Beans & Lentils

Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. A good source of protein and fibre, legumes are a healthy addition to any meal.

 Buying & storing

Dried beans and pulses kept for over a year will take longer to cook. Most, except lentils, require soaking overnight. Some are toxic if not boiled properly. Never add salt to the cooking water as it toughens the skins and prevents them becoming tender. Add seasoning after you have drained them. Bicarbonate will speed up the cooking and tenderise dried beans and chickpeas.

Dried Vs Canned

While dried beans and pulses are cheaper and involve less packaging and waste, you need to plan ahead if they require an overnight soaking before cooking. Nutritionally there is very little difference however canned varieties, while more convenient, often contain higher levels of salt – it’s worth trying different brands to compare flavours. The texture of dried, soaked and cooked is known to be a little firmer and the flavour more pronounced.