This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 4…Dried, beans, lentils and peas…

We all need a well-stocked store cupboard… things we use and maybe just a few we don’t use so often but keep and store well…I am not surprised by the comments to hear that many of you already have a well-stocked store cupboard…There are however many who still do not especially youngsters or people starting out on their own…

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It takes time (and) money to build up a store cupboard so I am breaking it down into easy stages…Just for those of you who are not sure just where to start…

Whether you call it a cupboard or a pantry a savvy cook knows it helps them create delicious, economical dishes without using expensive ingredients or having to pop out and hope no one sees us without our slap…Picture the scene… we are halfway through making a new recipe…We can taste it…Then up pops the ingredient we thought we had in the cupboard or we missed that bit of the recipe…The shop is shut…It is raining…We are in our house clothes…Don’t they always though…haha

Staples range from flour, sugar, canned goods, oils, rice, pasta, dried herbs, stock cubes(bouillon)...Today I am looking at dried goods beans, peas and lentils…even popcorn…

Good value for money… beans and lentils store well they can be used for vegetarian/vegan dishes to make meat dishes go much further. They are a great source of low-fat protein and they are low-cost store cupboard items.

Beans…There is such a wide variety of dried beans which include red and white kidney beans, Butter(lima) beans, haricot beans, flageolet beans, cannellini beans, cranberry beans, adzuki, pinto beans, navy beans, garbanzo(chickpeas)…far too many to mention…


To Use:

Place the dried beans in a large bowl cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight, then rinse and drain use as required.

Note: Kidney beans are poisonous so require cooking properly…Boil the kidney beans vigorously for 15 minutes, change the water and simmer for about 1 and 3/4 hrs until the beans are tender.

What also is very popular know is eating or sprouting your own beans…Not something I have done yet..But it was  a great tip from Dolly with a soup recipe as well…

Thank you, Dolly xx

Lentils…like beans lentils come in all colours red, green, brown, orange they are very versatile and are a little nutrient powerhouse…

Green and brown lentils or puy lentils cook quickly and evenly without becoming mushy and are one of the most versatile …I find the red, yellow and orange lentils are great but since they tend to get mushy when cooked they are best added to soups and sauces than cooked on their own.

How to how to use them… in a healthy soup, in Indian dal, or to add extra texture to a pumpkin stew or rice dish.they are lovely in a cheesy bean and lentil bake and very popular in Indian cuisine,… love a lentil curry…lentils are cheap, healthy and tasty…


One of my favourites they have a lovely creamy texture which is why they are ideal for making hummus…They are brilliant as a snack…just roasted…or just used to bulk out soups, stews and salads…

High in protein, they are one of the earliest cultivated legumes…They are also high in fibre and contain several key vitamins and minerals. Sometimes called garbanzo beans they are used extensively in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Note: it is not recommended to eat raw chickpeas or any other pulses due to the content of toxins and anti-nutrients. These components are reduced with sprouting and cooking.

When preparing dried chickpeas:

Sort them: It is important to pick out any small rocks or other debris that may have wound up in the package.

Wash and soak them: Soak chickpeas in water for 8 to 10 hours before cooking in order to achieve optimum flavour and texture. It’s possible to tell they are finished soaking when they can be split easily between the fingers. Soaking dried legumes reduces the amount of time needed to cook them, and also helps remove some of the oligosaccharides that cause gastrointestinal distress as well as harmful substances found in raw legumes.

Cook: Once they are finished soaking, chickpeas are best cooked by simmering for a few hours until tender.

I have a confession to make…I haven’t even kept count of the number of times I have thrown bean juice straight down the sink….Not anymore…


The juice also has a name aquafaba a term coined by a vegan baker Goose Wohlt.

It can be produced from the liquid from both tinned chickpeas and the bean cooking water now I  sort of already knew that this liquid could be used as a base for soups, stews and sauces but I wasn’t aware that if it was reduced down by cooking until it thickens then it can be used in the same way as the juice from the tinned chickpeas and is used by vegans or anyone who has an egg allergy as a substitute for egg whites in many recipes.

For example, it can be used in cookies, cakes, icing, creams, even meringues and also mayonnaise  with aquafaba

The liquid can also be frozen for future use I either freeze in zip lock bags or ice-cube trays.

Just a little word of warning:

If you are using the juice from canned beans please make sure you are using brands which DON’T contain preservatives are organic and grown without using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides also look for low salt or no salt varieties and BPA free cans as the white lining inside the cans is a known endocrine disruptor and can leach from the can lining into the food causing many health problems, including brain development abnormalities, cancers and heart disease.

Me I err on the side of caution when using beans and use dried beans unless I am absolutely sure of what they contain and I use google to double-check as more often than not the writing on cans is too small for me to read and if you are in a hurry or your lunch hour are you going to check a can?

Glass bottles are good and more manufacturers are using them instead of tins.

Thank you for joining me in my kitchen I hope you have some fun and came away learning something or maybe you have some store cupboard tips? If so please share I love it when we have interaction and it benefits us all xx

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely weekend  xx

14 thoughts on “This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 4…Dried, beans, lentils and peas…

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  3. koolkosherkitchen

    When I arrived here, 41 years ago, I had to get used to the idea that stores had EVERYTHING, and a huge variety of it. After the Russian shortages, it was a shock, and it took time to stop filling my shopping cart to the brim. Of course, in 1978 you could fill a shopping cart for $20! My next stage was running to the store every day – because I didn’t have to play a squirrel any more – what a country! Then I got busy, as a single mother in a new country, working three jobs and taking care of my son. The end result is grocery shopping on Sundays for a week, plus refilling the pantry and freezer with those necessities you describe.
    As to beans, I sprout them, as per my husband’s doctor’s order. Once they grow cute little tails, I cook them, portion them out, and freeze the whole batch. This way, I can quickly pull out exactly as much as I need.
    Great post, very helpful for beginners, Carol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      What a great idea, Dolly I have never sprouted beans I will add a video as I am sure many people do or would if they knew how…Thank you…Will credit back to you…:) xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        I will… I have the builders in today for a while… This is said through gritted teeth.. I have leaky ceilings and this not the first time.. I have had to move out of my bedroom and office space and none this is conducive to doing anything… I am spitting feather here… Haha but rant over(for) now of course I will let you know… Xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. CarolCooks2 Post author

        It won’t unfortunately I live in Thailand and their track record or training is what it is…I have hung on for 3 years and moving is on the horizon…haha xx

        Liked by 1 person

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