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-Make sure that the saucepan used for soaking purposes is large enough to allow the dry beans to expand to two thirds of their original size.

-Do not add bicarbonate of soda to the boiling water as this will destroy the vitamins in the dry beans.

-Simmer the beans slowly. If they are cooked too quickly, the husks will burst open and fall off which means that the fibre will be lost,

-Add 15ml of oil for every 250ml of dry beans during cooking as this prevents foaming. This practice is not recommended for low-fat diets.

- Add salt after the beans have been cooked until soft. The beans will not become soft if salt is added at the start of the cooking process.

-Use 20ml of salt for every 1kg of cooked beans which is equivalent to 500g raw beans.

-The cooking process is slowed down by acid. It is therefore important to add tomatoes, vinegar etc after the beans have been cooked.

-Fresh beans will cook more evenly and older beans will need more cooking time.

-If white and coloured beans are used in the same dish, the two kids of beans must be kept separately during cooking; otherwise the white beans will take on the colour of the coloured beans.

-When cooked beans are used in an oven dish it is important to add sufficient liquid, otherwise too much moisture will be extracted from the beans and they will become hard.

-Cook sufficient beans for more than one meal at a time and store in recipe-sized portions in the refrigerator or freezer. A little extra liquid or seasoning can be added to the beans after defrosting.

-When a recipe, for example bean and sherry soup, requires water as an ingredient, the water in which the beans are cooked can be used for this purpose.

-500g of dry beans will yield 1kg of cooked beans.

-350g of cooked beans will yield 500ml of cooked beans.


-Approximately 300ml of cooked small white beans plus 100ml of tomato sauce can be used instead of a 410g tin of beans in tomato sauce.




PROCEDURE: The skins of the bens are impermeable and water is only able to enter through the end broken off from the plant. Many of the new gourmet packed beans call for no soaking.

TOTAL TIME REQUIRED: Follow the directions on the pack as the time varies.


PROCEDURE: The tempo of hydration is much faster in hot water than in water at room temperature or with overnight soaking method using cod water. Cover the beans with sufficient water. The water level should be two thirds of that of the beans. Oil the beans for five minutes. Cover and allow soaking for one hour.



PROCEDURE: Cover the beans with sufficient water and allow soaking overnight.


COOKING PROCEDURE: It is very important to cook beans until quiet soft to improve their digestibility and tastiness. Salt must be added after the beans have been cooked until soft.

TOTAL TIME REQUIRED: Cooking time depends on: type of bean, quality of bean, use of bean and use of hard water of cooking


PROCEDURE: Drain the soaking water and add boiling water to the beans. Simmer the beans until soft, stirring regularly.

TOTAL TIME REQUIRED: small white canning- 1 ½ -2 hours.

                                                 Brown haricot- 1 ½ -2 hours

                                                 Speckled sugar- 2 ½ -3 hours

                                                 Yellow haricot- 1 ½ -2 hours

                                                  Large white kidney- 3 ½ -4 hours



PROCEDURE: A considerably shorter time is required. It is not necessary to soak the beans beforehand if a pressure cooker is used.

TOTAL TIME REQUIRED: small white canning- 30 minutes

                                                 Brown haricot- 30 minutes

                                                 Speckled sugar- 45 minutes

                                             Yellow haricot- 30 minutes

                                              Large white kidney beans- 60 minutes