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Cooking Dried Legumes

The dried legumes should be soaked overnight in water, to which a little baking soda has been added. These vegetables require long cooking to soften them, and also to develop flavor. A little soda added to the water in which they are cooked also aids in softening them and neutralizes the vegetable acid found in some of the legumes. During the long heating, dried legumes break up, if not carefully cooked.

Dried soy-beans have a strong flavor which is objectionable. This can be removed as follows: Soak the beans overnight in a large quantity of hot water, drain, add fresh water and baking soda (about 1 teaspoonful for each cupful of beans), and cook the beans for about 40 minutes, then drain, add more water, and cook until they are tender. Dried soy-beans require long cooking, usually 4 or 5 hours. After the 40-minute cooking, they may be drained, heated in more water, and then placed in a fireless cooker. The pressure cooker may be used effectively in cooking these dried beans.

Soy-beans may also be baked after the 40-minute cooking in the same manner as navy beans. Serve cooked soy-beans with Tomato Sauce.

Although dried legumes are comparatively cheap, the fuel required to cook them for so long a time may increase their cost to a considerable extent. In cooking these foods, care should be taken to utilize fuel that is already required for some other purpose. The fireless cooker is most satisfactory in cooking these dried foods.


School and Home Cooking (1920).


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