Begin by washing beans and discarding any which are discolored or badly formed. Check for debris in the package such as small rocks or twigs and discard them. Beans cook more quickly and their digestibility benefits with soaking in water to cover by about 3 inches (7.5 cm) for 8 hours or overnight. Discard the soak water and cook the beans in fresh water.
Some bean cookery aficionados feel that salt and seasonings added during the cooking tends to make beans cook more slowly. Since beans require lengthy cooking, we recommend adding salt and seasonings during the last few minutes and find they absorb flavor quite readily.
There are other factors which contribute to the length of cooking, such as, hard water and beans that have been dried for a long period of time. For some of the longer cooking beans we have found that soaking 24 hours and changing the soak water 2 or 3 times hastens the cooking time.
Many people are concerned with the reputation that beans have for causing flatulence. Starting your bean ventures with small amounts helps to increase your body's enzyme production gradually. Soaking and cooking the beans thoroughly helps to break down the complex sugars (oligosaccharides) which challenge our digestive systems.
Some herbs that help the digestion of beans can be added during the cooking process. These include bay leaf, cumin, and winter or summer savory, fresh epazote (available in Hispanic markets). Many people from India maintain the tradition of chewing on dried fennel seeds or drinking a cup of fennel tea at the end of a legume meal to aid the digestion.
QUICK-SOAK METHOD: When time is limited, you can wash and pick over beans and put them into a stock pot with water to cover by 3 inches (7.5 cm). Bring to a boil for 10 minutes to remove toxins. Then cover and allow to soak for 1 hour. Discard soak water, add fresh water, and cook until tender.
PRESSURE COOKING: For pressure-cooking beans you can choose to soak the beans overnight, use the quick-soak method, or forego soaking altogether. There are well-known chefs, who do not soak beans before pressure-cooking.
Whether you choose to soak or eliminate that step, put the beans in the pressure cooker with 3 times as much water as beans. Cook at 15 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes for small beans. For large beans, such as limas or fava beans, pressure cook for about 40 minutes.
COOKING FRESH BEANS: There are two methods of cooking fresh beans: boiling or steaming.
To boil, drop the shelled beans into boiling water to cover, and boil gently for 5 to 10 minutes. You may want to add some onions, garlic, herbs of your choice, and a dash of salt to the water to flavor the beans.
To steam, put about an inch of water into the bottom of a saucepan, and place the beans into a steamer basket that fits into the saucepan. Cover the pan, and steam over boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. After fresh fava beans are cooked, their tough skins are usually peeled and discarded. When left on, they give the beans a bitter flavor. To peel the skins, use a small paring knife and peel away one end. Then squeeze the opposite end and the bean will slip out easily.
|Our hours of operation||Juice Bar Winter Hours|
|Monday-Friday 9:00-9:00 |
Closed Monday May 22 for Victoria Day
Give us a call 416-466-2129
The Big Carrot is located in the Carrot Common, 348 Danforth Ave. 3 Blocks east of Broadview Ave. or 1 block west of the Chester subway.
Metered Parking is available on Danforth Ave. and in the Carrot Common parking lot.