It's -19º with a -45º windchill today. 🥶 Cooking dried beans kept the kitchen warm and infused the air with much needed humidity keeping us extra toasty warm all morning. I like to prepare my own beans because they are less expensive than canned and I can control what I add to them making them easier to digest.
Beans are an excellent source of fiber, protein and an array of vitamins & minerals including potassium, iron and magnesium. The cooking time remains the same whether cooking 1 cup of beans or 1 pound of beans, so I like to prepare my beans in large quantities and store in the freezer to have on hand. Fortunately, as I was stocking up in preparation for the polar vortex, I noticed the bulk beans were on sale so I stocked up purchasing about 2lbs each of Pinto, Kidney and Garbanzo (aka Chick Peas) beans. I will admit, when I saw my stash soaking I thought I may have over done it, but it all worked out. 😬
This recipe includes my tips for helping to reduce gas from beans including the use of baking soda to soak the beans and cooking with any combination of bay leaf, ginger and kombu.
1/4 tsp baking soda
2-3 bay leaves
2 inches of ginger, cut in half
1.5 sheets of kombu
Start by placing your dried beans in a large bowl, sprinkle with baking soda and cover with cold water. Fill the bowl with enough water so the beans have space to plump up as they absorb water in the soaking process. Cover the bowl and leave on counter to soak over night, at least 8 hours.
Once boiling, remove the lid and use a spoon to scoop off the white foam that forms in the pot. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until beans are tender, 1-2 hours is typical depending on the type. The pinto beans cooked fastest and the garbanzos took the longest, but I prefer my beans to be quite tender, especially garbanzo beans.
Test for doneness and when beans are tender, remove from heat. Drain the beans* in colander, remove ginger, kombu and bay leaves and allow to cool. I have found the kombu sometimes breaks up when cooking making a few small pieces difficult to remove. You may either rinse this off the beans or store with the beans, the small amount will not impact the taste. *You may reserve and store with cooking liquid if you wish. I discard the liquid and store beans on their own.
If you are planning to use the beans right away, drain beans (or use the cooking liquid) and season according to your recipe.
I like repurpose glass jars for freezer storage (no, they don't break in the freezer). Once cooled, use a measuring cup or large spoon to scoop the beans into jars or containers for storage. Screw top on tightly and store in the freezer. When ready to use, beans will need about 2 hours to thaw so you can remove them from the jar. Beans store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Here is my finished product, I didn't have quite enough jars for this volume of beans (like I said, I was ambitious!), but I know we will have chili soon so I packaged pinto and kidney beans together in freezer bags for 2 batches of chili. We are ready for the rest of winter!
To prepare, wash and dice veggies. (I do not peel the veggies when I'm buying organic.) Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly crush rosemary in your hand to release oils and sprinkle all over the veggies. Use your hands to mix it all together and pat it into a single layer. Roast in oven for 50-60 minutes, until tender.
To prepare, heat oil in a cast iron skillet over low-medium heat. Add hash browns and stir to coat in oil. Cover with lid. Wash, stem and finely chop kale and add to the potatoes. Stir in seasonings, cover with lid and cook for about 10 minutes, until kale is tender, stirring occasionally. Crumble the tofu into the mixture, stir to combine. Adjust seasonings, cover with lid for another 3-5 minutes until tofu is heated through. I like this topped with any combination of Aji Sobremesa or salsa, giardiniera, and avocado. Served here with a slice of toasted sourdough bread.
This makes 1 large serving
3 cups water
2 fingers of ginger, cut lengthwise and in half
2-4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp Better than Bouillon
1 Tbsp miso
Juice from half of a lemon
6-9 kale leaves (depends on size), I used Lacinto; stemmed, sliced fine
3 Tbsp Bragg's Amino Acid
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne
Optional: Cooked rice or rice noodles; Kimchi, Sesame Seeds, Tofu
Pour water in pan over high heat and add bouillon, ginger and garlic. As the water heats, slice kale and add this to the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes, infusing the water with ginger, garlic and broth while cooking the kale. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and cayenne, whisk in miso until blended thoroughly (do not add miso to boiling water). Remove ginger ad discard (unless you want to eat some if it, it will be quite soft). Serve over cooked rice or rice noodles. Top with kimchi, sesame seeds and tofu.
This is a cool and refreshing smoothie bowl to enjoy for breakfast. The flax, chia and hemp seeds give a boost of Omega-3, fiber, protein and anti-oxidants. Want to drink it instead? Add more liquid, less ice and blend until very smooth.
To the high-powered blender add:
1 ripe banana, frozen is best but any will do
1 cup of frozen mixed berries
1 Tbsp ground flax
1 Tbsp hemp seed
1 Tbsp chia seed
1 Tbsp almond butter
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
Small handful of ice
Blend to desired consistency. Pour into a bowl and top with chopped nuts, sliced fresh fruit or a sprinkle of granola.
I am an animal loving-Vegan runner, I practice and teach Kundalini Yoga and I love to cook and eat flavorful plant-based food.