bean-cooking experience (and I cook a pot of beans on average about once a week), not all beans are created equal. For example, great northern or navy beans will cook in about a third of the time that it takes for kidney beans. If you throw them into the same pot, the lighter colored or smaller beans/lentils/peas will be mush by the time the darker ones are done.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:36 AM   #15
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The same rule for soaking beans is the same for cooking root veggies. Always soak them in cold water. Do not start them in hot or warm water in the belief that it will hurry up the process.
I also use cold water.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:31 PM   #16
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I don't soak. Ever. And every bean I've tried has worked exceptionally well this way (black, pinto, cannellini, adzuki, white northern, garbanzo, black-eyed peas, etc).

Rinse the beans well. Cover the beans with water plus an extra inch over the top. Add some salt. Bring to a boil on the stove top. Cover the dish and put into a 250 oven. Check to see if more water is needed after an hour in the oven. It generally takes 2 hours total in the oven for them to be cooked through to my liking.

2 c cooked beans = approx 1 can

They also freeze well for later use.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:19 PM   #17
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One of the benefits of soaking beans is that you dissolve some if the ogliosaccharides that give some people gas if they eat beans. They pour off with the soaking water.
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