People are uncertain when it comes to cooking beans.
Many people, for as much as we might joke or sometimes get annoyed by being questioned about it, really worry about getting enough protein on a vegan diet. We live in a culture that has brainwashed the majority into believing we need way more protein than we do. In reality, our need is less many think. Our basic requirement is approximately 0.3-0.4gms/lb of body weight.
There is more than enough protein available in a vegan diet. In truth, you need to give it far less thought than people realize because all plants have the components to supply good quality protein. In addition, it is far more affordable than animal protein, allowing you to make more healthful choices for much less of your food budget.
Consider the bean.
Buy them in a 15oz can and you spend around $1, give or take. By them dry and you spend about $1 per pound. One pound of dried beans is approximately 2 cups. Beans expand when cooked. So for that $1 you can get 5 – 6 cups of cooked Adzuki beans, black beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans, navy beans or brown lentils to name a few. Each bean has approximately 14-16 grams of protein in a cup.Beans are versatile, nutrient dense, low in fat and high in fiber. They easily replace meat in many dishes and recipes are everywhere. The body pretty quickly adapts to digesting them so the initial period of gas and bloating does resolve, especially if you gradually increase the amount you are consuming (the important part is cooking them completely).
The investment they require is in planning.
But, many times neglected pots of boiling water and beans have overflowed on my stove making a disgusting mess. It doesn’t need to be that way: cooking beans can be super easy.
I have found the best way to have them on hand is to use a crock pot.
Put in the dried beans, fill the pot with water, cover, and put on “low”. They will cook over 6-8 hours, so you can put them on before bed, or on the way out the door in the morning.
tip: If you want to speed up the process, and are in the house, set the crockpot on “high” and check them periodically for doneness.
To check doneness, spoon one out and pinch it between your fingers for desired softness. Simply drain and rinse.
I cook a lot so I can freeze what I don’t use in a freezer bag. Some people suggest freezing them covered with water in a container (but I think that just makes a block of ice). I freeze them flat in a bag, moist but not soaking, so that I can stack them in the freezer and thaw them on the counter quickly.
The exception: Lentils cook on the stove in about 40 minutes.
You can see Georgia walk you through it on this clip from our YouTube channel