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

I am reposting this series on Store Cupboard Basics for those who are new readers of my blog and also because the fears of a global food crisis are growing due to the shock of the war in Ukraine, climate change and rising inflation.

Although I don’t advocate excessive stockpiling… it’s just wrong…but with food prices climbing, the U.N. is warning of crippling global shortages …it is good to have a selection of canned meats/fish, rice, and beans. Oats, dried fruits, nuts, whole spices etc. may also be good options to add to your store cupboard as they add variety to your daily menu.

We all need a well-stocked store cupboard…Of things we use and maybe just a few we don’t use so often but keep and store well…It takes time (and) money to build up a store cupboard so I am breaking it down into easy stages…

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…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 something I love to eat “ Dried, beans, lentils and peas”…

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…

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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 now 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…  https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2019/04/12/growing-super-soup/

Thank you, Dolly xx

Lentils…like beans lentils come in all colours red, green, brown, and 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 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…

Well this man just threw the little I know about lentils and he made me smile…

I’m now off to make some Dahl. Dal or Daal…how do you spell it?

Chickpeas…

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…

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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 it 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 and 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.

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 are having a lovely week  xx

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

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 29th May -4th June 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Food Review “Real food v Processed Food” and Saturday Snippets where “Star” is my one word prompt. | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Sue Dreamwalker

    Love adding red lentils to soups .. We also add kidney beans too… 🙂 And great you noted the toxins they can contain too.. And Yes I learnt something about not throwing away the juice etc Thank you Carol ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  3. Velva

    Hi Carol, I enjoyed this post! Love beans and always keep a good supply of beans on-hand. Although, I don’t stockpile or advocate stockpiling, items like beans are fantastic to always have plenty on hand to make delicious delicious.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
  4. Pingback: This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 4…Dried, beans, lentils and peas… – MobsterTiger

  5. beth

    thanks, for these reminders of the important basics. only in the last couple of years, have I really begun keeping some basics on hand, and healthy ones at that!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

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