Beans from Scratch
Michelle isn't serving up samples right now, so she's serving up kitchen tips instead! Here's her tried and true approach to cooking dry beans, plus some extra tips for upping your flavor, saving time, and cook other legumes. (Ingredients and modifications are below the video.)
ONE cup of dried beans will yield THREE cups of cooked beans.
1. Pour beans onto clean cloth, plate or sheet pan and inspect for rocks or beans that are funky looking. Rinse beans.
2. Soak, soak, soak. Put the beans in a large bowl or pot, add cold water (at least 3 inches of water above the beans) and let soak overnight. Let them soak in lots of water, as it will ensure each bean has lots of water absorption. Massage the beans, rinse and refill water several times during the soak period.
3. After soaking the beans, drain and rinse and put in a large pot. Add fresh water to cover the beans 2-3 inches. The cooking vessel size is important. Bigger is better as the cooking will be more even if each bean has room to cook. Bring to boil for a few minutes. Scrape any foam off the top, as needed.
4. Cover beans, lower heat and let simmer on a gentle boil until the beans are done to the point you wish. If your pot is not deep enough, leave the lid ajar so the beans don’t get foamy and boil over.
5. At this point you can add a 3-4 inch piece of Kombu seaweed if you wish. Lift out the Kombu if it starts to break apart. Give the Kombu a taste, as you may enjoy the delicious snack that it is.
6. Stir the beans occasionally. The beans should take about 1-2 hours to be cooked through.
7. Salt the cooked beans to taste. One cup of (dried) beans to one teaspoon of salt is a good ratio.
8. If you have a lot of the cooking liquid, you can drain it from the beans and bring the liquid back to heat to reduce to a creamy consistency. You can enjoy the juice with the beans or you can use the bean cream to flavor just about any soup, braise or even pasta sauces.
- Cooking garbanzos (chickpeas) may take double the time to cook.
- Kidney beans need extra soak time, lots of rinses and longer cook times. Canned kidney beans are a good alternative.
- Lentils and split peas do not need any soak time, just a good rinse.
- If you have an Instapot, crockpot or pressure cooker, cooking beans is even easier. Follow the instructions with your appliance.
- Remember to check out the Ashland Food Co-op website for lots of fabulous tried-and-true bean recipes.
- You can add flavor components and aromatics toward the end of cooking. Beans really are better day 2 and day 3, so make plenty. Beans will keep well for about 5 days in the fridge, 3 months in the freezer.
Here are flavor profile ideas for different bean types and can be enjoyed as a cold salad, soup, stew, chili, cassoulet, entree, burger, fritter, or a creamy hummus-like dip:
Pinto: Just salt!
Black bean: Thyme, cumin seed, paprika, bay leaf, onion, garlic, bell pepper.
Black eyed peas: Thyme, black pepper, chili flakes, onion, garlic, olive oil.
White beans of all sorts: Rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaf, parsley, celery, carrots, onion, garlic.
Garbanzo: Leave plain to make hummus or make chickpea marsala with mustard seed, cumin seed, turmeric powder, coriander, fresh ginger, cilantro, onion and garlic.
More Co-op News
For the month of September, Ashland Food Co-op shoppers can round up at the register to support Southern Oregon Land Conservancy. Since 1973, SOLC has been working on multiple fronts to improve land quality and conservation for humans and nature alike. Check out some of the projects below that SOLC has been working on recently. And mark your calendar for Saturday, October 24, as SOLC hosts an Open Lands Day hike and tour on the Rogue River Preserve.
Join Kelly Martin as she explains how your breath impacts everything from ankle sprains to headaches. Learn why belly breathing isn't good for you, how to breathe correctly, and how to maximize lung health, improve posture, enhance walking efficiency, reduce anxiety, and improve sports performance.
Zoom access password: [email protected]
This month's featured organization in the new Change for Good register round-up program is KS Wild (short for Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center).
KS Wild is one of the most prominent land conservation and stewardship organizations in the region. They focus on the Klamath-Siskiyou region, which includes large swaths of Southern Oregon and Northern California (inculding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument). This bioregion is one of the most diverse in the country, home to populations of wolves, rare plants and unique geographic formations.
The Ashland Food Co-op acknowledges and shares our community’s concerns about protecting against the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The safety and health of staff and customers is a top priority for the Co-op. We are taking proactive steps throughout our store to maintain a clean atmosphere to work and shop.
We have consolidated store changes below.
To protect the health of Co-op staff and shoppers, all shoppers and other visitors on Ashland Food Co-op property must wear face coverings over mouth and nose except when dining in an approved area.
Those who are unable or choose not to wear a mask are welcome to use our recently launched eGrocery online shopping and curbside pickup service as an alternative to shopping in-store.
The sixth cooperative principle, "Concern for Community," has become even more important since the pandemic began and economies, locally and globally, started to constrict. To address this, the Board of Directors agreed in April to release 100% of patronage dividends and designate Ashland Emergency Food Bank as a donation option for those dividends - resulting in over $20,000 in donations. And with the early launch of Change for Good register round-up, AEFB was a natural choice to receive round-up donations.
I wrote at the beginning of the year that the Co-op model of business was a blueprint for the future. The concept of “planet, principles and people before profit” is a guide for how cooperatives can run a successful business that puts more back into the community and local economy than national chains, while using less resources and creating less waste.
2020 Co-op Election Results
Ashland Food Co-op owners voted for three open seats on the Board of Directors, and for ten non-profit organizations for the Change for Good register round-up program.
Click a name below to read more about that Co-op Board member.
Dear Ashland Food Cooperative Family and Community,
AFC and AEFB Press Release - Local Strength!
Release Date: 5-26-2020
In April, the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors announced to the community that the Co-op would be returning 100% of the 2019 Patronage Dividend to its owners. The 100% Patronage Dividend return to Co-op owners converted to over $628,000.
The Co-op Board felt in this time of great need it was not the right time for the Co-op to put away funds for the future, but rather to support owners fully so they may have more strength to weather these stormy times.
Thanks to the many agile and adaptable experts in the Rogue Valley, the much-loved Free Monday Night Lectures live on - even if everything is moving online.
While we miss seeing community members with a joy of learning showing up at the Co-op Classroom, we hope these recordings teach and inspire you.
By Nina Friedman, Strategic Energy Management intern
The Ashland Food Co-op has played a critical role supporting our community for nearly 50 years by providing healthy food and a safe place to shop. With the recent COVID-19 shutdown, this support has been even more important and has stretched our organization in ways that we could not have anticipated. We have endeavored to address the needs of both our staff and our customers, hopefully in the most cooperative manner.