Christy Morgan talks about the variety of beans available at your local co-op and demonstrates how to soak beans before cooking them. Beans are an affordable and nutritious source of delicious protein in burritos, salads, stews, chili and dips, and learning to soak and cook your own helps you save even more money.

Find more Co+op Kitchen videos featuring information and easy recipes for making delicious meals at home, as well as handy hints from chefs and food enthusiasts who love sharing their passion for great food.

Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Christy Morgan, and I'm the Blissful Chef. Today we're going to talk all about beans. They're a powerhouse of nutrients, full of fiber, with no cholesterol. They're some of my favorite foods.

Displayed out in front of me is the before and after of the beans after they've been soaked and cooked. They expand double to triple their size after you soak and cook them.

Types of beans

Red beans

Here we have red beans, which are great to use in chilis and stews.

Black beans

These are black beans, which you can use for a variety of bean salads or dips.

Garbanzo beans

Garbanzo beans are very versatile.

Pinto beans

Here we have pinto beans, which are used in a variety of cuisines throughout South and Central America and Spain.

Cannellini beans

Here we have cannellini, which are used in Italian cooking, but you can use them for anything.

Adzuki beans

These are adzuki beans, which are a traditional Japanese red bean used in savory dishes and sweet dishes.

Kidney beans

Kidney beans are great to use in stews and chilis.

Cooking beans

Beans like kidney beans and garbanzo beans could benefit from soaking. That aids in digestion. 

When you're doing a long soak, add about 2 inches of water above the beans and leave them for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

If you don't have time to soak your beans overnight, you can do what's called a short soak. What you're going to do is put your beans in a pot. Bring it to a boil. Set it aside and leave it for 1 to 2 hours. Then you're going to drain off the liquid and put in fresh water before you cook your beans. You'll do that with a long soak as well.

When you cook your beans, be sure to salt at the end, not at the beginning, because that could prevent the beans from cooking all the way through.

I like to add a piece of kombu in my beans. All you need is a 1-inch piece. Just throw it in, and remove it when you're done.

It's a great idea to buy your beans in the bulk bin at the co-op, because they save you a lot of money that way.

I'm Christy for Co+op, stronger together.