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Full o’ Beans (includes Cooking Guide)

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There are many different varieties of beans, so if you’re interested in taking advantage of their excellent nutritional benefits, I would suggest that you try a few different varieties to see which type appeals to you the most. Even if you think you’re ‘not a fan’, you may well be surprised by how much variation there is in the legume family. And if you’re willing to be a bit adventurous, you might even want to try some heirloom varieties.

To cook beans easily and in less time, use a pressure-cooker. Check out this link for more information about this method.

  • Most dry beans need soaking overnight before cooking. Soak in 4-5 cups of water to 1 cup of beans. Rinse with fresh water before cooking.
  • 1 cup dry beans yields approximately 2 1/2 cups cooked beans.
  • To cook: Bring water to a boil. Add beans, then simmer for specified cooking time.
  • ….

Lentils (brown)
1 cup dry lentils to 3 cups water.
No pre-soaking necessary. Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Red lentils require less cooking time.

Garbanzo Beans (chick peas)
1 cup dry beans to 4 cups water.
Soaked overnight, cooking time is 2-3 hours.

Soybeans
1 cup dry beans to 4 cups water.
Soaked overnight, cooking time is 3 hours.

Black Beans
1 cup dry beans to 4 cups water.
Soaked, cooking time is 60-90 minutes.

Navy Beans
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
Soaked, cooking time is 90 minutes.

Pinto Beans
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
Soaked, cooking time is 2-2 1/2 hours.

Great Northern Beans
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
Unsoaked, cooking time is 90-120 minutes. Soaked, cooking time is 60 minutes.

Kidney Beans
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
Soaked, cooking time is 60+ minutes. Unsoaked, cooking time is 90 minutes.

Lima Beans
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
No soaking required. Cooking time is 90 minutes.

Split Peas
1 cup dry beans to 3 cups water.
No soaking required. Cooking time is 45-75 minutes.

Adzuki Beans
1 cup dry beans to 4 cups water.
Soaked for one hour, cooking time is 1 hour. Unsoaked, cooking time is 90-120 minutes.

Next Page: Recipes

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Read more: Basics, Eating for Health, Food, Vegan and Delicious

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Angel Flinn

Angel Flinn is Director of Outreach for Gentle World a non-profit educational organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition.

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Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm

500 cholesterol-free recipes from quick, easy meals to gourmet banquets. An extensive chapter on raw food preparation, cultivating a vegan-organic garden, vegan alternative ingredients, quotes from medical and environmental authorities affirming the benefits of a plant-based diet and inspiring words of wisdom from some of the greatest minds of all time. More than a cookbook!buy now

69 comments

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8:54AM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

Cool beans! (Wish they didn't take so long to cook - uses a lot of gas/electricity).

4:55PM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

A OK X

11:05AM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

thank you! love the idea of making salads!

8:41PM PDT on Apr 8, 2013

Splendid and tasty recipes, beans are splendid.

6:13PM PDT on Jul 20, 2011

Excellent article. Yummy recipes. Thanks for sharing.

2:54AM PST on Feb 26, 2011

I love beans, but I also have a reputation for being dull, bland and boring. Although I like my beans spicy and flavorful:-)

8:10AM PST on Dec 22, 2010

Thank you for this helpful article :D

6:36PM PST on Dec 17, 2010

We live in the southwest and the best beans I've ever tasted were pintos the way the Mexican people fix them...I've asked how they do it and they tell me just put them in water and cook 'em til their done.. Like good Italian cooking, it must be in the blood, mine never taste as good. So I'll try these recipes. Thanks.

5:37PM PDT on Oct 19, 2010

The best bean dip I ever made is as follows:
Whatever amount of cooked beans you want to use, mashed. Add shredded cheddar cheese, & if you like it spicy add a dash of Tabasco.

5:35PM PDT on Oct 19, 2010

I already knew how to cook all kinds of beans. It doesn't take a genious. Water, beans, ham hock or bacon, onions & whatever seasonings you like: cumin, crushed red pepper flakes (or chopped fresh Jalapeno), salt, pepper, garlic powder chopped fresh garlic, anything else you like. I didn't care for any of the recipies. But maybe someone just learning how to cook could find this useful.

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