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Pressure Cooking Dry Beans

Pressure Cooking Dry Beans  3/6/20

 

Dry beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber and several other nutrients. Dry beans can be used in a variety of ways on your menu, and they are very affordable and economical at about 15 cents per serving. However, sometimes people shy away from using budget-friendly beans in their dry state because of the time required for soaking and cooking.

Enter the popular pressure cooker!  While traditional soaking and cooking dry beans on a stove may require hours of preparation time, one pound of dry beans can be prepared in less than an hour in a pressure cooker.

While cooking dry beans in a pressure cooker is a fairly simple process, they do have a tendency to froth and foam during cooking. Therefore, using the following guidelines is necessary when pressure cooking dry beans:

  • Never fill the pressure cooker more than the half full line. This includes beans, ingredients and water.
  • Pressure cookers must contain a minimum amount of liquid to operate correctly. See manufacturer’s directions.
  • You may add 1 to 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and up to 1 tablespoon of salt to 1 pound of beans during soaking or cooking. Tests have shown that when oil and salt are added, dry beans keep their shape and exterior skin intact, and froth and foam less during pressure cooking.
  • 1 pound (2 cups) of dry beans makes about 6 cups of cooked beans. By comparison, one 15-ounce can of beans is about 1¾ cups of beans drained.

Some people may be hesitant to increase beans in their diet due to the fear of intestinal gas and stomach discomfort.  Be watching this column next week for tips to reduce the occurrence of intestinal gas that sometimes comes from eating beans.  They don’t have to be “the musical fruit!”  

NDSU Extension has more information about pressure cooking dry beans, plus recipes, online at  https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/food-nutrition/field-to-fork-pressure-cook-dry-beans-to-save-money-and-time/fn1939.pdf

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/string-bean-beans-assortment-3861864/ (downloaded 3/10/20)

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