chili recipe

chili recipe

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Tips for Cooking Dried Beans

Cooking dried beans always appears to be a monumental task because it seems like a great deal of time must be spent before you can even use the cooked beans in a recipe.  While canned beans are really convenient, cooked dry beans have a lot more flavor than their canned relatives.

If you plan ahead, dried beans are easy to cook and they are very economical since their price is much lower than canned beans.  Below are a few tips that will make cooking dried beans easier for you.

1.  If you have the freezer space, cook more than one batch of beans at a time.  Freeze the cooked beans up to 6 months.  This way you have more flavorful beans but your frozen beans are just as convenient as purchased canned beans.

2.  You can cook dried beans the same day if you do the following.  Place beans in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of water.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour.  You may then drain, rinse, and cook the beans normally.

3.  For each cup of dried beans, use 3 cups of water for cooking (except for lentils and black eyed peas- see directions in tip #4)  For other beans, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for the times listed below.

Black beans - 1 hour to 1.5 hours

Kidney beans - 1.5 hours to 2 hours

Northern beans - 1 hour to 1.5 hours

Navy beans - 1.5 hours to 2 hours

Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas) 1.5 hr to 2 hours

4.  When cooking lentils, use 1.5 cups of water for every cup of beans.  DO NOT PRESOAK.  Simmer for 30 minutes in a covered pot.

Black eye peas also do not need pre-soaking.  Use 3 cups of water for each cup of beans and simmer while covered for approximately an hour.

Beans are delicious and nutritious!  Each 1/2 cup of cooked beans offers between 6 and 10 grams of fiber, less than 2 grams of fat, and between 7 and 9 grams of protein.  You can add beans to salads, tacos, burritos, soups, salsas, or add to rice or pasta as well as just adding salt and pepper for a simple side dish.

Written By Danna Vach