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Health Tips
Beans and Other Legumes: Cooking Tips
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Jul 24, 2017 - 12:42:20 PM

(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Legumes — a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils — are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available.

Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fiber. A good source of protein, legumes can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more fat and cholesterol.

If you want to add more beans and other legumes to your diet, but you aren't clear about what's available and how to prepare them, this guide can help.

Types of legumes

Many supermarkets and food stores stock a wide variety of legumes — both dried and canned. Below are several types and their typical uses.

Preparing legumes

Dried beans and legumes, with the exceptions of black-eyed peas and lentils, require soaking in room temperature water, a step that rehydrates them for quicker, more even cooking.

Before soaking, pick through the beans, discarding any discolored or shriveled ones or any foreign matter. Rinse the beans well. Depending on how much time you have, choose one of the following methods:

Cooking tips

After soaking, drain and rinse the beans and add to a stockpot. Cover the beans with three times their volume of fresh water. Add herbs or spices as desired. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender. The cooking time depends on the type of bean, but start checking after 45 minutes. Add more water to keep the beans from becoming dry.

More cooking tips:



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