Why Should We Eat Beans?

Beans are high in soluble fiber

Beans have the ability to bind with fats and prevent their absorption. Soluble fiber attaches to cholesterol particles and takes them out of the body, thus beans can reduce your overall cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, the soluble fiber in beans helps you feel satisfied thereby helping you with weight control. Beans have 6 or 7 grams of fiber in half a cup of most beans. The same amount of most veggies or fruits has 1 to 3 grams.

Beans are packed with antioxidants

Did you know that red kidney beans and pinto beans have high amounts of antioxidants? They have more antioxidants than berries, peppers, and other foods we usually think of as antioxidants. Isn’t it wonderful that we have additional sources of antioxidants besides just berries?

Beans are excellent source of plant-based proteins

Beans contain an average of 15 grams of protein per cup. When you choose to get your protein from beans instead of from red meat (such as beef or port) you reduce your chances of colorectal cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Beans provide plenty of minerals

Beans are abundant in fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, zinc, and iron.

Various Cooking Methods to Cook Dried Beans

Cooking Dried Beans on the Stove

Cooking dried beans from The Bean Queen’s Cookbook

1 cup dried beans

3-4 cups water for soaking

water for cooking

Sort and rinse beans:

Pour beans into a large bowl or onto a baking sheet. Carefully sort through beans removing any stones, debris, or damaged beans. Pour beans into a colander, drain, and rinse well.

Traditional soaking method:

Place beans and water for soaking into a large bowl. Let soak in a cool place at least 4 hours (overnight is best). Drain, rinse, and cook.

Quick soaking method:

Place beans into a large pot and add soaking water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand at least 1 hour. Drain beans and rinse in a colander. Cook according to recipe or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days if not using the beans immediately.

Extra-quick soaking method:

Place beans into a large pot and add soaking water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Drain beans in a colander. Place beans back in a pot and add 3-4 cups (or more) fresh water. Water should be 2″ above beans. Let soak 30 minutes. Rinse, drain, and cook.


Place soaked beans into a large pot. Cover beans with fresh cold water, about 3″ above beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently. Do not let boil while simmering or skins will burst open. Taste-test for tenderness. Try several from the center of the pot. Beans should be tender but not mushy. Do not over-cook.

Cooking Time Chart

Soaked Beans Cooking Time
black beans 30-35 min.
small red beans 30-35 min.
pinto beans 30-35 min.
navy beans 35-40 min.
red or white kidney beans 35-40 min.
great northern beans 40-45 min.
lima beans 55-60 min.
garbanzo beans/chickpeas 80 min.

Cooking Dried Beans by Pressure Cooking

Beans can be cooked in a pressure cooker in as little as 15-20 minutes. Use the manufacturer’s directions. Do not overfill pressure cooker, and cook with no more than 10-15 pounds of pressure. To prevent foam from coming up through the pressure valve, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the beans.

Substituting Home-Cooked Beans for Canned Beans

If you prefer to make your own beans, a 14-16 oz. can equals about 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans. a 19 oz can is about 2 1/4 cups of cooked beans. Cooked beans can be frozen in freezer containers or zipper-style storage bags, thawed, and used in place of canned beans in any recipe. Be sure to label and date containers. Beans can be stored in freezer for up to 3 months.

Dried Beans in a Crockpot

1lb. or 2 cups dried beans, sorted and rinsed


2 tsp. salt

Pour beans into a 3 or 4 quart slow cooker. Fill slow cooker with water to 1 inch from the top. Do not use salt or turn slow cooker on. Let soak 8-10 hours or overnight. Drain beans in colander and place back in slow cooker. Cover with fresh water to 1 inch from top. Add salt to water. Cook on low for 10 hours. Drain and refrigerate or freeze. Makes about 6 cups of cooked beans.

This hassle-free method of preparing beans will work for most dry beans: adzuki beans, black or turtle beans, chickpeas or garbanzo beans, lima beans, navy beans, Great Northern beans, cannellini or white kidney beans, red kidney beans, small red or Mexican beans, and pinto beans. Cooking times will vary with the size of the crockpot used.

Cooking Dried Split Peas

1 lb. or 2 cups of dried green or yellow split peas

8 cups hot water

No-soaking method:

Split peas require no soaking. Sort and rinse pease. Place split peas and water into a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (slow boil under surface of water) for 20-25 minutes (just until tender) for salads; 30 minutes for purees, vegetables, and main dishes; and 45 minutes for soups.

Soaking method:

Sort and rinse peas. Using 2-3 times as much water as peas, allow peas to soak for 8 hours. Drain and rinse. Place split peas in a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for tenderness. Drain.

Cooking Dried Black-Eyed Peas

1 lb or 2 cups dried black-eyed peas

6 cups water

Sort and rinse black-eyed peas. Black-eyed peas require no soaking. Place peas and water into a large pot. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer (slow boil under the surface of water) for 30-40 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Drain.

Cooking Dried Lentils

1 lb or 2 2/3 cups dried black-eyed peas

8 cups hot water

Sort and rinse lentils. Lentils require no soaking. Place lentils and water into a large pot. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test for tenderness after 15 minutes. Continue simmering another 5 minutes, if necessary. Drain. One pound of dried lentils will yeild 6-6.5 cups of cooked lentils. Lentils will firm up when chilled.


Dried beans should be stored in airtight containers and not in the plastic bags in which they are purchased. Dried beans will keep for up to 6 months in the cupboard.

If beans are not tender in the allotted cooking time, they are either too old; the altitude is high (need to cook longer); or hard water is used (need to cook longer). If using hard water, add 1/4 tsp baking soda for every 2 cups dried beans when cooking.

Beans, lentils, and split peas all freeze well. Store in zipper-style freezer bags. Beans can be frozen in 1 1/2 cup portions and substituted for any 14-16 oz can of beans in any recipe. Lentils and split-peas can be frozen in 1 cup portions for use in recipes.

Be sure to always cook at the temperature noted in each recipe. If the recipe says simmer, then simmer, do not boil. If it says boil, do not simmer, etc. This makes a measurable difference in the texture of the beans, lentils, and split peas which can turn out too hard or too mushy. 

Cooked beans can be stored up to 4 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer. Label and date freezer bags. Individual portions of beans can be frozen in small zipper=style freezer bags and stored together in a larger bag that is labeled and dated.

Beans are interchangeable in any recipe. Substitute your favorite beans in a recipe.

Recipes and Informational Links

1 – Spain On a Fork:



Or YouTube channel



 2 – Chef Zee Cooks:



Or Youtube channel


She has version of Sofrito


3 – Jeff and Jo’s Puerto Rican Kitchen



Or YouTube channel


They have a version of Sofrito


4 – The Freakin Rican Restaurant 

YouTube channel


He has a version of Sofrito


5 – The Mediterranean Dish



Or YouTube Dish



6 – Clean and Delicious:



Or YouTube channel



7 – Downshiftology:



Or YouTube channel



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