Sunday, September 19, 2010

All Dried Up.

I finally took the plunge and bought bulk dried beans. I have no idea what has been scaring me away from them for so long! They are SO easy to cook. I just dumped my Garbanzo Beans into a bowl of water overnight, rinsed them the next day, and boiled them for about 30 or so minutes. Perfection! The pot didn't even really need to be stirred. So easy and MUCH cheaper than buying beans in a can. Also better for the environment because I'm not using all those cans. Yet another benefit, dried beans take up way less space in my tiny cupboards than all those cans of beans did. I wonder if dried beans are healthier than beans that have been cooked and then canned?

The best part about cooking my own beans? THE TASTE. They don't have that weird slimy stuff on them like the ones from the can, even though I rinsed that off it still grossed me out. Especially in canned black beans, the goop was a brown color and very thick. EW what is that stuff anyways?! The beans tasted fresher and looked brighter and healthier than my canned beans. They also had a much better POP in my mouth. Since I could control how long to cook them I kept them slightly(I mean verrry slightly) crunchy. No more mushy weird colored beans for me- I have definitely been converted to dried beans.

So what did I make with my dried beans?

Red Roasted Pepper Hummus, Cinnamon Toasted Chickpeas, and Sprouts.

We'll go from easiest to hardest...

Sprouting 101

1. Put 2-3 Tablespoons of beans into jar. I used lentils. Here are the best beans/seeds/nuts/grains to use for sprouting:

* Seeds: alfalfa, clover.
* Beans: mung, lentil, garbanzo.
* Nuts: almonds, filberts (hazelnuts).
* Grains: wheat berries, rye.

2. Water. Cover beans/seeds/nuts/grains with about 2-3 inches of water.
3. Cover jar with cheesecloth and secure with rubber band.
4. Let sit overnight.
5. Rinsing. In the morning drain the water and rinse the beans/seeds/nuts/grains and DRAIN. Be sure to drain thoroughly.
6. Repeat rinsing at night. Repeat this rinsing process for 3-5 days (until they look done). On the last day of rinsing set the sprouts in the sun in order to soak up chlorophyll.
7. ENJOY! Here are some great ways to enjoy sprouts:

* On salads
* On wraps/sandwiches
* In stir fry or with other cooked veggies.
* Add to veggie burgers or breads- get creative!

Instead of cheesecloth I cut up a mesh shirt instead- works just as well and cost me nothing!

On to the next one...

Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas


• 2 cup cooked chickpeas
• 2 T coconut oil
• 2 t pumkin spice (1 t cinnamon, ½ t nutmeg, ¼-1/2 t ginger)
• 1/8 t sea salt
• 1 TBSP Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 450°. Mix chickpeas with oil and spices, excluding the brown sugar, in a medium sized bowl. Scatter chickpeas on a baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the chickpeas have become dry and crispy. Watch them closely! They burn easily, takes around 30 minutes or more.

Mine got a little burnt...I thought they were ruined when the smoke billowed out of the oven! But luckily I like the crispiness :) I think that black stuff is a carcinogen though...these taste amaaazing plain! But even better in some trail mix they add a nice cinnamon sugar taste. I have a feeling I will be making these frequently.

On to the laaaast one...

How to Roast Red Peppers:
Turn oven to broil. Put peppers on cooking sheet and roast for about 5 minutes or until skin is wrinkled and browned slightly. Turn over and roast other side of peppers until done. Remove the peppers from the oven and transfer to plastic bag, let them steam for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the bag and remove skin and seeds.

Red Roasted Pepper Hummus

* 2 cups of cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans (Or 1 15 oz can)
* 1/3 cup tahini
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* 2 roasted red peppers

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend. Serve chilled.

Now there is no completed pictures of the hummus because my blender broke :( I brought it to the BF's last night and used his food processor( I NEEEEED ONE) to finish it. It turned out perfectly! Although I realized I don't like the taste of tahini all that much. Next time I make this I am going to reduce the tahini to about 2-3 tablespoons, and add some spices either fresh rosemary or basil from my indoor potted garden.

Well I'm off to finish cleaning my apartment and fold laundry, ahh I just love homework and chore filled Sundays...not. I think I might make some squash bread from that canned squash I ate might not taste good out of the can but I can't waste it. So I guess I'm forced to bake some bread :)

What is your favorite way to eat beans? Have you ever cooked your own beans?

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