Beans from Scratch
Michelle isn't serving up samples right now, so she's serving up kitchen tips instead! Here's her tried and true approach to cooking dry beans, plus some extra tips for upping your flavor, saving time, and cook other legumes. (Ingredients and modifications are below the video.)
ONE cup of dried beans will yield THREE cups of cooked beans.
1. Pour beans onto clean cloth, plate or sheet pan and inspect for rocks or beans that are funky looking. Rinse beans.
2. Soak, soak, soak. Put the beans in a large bowl or pot, add cold water (at least 3 inches of water above the beans) and let soak overnight. Let them soak in lots of water, as it will ensure each bean has lots of water absorption. Massage the beans, rinse and refill water several times during the soak period.
3. After soaking the beans, drain and rinse and put in a large pot. Add fresh water to cover the beans 2-3 inches. The cooking vessel size is important. Bigger is better as the cooking will be more even if each bean has room to cook. Bring to boil for a few minutes. Scrape any foam off the top, as needed.
4. Cover beans, lower heat and let simmer on a gentle boil until the beans are done to the point you wish. If your pot is not deep enough, leave the lid ajar so the beans don’t get foamy and boil over.
5. At this point you can add a 3-4 inch piece of Kombu seaweed if you wish. Lift out the Kombu if it starts to break apart. Give the Kombu a taste, as you may enjoy the delicious snack that it is.
6. Stir the beans occasionally. The beans should take about 1-2 hours to be cooked through.
7. Salt the cooked beans to taste. One cup of (dried) beans to one teaspoon of salt is a good ratio.
8. If you have a lot of the cooking liquid, you can drain it from the beans and bring the liquid back to heat to reduce to a creamy consistency. You can enjoy the juice with the beans or you can use the bean cream to flavor just about any soup, braise or even pasta sauces.
- Cooking garbanzos (chickpeas) may take double the time to cook.
- Kidney beans need extra soak time, lots of rinses and longer cook times. Canned kidney beans are a good alternative.
- Lentils and split peas do not need any soak time, just a good rinse.
- If you have an Instapot, crockpot or pressure cooker, cooking beans is even easier. Follow the instructions with your appliance.
- Remember to check out the Ashland Food Co-op website for lots of fabulous tried-and-true bean recipes.
- You can add flavor components and aromatics toward the end of cooking. Beans really are better day 2 and day 3, so make plenty. Beans will keep well for about 5 days in the fridge, 3 months in the freezer.
Here are flavor profile ideas for different bean types and can be enjoyed as a cold salad, soup, stew, chili, cassoulet, entree, burger, fritter, or a creamy hummus-like dip:
Pinto: Just salt!
Black bean: Thyme, cumin seed, paprika, bay leaf, onion, garlic, bell pepper.
Black eyed peas: Thyme, black pepper, chili flakes, onion, garlic, olive oil.
White beans of all sorts: Rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaf, parsley, celery, carrots, onion, garlic.
Garbanzo: Leave plain to make hummus or make chickpea marsala with mustard seed, cumin seed, turmeric powder, coriander, fresh ginger, cilantro, onion and garlic.
More Co-op News
2020 Co-op Election Results
Ashland Food Co-op owners voted for three open seats on the Board of Directors, and for ten non-profit organizations for the Change for Good register round-up program.
Click a name below to read more about that Co-op Board member.
Dear Ashland Food Cooperative Family and Community,
AFC and AEFB Press Release - Local Strength!
Release Date: 5-26-2020
In April, the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors announced to the community that the Co-op would be returning 100% of the 2019 Patronage Dividend to its owners. The 100% Patronage Dividend return to Co-op owners converted to over $628,000.
The Co-op Board felt in this time of great need it was not the right time for the Co-op to put away funds for the future, but rather to support owners fully so they may have more strength to weather these stormy times.
Thanks to the many agile and adaptable experts in the Rogue Valley, the much-loved Free Monday Night Lectures live on - even if everything is moving online.
While we miss seeing community members with a joy of learning showing up at the Co-op Classroom, we hope these recordings teach and inspire you.
By Nina Friedman, Strategic Energy Management intern
The Ashland Food Co-op has played a critical role supporting our community for nearly 50 years by providing healthy food and a safe place to shop. With the recent COVID-19 shutdown, this support has been even more important and has stretched our organization in ways that we could not have anticipated. We have endeavored to address the needs of both our staff and our customers, hopefully in the most cooperative manner.
The Ashland Food Co-op acknowledges and shares our community’s concerns about protecting against the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The safety and health of staff and customers is a top priority for the Co-op. We are taking proactive steps throughout our store to maintain a clean atmosphere to work and shop.
We have consolidated store changes below.
As an owner of the Ashland Food Co-op, you are an important decision-maker in the leadership of the Co-op! A vital part of your ownership is voting for the Board of Directors.
On the ballot: Vote for Board Candidates and Change for Good Organizations
Vote for Board Candidates
This year, four candidates are nominated for three Board positions: each elected Board director will serve a three-year term. The candidates are Ed Claassen, Mark Gibbs, Carolina Livi and Julie O'Dywer.
Mark the evening of May 13 at 5pm on your calendar and join us for the 2020 AFC Annual Meeting. We’ll host the meeting online using Google Hangouts. Please click here to join the meeting, or call in at this number:
PIN: 719 680 293 2056#
The Co-op has always had a focus on supporting the strong local scene of growers and producers - and in these times, it's even more important. Here is just a small selection of some of our favorites from the area. Help support local businesses next time you stop by the Co-op by picking one of these products.
By Emile Amarotico, General Manager
It’s been two months since my last update on our Co-op community, but it could just as well have been two years ago, or from an alternate reality! Needless to say, life at the Co-op has changed, and it hasn’t been easy for employees or shoppers. But despite the challenges, it has been an inspiring and reaffirming time that reminds us why we love the cooperative enterprise.
By Rianna Koppel, Sustainability Coordinator
In the midst of a health crisis, how can we focus on sustainability? Let’s be real - these are tough times!
What does sustainability look like now? I like to refer to the definition of sustainability - meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. How can we meet the needs of the present, while keeping the future in mind?
By Annie Hoy, Board Director
This month, AFC Owners will democratically elect a slate of board candidates. These candidates are co-op owners, just like you and me. By holding annual elections, co-ops around the world and close to home are expressing Cooperative Principle 2: Democratic Member Control.
From the Board of Directors:
This year, the Co-op Board of Directors is taking unprecedented action to distribute 100% of the over $628,000 2019 Patronage Dividend to our owners. In this time of great need, there is no holding back. This is not the moment to put away funds for the future, but rather to support our owners fully so that we may all have more strength to weather the storm.
By Mahlea Rasmussen, Education Coordinator
Inspired by Bea Johnson's Zero Waste Home
We are in uncertain times and some of you may be second-guessing some of your zero waste practices and replacing them with safety measures for you and your family. I was proud not to have chemical cleaners in my home and never used plastic gloves - but now those products are being suggested for staying clean and safe. Here are some tips to keep your home safe while working towards more sustainability.