Thursday, December 11, 2008

Where Have You "Bean" All My Life

This information and some of the following bean recipes come from a handout I received many years ago at a Relief Society Homemaking Night. The woman who taught the class knew a lot about beans and actually used them on a regular basis. I was impressed with her variety of recipes. I hung onto the handout thinking it might come in handy someday. (My young family wouldn't eat beans at the time.) Although I haven't tried her recipes, I thought we might be able to survive on the chocolate Pinto Bean Fudge if times got really tough. :)

For all dried beans, use 3 cups of water for 1 cup of beans when soaking and cooking. Always drain the water from soaked beans and use new water for cooking. By using fresh water and adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar to cooking water, the after effects of eating beans that most of us suffer, are reduced to a minimum.

In a hard water area, the beans will soften up faster if a scant 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda is added to soaking water for each cup of beans.

There are two methods of soaking beans. You may soak your beans overnight to use the next day, or the following quick method may be used for those who don't think that far ahead. Put beans in measured water (3 to 1 ratio), bring water to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover, and soak for 1 hour. Then they are ready to cook. For cooking instructions, refer to cooking schedule on other sheet.

Wait to add tomatoes until cooking beans are almost tender so softening will not be delayed.

One pound of beans will provide 8 to 9 servings of 3/4 cup each. One pound equals approximately 2 cups of dry beans.
(Source: Homemaking Night handout, W. Thueson)

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