Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Magic Beans

Heirloom Beans
Almost magical: Dried beans are one of the world's oldest cultivated crops. Evidence of cultivation goes back more than 7,000 years. Cultivated dried beans have been found and dated to thousands of years old and they've been successfully sprouted. Currently, the world gene-banks hold about 40,000 bean varieties, many having a rich history in the America's. Picture that family tree! How many members can you name?

An excellent source of protein, dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates, legumes and pulses are flavorful, nutritionally dense, inexpensive and versatile. The heirloom varieties, like the tomatoes everyone loves, are more flavorful and have more nutrients than their more common cousins.

Bean Cookin' 101

We know, Cooking dried beans takes more time than opening a can, but you'll be richly rewarded with superior flavor and texture.

Sort: Arrange dried beans on a flat surface and sort through them to pick out any shriveled beans, stones or debris.
Rinse: Rinse the sorted beans in cold, running water.
Soak: Soaking beans before cooking helps to remove some of those indigestible sugars that cause flatulence. There are two simple ways:
  • Regular soak: Put beans into a large bowl and cover with 2 to 3 inches of water. Set aside at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight; drain well.
  • Quick soak: Put beans into a large pot and cover with 2 to 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil then boil briskly for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and set aside for 1 hour; drain well.
Cook: Put beans into a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water or stock. (Don't add salt at this point since that slows the beans' softening.) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if necessary, until beans are tender. Cooking times vary with the variety, age and size of beans; generally you're looking at about .5 to 2 hours depending on the size of beans and how dry they are.

Bean Conversion

15-oz can beans = 1 1/2 cooked beans, drained
1 pound dry beans = 6 cups cooked beans, drained
1 pound dry beans = 2 cups dry beans
1 cup dry beans = 3 cups cooked beans, drained 

Spicy Black Bean Soup with Cilantro and Green Tabasco

1 Large Red Onion
2 Tsp Olive Oil
2 Tsp finely minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Cumin
2 Tsp Oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
4 Cans Black Beans (1 lb dried beans)
2 cans Vegetable Broth
2 cans Water
2 Tbsp Green Tabasco Sauce (or CRO Green Pepper Sauce)
1 C. finely minced cilantro
1 Package Goya Sazon Seasoning (optional)

Heat oil in soup pot and saute onion until just starting to brown. Turn heat down to medium and add garlic, cumin, oregano and Sazon seasoning(if using) and saute until the spices are fragrant and 2 minutes.

While onions are cooking, drain 3/4 of your beans, rinse with cold water until no more foam appears and let beans drain. Put the other 1/4 of your cooked/canned beans into the food processor or blend with an immersion blender till pureed.

Add the drained beans, pureed beans, 2 can s of veggie stock, 2 cans of water, and 1 Tbsp Green Hot Sauce to soup pot and simmer on low for 45 min- 1 hour. Soup should be slightly thickened.

Taste to see if you need the second Tbsp of green hot sauce. Add chopped cilantro and simmer 5 min more. Eat!

See more at: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2012/02/recipe-for-spicy-vegan-black-bean-soup.html

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