Cooking Dry Lentils and Beans from Scratch
I often cooked dry lentils and beans from scratch then I would get lazy and buy the cans. Since becoming aware of how much we waste, BPA in cans, landfill etc, I’ve become more mindful about the way I shop and cook. Now I only cook dried lentils. I always buy them in bulk now as well. They are less expensive (lentils and beans are very economical anyway) from organic bulk food stores or good Indian grocery stores. Take your own containers or jars to fill them up at bulk food stores so you don’t have to take home packaging and you buy exactly how much you want.
Cooking beans and lentils takes a little organisation though it is worth it. When you decide to cook lentils, it’s a good thing to soak them first. Most lentils require a few hours though by the time I get around to cooking them it has been a day which is ok. Sometimes mine begin to sprout by accident and that’s even better as the sprouting stage makes it easier for us to digest.
Rinse the lentils to remove all the phytates and enzyme inhibitors that inhibit our digestion. Place them in a large saucepan and cover with double the amount of filtered water or more. Bring to the boil, you will see a froth come up as it boils. Use a large spoon to remove the scum and then turn it down to simmer. You want to see the water continually bubbling gently. Depending on the bean or lentil, it will take 15-45 minutes. Lentils and adzuki take about 15-20 minutes so take some out with a spoon to check.
Once they are cooked, drain them in a colander and pop into jars and containers to freeze for later. I like to have a supply of things like lentils, chickpeas and adzuki beans ready cooked in the freezer for hommus, lentil curries, taco mixes and soups. Then I am not waiting 2 days for the recipe to happen and when I am down to my last container of one of them I soak more so I am ahead of myself. This way I save time and money not having to run out to buy a can.
So let’s get cooking. The more you do it, it becomes second nature. Truly it doesn’t take that long, just a little organisation and keep our earth from the unnecessary landfill that we are creating. Do it for your children.