What is the least expensive way to prepare any bean for consumption

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That is cooking time etc.Have read posts about sprouting and eating. I have beans in 20 lbs bags.I can soak overnight then cook em. That takes water and energy. what I would like to know is what is the most efficient way of preparing beans(any type) for consumption. Again,I read a confusing thread about soaking in water and sprouting then eating.Can beans be milled into flour and consumed,are specific types easiest to work with. have heard that some beans if not cooked can be harmful.

-- mm (mm@new.prep), August 21, 1999



"Beans" covers a lot of territory. There are pintos, lima, navy, white, great northern, red, black, mung, and the list of names goes on and on. Not to mention the different varieties of peas and lentils. Most can be ground and used with wheat flour to make into a more complete protein bread. I am not aware of any that can be used without flour because they don't have the gluten content to make a bread from their flour alone.

But you requested the SIMPLEST way to prepare them. In most cases, I would say to soak them overnight, throw out the water and rinse, add more water, then boil them. The primary reason for soaking is to vastly decrease cooking time. Cooking time can be decreased more by using a pressure cooker (just don't fill it too full).

As for sprouting, just try a few of each type you have and give them the "taste test". Some may be too bitter, or have a flavor you don't care for.


-- Gerald R. Cox (grcox@internetwork.net), August 21, 1999.

Any bean...soak over night, bring to a rolling boil and put into BUSH BOX" to finish them. Instructions for making Bush Box is in the archives. This, other than a solar oven, is the most economical way of cooking anything. Wood stove would probably be next, depending on your supply of wood.


-- Taz (Tassie@aol.com), August 21, 1999.

I want to expand on Geralds comment on the pressure cooker. You might want to try this method to see how it works for you. Put dry pinto beans in a pressure cooker with water. (Notice that they are not pre-soaked over night.) Bring the cooker to full pressure and then remove the cooker from the stove and place in a box which contains a good, thick, blanket and cover the cooker. This provides insulation. In three hours the cooker can be opened and the beans will be done and ready to eat. I will note that the soaking methods makes the beans better tasteing and will cause them to split less. The pressure cooker method, however, is fast, does not use soaking and uses little heat as you only have the cook for about 10 minutes to bring it to pressure. Give it a try.

-- smfdoc (smfdoc@aol.com), August 21, 1999.

To elaborate a little on the pre-soaking... Another reason to soak and throw out the water is that it reduces flatulence (caused by incomplete digestion and utilization of nutrients).

But I like the idea of using the pressure cooker, bringint it up to pressure and putting it in the "Bush Box" (which has the same effect as wrapping in blankets). Seems to me it would save quite a bit of fuel.

Don't forget to add some seasoning to make the beans more palatable. Get some ham base or at least some seasoning salt. Plain old salt is better than nothing! I prefer whats left of a bone-in ham after most of the meat is trimmed off. Save the fatty skin, too, and cook it with the beans.


-- Gerald R. Cox (grcox@internetwork.net), August 21, 1999.

You can make "instant " beans like this:

Soak beans overnight. Boil until soft. Mash them till they're fairly smooth. Keep boiling until mashed beans are pretty thick. Dry in dehydrator until fully dry. Crumble the result into powder (you don't need a grinder).

I have only tried this with pinto beans but I suppose it would work with any kind.

-- biker (y2kbiker@worldnet.att.net), August 21, 1999.

Grow epazote, which is VERY easy to raise, a perennial herb used in Mexico to neutralize the anti-social effect of beans. Rinse the beans, then soak, KEEP the soaking water--has all kinds of nutrients in it. Just throw in a few epazote leaves while cooking. If you forget, put one on each plate--works raw too. Seeds from http://www.richters.com/

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), August 21, 1999.

On 1/19/99 I posted in the food area of the Classic Forum of this board a post about using a dutch oven and a farmers box to cook a stew. It's not the fastest way to cook stuff but it is frugal on fuel. I know if you have the dutch oven full of beans and cook them this way you'll be amazed how easy and no brainered it is. Look for Dutch Oven in the subject line. Any one have the link?

-- nine (nine_fingers@hotmail.com), August 22, 1999.

I get wonderful results with pinto beans by soaking them overnight, putting with salt and herbs into a black pot covered with water, wrapping the black pot in a plastic oven cooking bag, and putting the whole thing in the "cookit" foldable family panel solar oven (made from cardboard and *tinfoil*).

They turn out delicious. I let them cook all day, reorienting the panel every couple hours or so.

Plans for the cooker I made are at


-- mommacarestx (harringtondesignX@earthlink.net), August 22, 1999.

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