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How to Cook: Beans

Serves 10 (makes about 7 cups)
Time 2 hr 15 min
Cooking beans at home is renowned as a simple way to save money and provide the base for many a healthy meal. It requires little effort and they're easy to keep on hand in the fridge or freezer. And then you can quickly put together everything from basic beans and rice (seasoned differently in different cultures) to soups, salads, dips and spreads.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dried beans
  • 1 yellow onion quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Method

Spread beans in a single layer on a large baking sheet and pick through to remove and discard any small stones or debris and then rinse well.

Soak the beans using one of these two methods:
Traditional soaking method: In a large bowl, cover beans by 3 inches with cold water, cover and set aside at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.

Quick soaking method: In a large pot, cover beans by 3 inches with cold water, cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, remove pot from heat and set aside, covered, for 1 hour.

Drain soaked beans and transfer to a large pot. Cover by 2 inches with cold water, add onion and bay leaves and bring to a boil; skim off and discard any foam on the surface. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, gently stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Drain beans (if desired), discard onions and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.

Note: We've provided special diet and nutritional information for educational purposes. But remember - we're cooks, not doctors! You should follow the advice of your health-care provider. And since product formulations change, check product labels for the most recent ingredient information.
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  • 1 pound dried beans
  • 1 yellow onion quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper