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Old 02-05-2009, 03:54 PM   #21
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I make a dish similar to the Braised Lamb Shanks With White Beans, but subbing turkey drumsticks for the lamb shanks. Doesn't take as long to cook, obviously, but is just as delicious.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:57 PM   #22
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Fennel one caught my eyes... I bet that would be good with pork roast. Is it dinner time yet? :)
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:33 PM   #23
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To cook most dried beans, I simply rinse the dried beans with cold water to remove any unwanted foreign particles, then throw them in a pot, cover with water to about 2 inches water above the beans, and bring to a boil. An hour or so later, they are soft. You can add salt before they are soft, but as has been stated by so many, no acidic ingredients as it will prevent them from softening.

I don't understand the idea of pre-boiling then resting the beans for twenty minutes. I have found that it really doesn't shorten the overall cooking time significantly. The long cooking times really don't come into play unless you are making something like baked beans, where the beans need to absorb flavors from mollases, brown sugar, smokey pork (ham, bacon, ham hoks, etc), tomato, onions, etc.

In addition to the stated kidney beans, dried lima and butter beans need to be boiled to dissolve cyanide into the water and steam it out into the air. It isn't such a problem here in the U.S., as the beans have been bred to reduce the cyanide content. but in many other countries, you can die from eating improperly cooked lima beans.

That being said, don't think of beans only in a savory mode. After they are softened, you can add ingredients such as various sugars, corn syrup, maple syrup, etc. I even had a bean pie once where you couldn't destinguish between it and pumpkin pie. I never have found the recipe though. So, beans are an extremely versatile ingredient. Explore that versatility. They are also highly nutritious, and a great food for diabetics. Also, try mixing up various beans into three bean salads. Don't just use the standard wax, and grean beans mixed with garbanzo beans (chik peas). Add mung means, lentils, and other legumes to the salad. Mix beans in with pastas and salads. Add some cooked kidney beans into your next batch of sloppy joes. The possibilities are endless.

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Old 02-05-2009, 06:03 PM   #24
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Also, dumping your soaking water helps cut down on gas
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:12 AM   #25
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Does anyone have favorites for dried beans? found these Anasazi beans on amazon and they are highly rated but I never heard of Anasazi before!
I generally buy Goya brand beans, because they look fresher than the others in the market.

I'm getting ready to order some Heirloom beans, tho. I am afraid they will cost enough to negate beans as a "cheap" meal, tho.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:38 AM   #26
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Its important to buy dry beans that aren't old. So you want to buy from a place with high turnover. I recommend a health food store for that. Or, like June suggests, Goya, as they are a reputable brand that usually has good turnover.

Regarding heirloom beans, I would suggest buying from a reputable producer rather than from a 3rd party like Amazon. They can get pricey (again, like June sez) but if you are really into beans, very worth it. Do homework re: heirlooms
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:49 AM   #27
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I make a dish similar to the Braised Lamb Shanks With White Beans, but subbing turkey drumsticks for the lamb shanks. Doesn't take as long to cook, obviously, but is just as delicious.
Oh my, that does sound like a tasty idea. and maybe not quite as expensive as the lamb, besides being quicker.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:57 AM   #28
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IMHO, the health store brands are no better than the store brands despite supposedly being "organic" and "pesticide free" -- they're just more expensive.

In any case, they're all open dated -- just check the package when you buy and make sure the one you select has plenty of time left.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:36 PM   #29
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IMHO, the health store brands are no better than the store brands despite supposedly being "organic" and "pesticide free" -- they're just more expensive.

In any case, they're all open dated -- just check the package when you buy and make sure the one you select has plenty of time left.
My point was that health food store brands turn over faster that supermarket brands. Which is almost always true. I said nothing about being healthier.

As far as being more expensive, that depends on where you shop. And paying a little bit more can often be preferable to having a disasterous result with old beans.

Not all beans are dated, by the way.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:00 PM   #30
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Bean Soup

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I am trying to avoid using canned beans or chickpeas, because of the BPA content of the cans.

Has anyone found a good alternative to canned beans or chickpeas? Dried beans sounds like a possibility... I've never seen jarred beans or chickpeas though..

Thanks!
Hey machx, this is right up my alley! I love cooking with dried beans... like others have said, it takes a little more time and they work best when soaked overnight... but in the end the results are definitely worth the wait. Last week I made a huge batch of Great Northern beans in a tomato, basil, and garlic sauce and it was delicious.
If you are looking for a really easy recipe with dried beans, please check out the video recipe in my signature and let me know what you think!
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:34 PM   #31
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Best place to buy beans if you live in a large city is ethnic stores. Mexican, Indian, Middle eastern etc. The cost is low, produce is good and because of high turnover you know the beans are not old.

I buy atleast 8-10 different variety of beans and they are gone in no time because we use many many different types of beans in Indian cooking. I can buy a pretty large bag of moong beans or lentils for 5 bucks.

If you are speed demon (and I am just like you ), soak the beans overnight. That does not take time. In the morning dump the water out and put fresh water and cook them in a regular pot or pressure cooker. A regular pot works just fine. It takes a little longer but you have more control over the end texture of the bean.

I also use Goodweed's method especially with dried peas. We make a delicious chaat (sweet and sour snack) and peas tender quickly using this method.

Once you use dried beans (the good kind), it's hard to go back to canned products.

BTW if you did not there are also black chickpeas and green ones that are used heavily in Indian cooking. I use black over the white variety any day. They are nuttier and more delicious. The green ones are not easily found. Sometimes I find them frozen in my Fresh Farm market. If you are adventurous give them a try.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:45 PM   #32
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I took up the BPA issue with someone versed on the topic. Seems that although there seems to be a public uprising undocumented by facts against BPA in cans and canning foods, a type of epoxy used in canning, the FDA is clear, this is safe. Most cans, even with home canning, there has to be something to seal the cans. So home canners beware as well, where did you get your canning lids from? If anyone has information with parts per million, or even parts per billion or parts per trillion to atest to 'some' amount being unhealthful, please post it. It's not that I believe everything I read on the internet, but, if you have a good source for your information, then please post it. University study? A study not sponsored by a food producer. A study from the AMA?
Does ANYONE have a food canning company, or a can company that does not use BPA and has come up with a better alternative, please let me know. Without hearing from you, I doubt that one exists. Anyone?
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PS. I can my own, freeze them sometimes after cooking dry, and wouldn't hesitate to use canned beans.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:38 AM   #33
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I grow my own beans and do my own canning, so I would think that is a viable alternative for me, anyway. Not many people have the opportunity to grow their own and can their own, so I would guess that dried beans would be the way to go here. Also, at the supermarket, you can find fresh beans in the produce department, but sometimes the supply and choices are limited.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:05 AM   #34
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I grow my own beans and do my own canning, so I would think that is a viable alternative for me, anyway. Not many people have the opportunity to grow their own and can their own, so I would guess that dried beans would be the way to go here. Also, at the supermarket, you can find fresh beans in the produce department, but sometimes the supply and choices are limited.
What kind do you grow? What kinds do you find fresh in the supermarket?
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:34 AM   #35
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Around here we can sometimes get fresh black-eye peas (especially around New Year's), as well as fresh Fava beans in the spring.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:53 AM   #36
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I took up the BPA issue with someone versed on the topic. Seems that although there seems to be a public uprising undocumented by facts against BPA in cans and canning foods, a type of epoxy used in canning, the FDA is clear, this is safe. Most cans, even with home canning, there has to be something to seal the cans. So home canners beware as well, where did you get your canning lids from? If anyone has information with parts per million, or even parts per billion or parts per trillion to atest to 'some' amount being unhealthful, please post it. It's not that I believe everything I read on the internet, but, if you have a good source for your information, then please post it. University study? A study not sponsored by a food producer. A study from the AMA?
Does ANYONE have a food canning company, or a can company that does not use BPA and has come up with a better alternative, please let me know. Without hearing from you, I doubt that one exists. Anyone?
TIA~bliss


PS. I can my own, freeze them sometimes after cooking dry, and wouldn't hesitate to use canned beans.
where is Michael in Ft Worth when you need him??? He usually shares a lot of research with us
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:01 AM   #37
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Around here we can sometimes get fresh black-eye peas (especially around New Year's), as well as fresh Fava beans in the spring.
Fava beans are awesome! Lupini beans are great too, those are usually jarred
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:28 PM   #38
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RE: BPA

BPA (Bisphenol A) is used in making hard/rigid plastics like polycarbonate and PVC - and in the making of food can linings. Home canning lids use a rubber compound - I can't find that any of them contain any BPA. For those who want a link to enough reseach to keep you out of the bars for several nights: Bisphenol A on Wikipedia.

It's not just "tinned beans" - it's pracically all canned foods, including those healthy "organic" brands. The only store that claims products labeled under their store label do not contain BPA in their can liners is Trader Joe's. If that is true then perhaps there is an alternative for food can liners that do not contain BPA. Unfortunately, there is some debate about that claim ... read here.

And, please, stop trashing the FDA as if they are the only uncaring agency in the world that doesn't care if their populace is poisoned ... other countries have also come to the same conclusions. You also have to realize that research is not always definitive - it can be skewed to prove a point by the methodology. As it stands right now, I'm more concerned about the toxins I inhale from the air every day than BPA contamination from my canned foods. Oh, yeah - BPA is also an environmental containant - so you don't just get it from eating canned foods.

RE: Anasazi beans

I love them! When I lived in Golden, CO we had one grocery store (Safeway) and they had them on the shelf with the other dried beans - nothing special or exotic. They also had a brand of canned beans I haven't found since I got back to TX. They make a great bowl of beans to serve with cornbread - and were great to make refried beans to mix with leftover buffalo chili to make burritos.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:32 PM   #39
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thank you, Michael, for once again looking stuff up for lazy folks like me and 'splaining it all very clearly. I agree 100 percent with your final point and would add another Mark Twain truism: "There are lies, dam#ed lies, and statistics."
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