Dried beans

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Dried beans

Postby Almighty Doer of Stuff on Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:56 pm

So, as you may know, I've recently taken up cooking dried beans instead of using canned. I figured this would be good for my health, by reducing my salt intake.

The thing is, I never want to eat the beans I cook. The black beans were hard, bland, and burnt easily. The kidney beans literally taste like the tapwater I cooked them in and nothing more. It's seriously like eating congealed tapwater.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Are beans SUPPOSED to be awful without a heaping dose of salt? Am I cooking and/or soaking them too long or not long enough? Are they supposed to be lightly seasoned or salted but not to the point of being like the canned variety?

I don't understand. Could someone please enlighten me?
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Re: Dried beans

Postby Almighty Doer of Stuff on Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:23 pm

*bump*

Nobody has any bean advice? :bummer:
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Re: Dried beans

Postby pieces o'nine on Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:08 pm

Almighty Doer of Stuff wrote:Nobody has any bean advice? :bummer:

Don't eat them. :haha:
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Re: Dried beans

Postby DavidH on Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:29 am

They are supposed to be good for you, but they don't taste of much except the stuff you eat them with. I think that's why baked beans were invented.

And they make you fart. :evilgrin:
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Re: Dried beans

Postby Roy Hunter on Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:22 am

I find cooking beans from scratch more bother than it's worth. I don't remember how food labelling works in the US (it's been about 12 years or so since I was there), but by a bit of careful shopping around I have managed to find a few brands of canned beans that have very low salt content (surprisingly, supermarket own-brand come out very well in that comparison). Certainly I would not recommend cooking your own kidney beans, as if you screw it up you can give yourself serious food poisoning. Like I said, more bother than it's worth.
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Re: Dried beans

Postby black bart on Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:17 am

I made a very nice potato salad with added broad beans once...apart from that I quite agree.
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Re: Dried beans

Postby Roy Hunter on Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:37 am

The only exception to the rule is butter beans. The canned ones are rubbish. To cook butter beans, soak them in cold water for an hour, then boil them in that water. As soon as they start to boil, drain them and put them into a fresh pan of cold water. Add a pinch of salt to this water, then boil the beans until they are soft enough for your taste (usually about 30 minutes for us).
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Re: Dried beans

Postby black bart on Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:54 am

Butter beans are nice in Welsh Cawl as well....terrible wind afterwards though.
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Re: Dried beans

Postby Almighty Doer of Stuff on Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:04 pm

Thanks, all. Oh well, so much for that idea.

I'm not doing so well at reducing my salt intake, but I guess there's nothing I can do about it at this point.
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Re: Dried beans

Postby PKMKII on Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:03 pm

Almighty Doer of Stuff wrote:Thanks, all. Oh well, so much for that idea.

I'm not doing so well at reducing my salt intake, but I guess there's nothing I can do about it at this point.


How much are you eating out/delivery/pre-prepared foods??
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Re: Dried beans

Postby Roy Hunter on Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:25 pm

Also, brown / wholemeal bread: full of fibre and good for vitamins etc; but way more salt than white bread. Things like soy sauce / chili sauce (I know you like chili sauce) are usually loaded with salt. Cheese. Butter. They hide it everywhere.

My wife has quite an extreme reaction to salt, so we cook almost all of our own food and we almost never use salt - the last time we bought a tub of salt was maybe 3 years ago, and that was when the one from 1998 ran out. I have developed quite a sensitivity to salt as a result of nearly 18 years of a low-salt diet, and I can tell when food contains salt even when you can't taste it. Like in sweet pastries and other things you wouldn't expect to find salt in. Tomato puree - there's a bugger to find without salt in it.

I would say it's worth the effort to keep looking, though.
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Re: Dried beans

Postby daftbeaker on Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:31 pm

Roy Hunter wrote:Also, brown / wholemeal bread: full of fibre and good for vitamins etc; but way more salt than white bread.

Really? The rest of the stuff on your list I'd have expected but I wouldn't have thought salt levels varied much between bread types. It's your fault if I get odd looks in Tesco's tomorrow for prodding all the bread :moon:

Edit - I can second that point on kidney beans, my Dad once cooked some without soaking them for the previous day. Everyone that ate them was violently ill for the next few days.
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Re: Dried beans

Postby DavidH on Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:50 am

Wiki wrote:The toxic compound phytohaemagglutinin, a lectin, is present in many common bean varieties, but is especially concentrated in red kidney beans. White kidney beans contain about a third as much toxin as the red variety; broad beans (Vicia faba) contain 5 to 10% as much as red kidney beans.
Phytohaemagglutinin can be deactivated by boiling beans for ten minutes; the ten minutes at boiling point (100 °C (212 °F)) are sufficient to degrade the toxin, but not to cook the beans. For dry beans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also recommends an initial soak of at least 5 hours in water, which should then be discarded.
If the beans are cooked at a temperature below boiling (without a preliminary boil), as in a slow cooker, the toxic effect of haemagglutinin is increased: beans cooked at 80 °C (176 °F) are reported to be up five times as toxic as raw beans. Outbreaks of poisoning have been associated with cooking kidney beans in slow cookers.
The primary symptoms of phytohaemagglutinin poisoning are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Onset is from one to three hours after consumption of improperly prepared beans, and symptoms typically resolve within a few hours. Consumption of as few as four or five raw, soaked kidney beans can cause symptoms.
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Re: Dried beans

Postby Roland Deschain on Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:07 pm

I've never attempted to cook beans from scratch, and have only bought ones that come pre-cooked/-prepared. I may try it one day, and if I do mess it up, at least i'll lose some weight the bulimic way! :haha: *plans to invite worst enemy over for dinner...*

Roy Hunter wrote:Also, brown / wholemeal bread: full of fibre and good for vitamins etc; but way more salt than white bread

Why can they not just leave it alone? For the love of His Noodly Appendages, I have enough trouble finding unsalted and unsweetened sweetcorn at times (in tins), and now I have to check my beloved bread, as well? By the way, added sugar and salt into tinned food is a personal pet peeve of mine. Sweetcorn is sweet enough without sugar. Peas are tasty enough, and last long enough in a tin, without salt! I am similar to Roy in that I rarely add salt to food, and at least attempt to buy the low salt varieties of processed food when I do so.
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Re: Dried beans

Postby bacon on Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:53 pm

Looking at food labels can make you never want to purchase prepared foods again. Have you ever seen how high fructose corn syrup gets into everything lately!

Recently, I decided to stop buying packaged pre-sliced bread from the grocery store because of all of the extra garbage that gets thrown into it. Instead, I'm purchasing my bread from the bakery. It's much more tastier!

With the beans, I rather use canned beans then dried beans because of the prep work involved. When using the canned beans, make sure that you rinse them off thoroughly before adding them to your meals. That will also help cut down on the sodium content. You may also want to check the organic section of your grocery store. There may be some canned beans that have a lower sodium content.
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