Why use dried legumes, beans, peas?
I like to cook with dried legumes. Yeah you have to soak dries legumes and it takes time to prepare dried beans and peas. But what makes dried legumes particularly attractive to me is the completely different texture. Secondly the difference in taste. They just taste better and still have some “bite”.
They are also a bargain if you have to pay attention to your wallet.
Canned goods often contain a high amount of salt.
Why do you need to soak dried legumes, beans, peas?
The dried legumes contain poisonous phytohaemagglutinin, or simply, hemagglutinin. It may cause metabolic disorders, diarrheas and poisoning. You only need to eat, e.g. four or five undercooked red kidney beans to get sick. If the dried legumes are soaked, the pollutants that are toxic to us, are washed out. Make sure to pour away the soaking water afterwards.
Dried legumes such as beans, unpeeled peas or chickpeas should not be consumed raw! Make sure that the dried legumes are soaked well and that they are really soft after cooking.
Exceptions are, for example, lentils, split peas or peeled dry peas. They don’t have to be soaked beforehand.
Conversion of dried legumes – soaked legumes, beans, peas
There is no exact conversion between dried and soaked legumes.
My rule of thumb is 100 g dried legumes are the equivalent to ca. 200-250 g soaked legumes. The weight doubles, roughly calculated, if you soak the legumes overnight.
How to … soak dried legumes, beans, peas
Dried legumes are usually clean, smooth and shiny.
Even so, you should sort and clean the legumes first. Small stones or pebbles, for example, can accidentally get into the package. Or some legumes are wrinkled.
Then wash them thoroughly.
Afterwards cover the legumes in a sufficiently large saucepan with two to three times the amount of water. Soak overnight for 12 to 24 hours.
The legumes swell up a lot. If they don’t, they were either too old or something was wrong. Most important is here: Do not use those legumes.
The quick soaking method for legumes, beans, peas
You forgot to soak the dried legumes, beans, peas overnight? Then the following helps:
Bring the legumes to a boil in a saucepan with water. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Afterwards remove the pan from the heat and let the legumes soak for at least an hour.
Good to know
Dried legumes, beans, peas can be soaked in advance without any problems. You can keep them soaked in the refrigerator for 2 days. Change the water daily, preferably.
Dried legumes can be kept in a dry, dark place for up to two years. It is important to know that dried legumes get drier and harder over time. This extends the cooking time significantly.
By the way, legumes cooked in salted water will be soft. The rumor that they won’t be soft has now been refuted.