From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Sunday, October 26, 2014

3-day Chili

I used to buy canned kidney beans to make chili.

But I'm trying to get away from canned stuff when possible.  I'm not happy having to recycle the cans and I don't trust the stuff they line the cans with!  The coating: BPA and the tin itself can leach into acidic products.

So I'm buying dry beans in bulk these days and taking the long road to savory stuff like bean soup and chili.

First off, I read up on soaking beans and legumes.  The quick soak I used to use is off the table and the loooong soak is the new norm here.

See is, beans, etc. are filled with phytic acid which PREVENTS your absorption of important minerals like calcium, phosporus, potassium, zinc, etc.

By soaking beans at room temp for 18-24 hours, the phytase enzyme in the beans is activated and starts to break down the phytic acid.

You can see in the 1st pic how much foam was generated by this process after soaking 2# of kidneys for 18 hours.  (It was thicker, but I'd already scooped some out.)  This process will reduce phytic acid a lot making the nutrients more available to you.  Read it here.

I was busy so rinsed the beans and let them soak another 6 hours.  Then I simmered them for 2-3 hours until tender, let them cool and put them in the fridge to use the next day. (I noticed that the beans cooked more quickly and were much more tender than when I tried the short soaks before.)

Okay, day 3.  To the cooked beans I added hot and sweet peppers, onions, 1 1/3# of browned ground turkey, chopped tomatoes/ sauce/ paste and a boatload of spices.

Then I went outside to mow lawns.

When I came in 3 hours later the spicy fragrance met me at the door.  I was famished the the chili was ready.

It's not going to take 3 days to make chili next time.  Nosiree. I can soak/simmer beans any time, then freeze them for future use.

But I gotta tell you, this particular batch of chili was worth the wait!!


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  1. Thank you for the education. I thought the soaking was just to speed up cooking. I never bothered to research it. I will now use this method; no point cooking if we don't get the full benefit! Your chili looks scrumptious. I found several packages of ground pork when I went on the freezer organizing frenzy. I think I will try it in chili.

    1. You once posted about your in-law from south? central America where they soak the beans long and then keep them on the stove for days. You were going to try it on your woodburner. Did you ever do that? I'm soaking all my beans and split peas long from now on. We need every nutrient we can get! ;-D

  2. Now that chili does look delicious! I have been craving it since the days have been so miserable and rainy and cold, but haven't had it yet.
    I have done the dry bean route, but then got into the 'convenience' of going back to using the canned. Well I do hate it when I see how many cans are going into the recycle bin and also do think about the nasties that could be in the can, so have been wanting to get back to doing the beans from dry.
    Thanks for the post and education! :)
    chili definitely going on the menu sometime this week.

    1. When I find nutrition info to share, I won't hesitate. I've been so busy these past few days it's been a real blessing to just open the 'fridge and ladle up bowls of chili for meals. There's nothing like chili - unless it's a nice thick stew! Yum. Hope you get potful of something going this week.

  3. Another interesting post from you :} Years ago it wouldn't have occurred to me to buy tins of beans, we always soaked pulses 'properly'. Next time I make a batch of chilli for the freezer I may have to follow your lead and do the beans properly :)