COOKING 101: LEGUMES + BROWN RICE

Hi mamacitas, today I thought to go back to basics and start a little series on how to cook staples.

As you might know, I love cooking a lot of sides for the week so I can have options to pick from. As well, I try to cook everything from scratch, and avoid highly processed and packaged food. So when buying legumes (which they are a massive part of our diet) I choose the bulk section. That means I get as many as I need at a cheaper price. It also means, I have to cook them. 

I've got a few questions on how to do it, why I soak them and how long they last. Here some of those answers.

- TO SOAK OR NOT TO SOAK?

Yes, yes and more yes! 

Soaking is essential for digestion. Phytic acid is a covering layer all legumes have that helps it grow from a seed to a full plant. But this layer is not good for our bodies. The best way? Soak them for a couple of hours to one day, The water is going to come out a little foamy, so rinse the legumes and use fresh water to cook them. (NOTE: this also applies to oats and rice, some people have the misconception that “oat water” is good for your health but what you are actually are consuming is all the phytic acid!)

Cooking 101: legumes and rice

- HOW TO COOK THEM-

Ok now that you have soaked it for at least a couple hours is time to cook. Here are some very basic ways to do it.

BEANS + CHICKPEAS 

The length of time will depend on the bean, I have found that the lighter the color the less time they need. But here some basics:

  • Rinse the beans after soaking
  • Add enough water in a pod to cover the beans, I like to do 3x the amount. So if I am cooking one cup of beans, I will use at least 3 cups of water. 
  • Let the water boil, once boiling add the beans. 
  • Mix, let boil for one minute. Bring the heat to low, cover and let simmering for at least 40 mins.
  • Try a couple beans and make sure they are cooked. They should feel soft.
  • OPTIONAL: Add a piece of onion, a garlic clove or salt and pepper to add more flavor. 

Some tips:

  • Be aware that during the soaking time legumes expand, and absorb water, so use a large container with enough room for them to expand. 
  • Once you have cooked beans and chickpeas, set them aside until they are completely cool down before putting them on the fridge, otherwise they go bad.
  • If you want them to last you over a week, change the water they are in every other day.  
  • 1 cup of legumes makes around 4 cups of cooked legumes. 

BROWN RICE

  • Rinse the water it was soaked in.
  • Pour 2 cups of water, per cup of rice (so if you are cooking 1/2 c you only need 1 c of water, always 2:1 ratio) on a pod and let the water boil.
  • Once boiling add the rice, mix and let boil for one minute.
  • Bring the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 40-45 minutes. 
  • OPTIONAL: add salt, pepper and garlic for flavor. 

Some tips:

  • Do not open the pod while the rice is cooking. Not sure why, but mum says that. I listen and my rice is fluffy as cotton candy. 
  • Same as the legumes, let the rice cool down completely before storing in the fridge. 
  • 1 cup of rice makes around 4 cups of cooked rice. 

Super simple right? The fun part is that while they are cooking you can hang out, work, binge watch youtube, anytime. Honestly best thing I have learned to cook and that has save my booty from buying out all the time. Plus you avoid all the fillers, chemicals and sodium from the can ones! 

What else do you want to see?

Tell me in the comments!

Xx

Ana