Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You ask Tuesdays

Beans, Beans the magical fruit the more you eat the more you, we all know this classic school yard song or our family anthem on Saturday nights, all to well.


So as you can probably guess this weeks question is about Pork and Beans. What are some good recipes (in the slow cooker) and how to keep the beans from going mushy.

First let me start off by praising the bean!! Beans are so good for you as they are packed full of fiber, protein, folate and much much more. Eating well with Canada's food guide recommends that we should choose beans and lentils more often then high fat meats.

Cooking the prefect pot of beans depends on two major things as far as I can tell.

1. Water: You must use enough water to cover your beans. Water or other liquid is needed to soften the beans as they cook. There must be enough liquid to keep the beans covered so they will cook uniformly. Any beans not covered during cooking will dry out and be inedible. The second thing about water is if you have hard water. Beans just don't do well in this type of water and its best to add about 1/2 tsp of baking soda to help soften the water.

2. Salt: There is a lot of different opinions on this one but salt should be added at the beginning of the cooking process. This will help bring out the flavor and also helps the beans to NOT become too soft. For average taste, 1 teaspoon of salt in the cooking water for each cup of beans is about right. You may want to hold off or cut down on the amount of salt used if salty meat is going to be added.

** A special note for this question since your hubby loves them in a tomato sauce. Tomato is an acidic food so its best to add this at the end of the cooking process. This will ensure you have the best pot of pork and beans. So try cooking the beans first then when they are almost done (1 hour left) add the tomatoes.

I didn't see that there were any special instructions for cooking the beans in the crock pot. However it will take ALL day to do it so its best to have them pre soak before you put them into the crock pot. Be sure that if you are cooking them on high that you check them every once in a while to make sure that they are covered in liquid.

Here are two recipes I found and references that were used to write this post. To have your nutrition question answered please either leave it in the comment box or email me at


Recipes

Homemade pork and beans

Crock pot bean recipes

References

The Christian Home Keeper

How to cook dried beans

Thank you to the people who have left questions. I am working on your questions so be sure to check back every Tuesday. If you email me with a questions I can get back to you before it is posted on the blog.


3 comments:

Stam House said...

Thanks Kate!!!!
I think I had salt problem cause I usually add it at the end to have less salt content in our food!

Crock pot I find leave to much water so it's kinda of a soupy bean !!!! I should try with less water

Thanks for all the tips!!!

Minimalist Mommy said...

I never had luck with the typical navy bean. Since switching to pinto beans I get the same texture as the canned ones, not too mushy. I heard from many ladies that the trick is to cook in a pressure cooker, this leaves them a little firm yet cooked through without turning to mush. I am hoping to get a pressure cooker/canner to try this. See you Thursday

Nancy said...

Try pre-soaking the bean the night before in soda and water. Then parboil them for 5 minutes take one bean out and blow on it if the skin of the bean cracks they are close to being ready. The beans need to be nearly as tender as you would like them to be before you put them in the oven. The beans will soften very little once the sugar is added.

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