soaking and pressure cooking dry beans
beans are best when soaked thoroughly... soaking dry beans in water overnight re-hydrates them before cooking, and with the addition of kombu seaweed, makes them more nutritious and much easier to digest... begin by rinsing the beans well in water to remove any debris... place them in a bowl and fill it with about twice as much water as beans... let sit overnight... rinse the beans again and place them in a pressure cooker or pot (depending on the bean) - rinse 1 piece of Kombu seaweed per 2 cups of beans (if you are making less, break the Kombu in half) - place the Kombu in the beans, and fill pot with water, about 1 inch above the level of the beans - cook according to bean type
another way to re-hydrate the beans, if you need them faster, is the quick-soak method... rinse the dry beans well and place in a pot with about 1 inch of water above the level of the beans... bring to a boil, then turn off the heat completely, cover the pot, and let it sit for at least 1 hour (longer is ok, but 1 hour is the minimum)... when soaked, rinse the beans again and place in pot with kombu and water and cook according to bean type
"Beans are an important source of two essential amino acids not found in cereals, lysine and threonine. In turn, whole grains complement beans and together deliver complete protein. Enjoying a variety of beans in combination with whole grain is a good step toward healthy eating."
"Kombu is a sea vegetable of the "Laminaria" family, of which there are more than ten species. EDEN Kombu, "Laminaria japonica", is a dark greenish brown sea vegetable, with thick, wide leafy fronds, that grow in the waters off the coast of Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan. This type of kombu referred to as "Ma-konbu," is prized not only for its abundance of essential minerals, vitamins, and trace elements but also for its natural glutamic salts that make it an excellent flavoring agent. The white powder on the surface of the dried kombu fronds contains the amino acid glutamine, a natural, sweet, superior flavor enhancer to monosodium glutamate, which is artificial and potentially toxic. Kombu has been used for thousands of years as a flavor enhancer and health food."
"EDEN Kombu Sea Vegetable grows wild in the clean, cold northern waters where the choicest grades of kombu grow bathed in steady Arctic currents. The grade Eden selects is only the tender central part of the plant that has the best flavor and texture. Tender fronds are hand harvested using long poles with knives attached to cut the kombu free. As the kombu floats to the surface it is gathered into boats and taken ashore. The fronds are folded and naturally sun dried on the white sand beaches before washing, cutting, and packaging. Lower grades of kombu are cultivated artificially or simply gathered from the beach after washing ashore. EDEN Kombu grows wild and is gathered by hand from the sea while the plant is still alive."
"As with all sea vegetables, kombu was traditionally valued for its ability to cleanse the blood and help the body discharge toxins. Kombu is rich in essential minerals, vitamins and important trace elements, including calcium, iron, iodine, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, B6 and niacin. Kombu is high in alginic acid, a polysaccharide similar to pectin found in the cellulose of land plants. Writing in Culinary Treasures of Japan, Jan and John Belleme cite scientific research conducted at McGill University which "demonstrated that alginic acid binds with heavy metals found in the body, renders them insoluble and causes them to be eliminated." Kombu has been used for centuries both in China and Japan to lower cholesterol levels, relieve water retention, and stabilize blood pressure. Because of its rich iodine content, kombu was also used in the treatment of goiter and thyroid conditions."
cooking soy beans
after trying to figure out the best way to cook soybeans without a hitch, these instructions, from The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook worked PERFECT... first we quick-soaked the soybeans (see above instructions - soaking overnight is better but in a pinch quick-soak works fine), then put the rinsed beans, water, kombu, and oil into the pressure cooker; brought it up to pressure, and reduced heat to medium-low (using an electric range), and let cook for about 40 minutes... the oil prevented anything from clogging the vent and the beans came out awesome
"Soybeans cook best in a pressure cooker. Soaked beans take about 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 lbs. pressure. Some varieties take up to 2 hours of pressure cooking. A cooked soybean should squish easily between your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Under cooked soybeans are indigestible. Soaking beans overnight will reduce cooking time. Rinse soaked beans and skim off floating bean skins. Follow the directions for your pressure cooker!"
"Basic cooking proportions to follow are: 2 cups of dried beans to 6 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of oil. Oil helps keep loose skins from clogging the steam vent pipe. If the vent pipe becomes clogged, bring the pressure all the way down, remove the lid, clean out the vent and remove any floating skins. Add a little more oil and return to pressure. Add salt to taste after beans are cooked. Its always best to cook beans with a piece of Kombu or a Bay Leaf."
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