Today I sing praises for the lowly Boston Mountain bean. A myriad of different varieties does she offer. Behold her strength. Behold her beauty. How ever increasingly our strength builds with our intake of her many bountiful benefits. Long considered a “second-hand” protein, I wish to correct this flagrant disregard for our small entity and herald her “second-coming” into our busy, malnourished mountain society.
What do you think our early mountain ancestors consumed, before they had a mess of chickens or a herd of cattle? Beans! We have heard of the “incredible, edible egg,” but what of the “bountiful, benevolent bean?” Humor me and I will tell you of the great benefits offered by our lowly bean.
“Soak, soak, soak your beans! Gently overnight! Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, cook and eat, …delight!”
You have to “soak” your beans. Absolutely! Ideally overnight. Otherwise “you reap what you sow.” Soaking beans rids them of the sugars that cause flatulence. It also cleanses them of toxins, fecal matter, contaminants, and all manner of nastiness. It allows the beans to be ready to offer their “best shot!”. The most vitamins and minerals, and protein and fiber. A major plus is that you can control the exact cooking “doneness” you desire. Always pour off the soaking water, rinse them, and proceed to cook them in fresh water. Basically if you soak and rinse your beans, it is as if they have had a “Spa” treatment.
Beans have always been the “go to” compliment to any meal here in the mountains. Taters are good, but beans are best! Beans grow really well here and you can store them indefinitely! Please excuse my “Rave,” but I’ve never met a bean I did not personally enjoy! The only necessary seasoning for a bean, in my opinion, is the lowly onion. You can read my earlier post about my praise for them also.
Red beans and rice? Sure! Why not Black beans and rice? Why not White beans and rice? Why not “ANY” beans and rice? I am a chef by trade, but everybody is a chef in their own right! If you have a favorite bean, be adventurous! Experiment! When cooking beans, you are only limited by your imagination, or lack of. Beware though, beans without a “soak” will lead to the “bloat.”….just sayin’….