This post first appeared on Wholefood Mum.
I've often been told that cooking with dried legumes is 'too hard'. But really it's not, it might be time consuming, but certainly not hard.
And when you think about it, it's really not time consuming either, it just takes a bit of forward planning.
The main legumes we use are lentils, chickpeas, pinto, red kidney and cannellini beans. I have just recently started introducing azuki and black beans to our mix and will no doubt be adding more as the year progresses.
The easiest way to prepare legumes for cooking is to slow soak them, so simply putting them in a pot and covering them in water for about 8 hours. Then rinsing them and cooking as required. Typically soaked legumes will need at least 45 minutes to cook, but this is dependant on the legume and the cooking process.
So, say for example I will be making something that requires 2 cups of cooked lentils, I might soak and cook 4 cups and freeze the excess for next time, negating the need to soak and cook the lentils again.
Freezing them is easy, just fill a glass jar but leaving enough gab at the top for expansion and leave the lid unscrewed until they have frozen then secure the lid.
So don't be scared about cooking with dried legumes, if I can do it, anyone can!
*Wholefood Mum is my other blog, but I just don't have the time to commit to it plus Actually Amy and And Sew We Craft so I'll be merging Wholefood Mum and Actually Amy over the coming weeks.