I went to my first cooking class of the year this week. I learned how to select the best beans, and then how to cook them properly so they are nutritious, but not gassy. Many people avoid beans and think they can’t eat them, but if they knew how to cook them properly they might have more success. Beans pack a nutritional punch and are cheap, so I think it is definitely worth working on.
Beans give vitality. They strengthen the kidneys, they are blood sugar stabilizers and they go well with grains.
The recipes we saw being made and then sampled during the class were;
- red lentil pate
- azuki beans and squash
- vegetarian chili soup
- chick pea curry stew (the recipe from the class did not include tomatoes)
- baked pinto beans in dijon mustard sauce
All of them were delicious and I can’t wait to try them. I am excited to have a great list of dishes I could take to a pot luck party whether or not it was a vegan or macrobiotic gathering.
The discussion while cooking included:
How to spot Healthy Beans
- They’re not cracked or split
- They look vibrant
- Not dried up, old beans shrivel up and old beans don’t cook
How to cook & eat beans
- Soak them overnight (red lentils and split peas do not need to be soaked)
- Add a postage stamp size piece of kombu or bay leaves to the cooking water.
- Skim the foam that forms in the first 10 minutes of cooking off. This is the acid.
- Season the beans towards the end of cooking and cook them for another 10-15 minutes.
- Eat the beans separately from grain whenever possible.
We also talked about the five transformation theory and where beans fit (they are, in general, water element) and which beans are associated with which element. This helps to understand the kind of energy they impart and which organs they complement and nourish.
FIRE: red lentils, black soybeans, split peas
METAL: green lentils, white beans
WATER: beans in general, azuki, black lentils
TREE: pinto, kidney beans, yellow soybeans