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Cooking For Health - Cooking Legumes

( Originally Published 1927 )



Bean soup: Clean and wash the beans and soak them overnight. Cook them in the water in which they were soaked, and let them boil until tender. Use soft water for cooking all legumes, or add a little baking soda to soaking water.

The beans can be left whole or mashed; much or little water can be used to make soup of de-sired consistency.

Salt, fat and meat cooked with the beans make them hard to digest. If a bean soup with meat flavoring is desired, cook the beans in one vessel and the meat in another, and when both are done, mix and season.

Bean soup can be made in fireless cooker or steamer.

Pea soup or lentil soup: Use peas or lentils instead of beans, and prepare according to directions for bean soup.

Boiled beans: Make like bean soup, except that more beans and less water are used. Do not cook beans with pork or other meat or grease of any kind. If you wish a meat or fatty flavoring, cook the beans in one vessel and the flavoring substance in another, and when both are done, mix. Add no seasoning until beans are almost ready to remove from fire, or let each individual season to suit taste at table.

Boiled peas or boiled lentils: The preparations is the same as for boiled beans. Cooked lentils are delicious, and very nourishing.

Baked beans: Clean, wash and soak overnight. Parboil three or four hours in water in which they were soaked, adding needed water from time to time. Put into non-metallic vessel and place in oven, but do not add tomatoes or meat or grease of any kind. Mo-lasses, or honey, or maple sugar, or brown sugar may be stirred in before beans are placed in oven, but avoid great amounts of sweetening. Bake until done.

Dress when served. Beans prepared in this way may be eaten plain or dressed with butter, or olive oil, or bacon, and salt in moderation. Do not add vinegar or tomatoes or lemon juice, for that has a tendency to produce fermentation: in the digestive organs. Prepared in this way and well masticated beans are not too difficult to digest.

Those who wish bacon or other pork dressing should prepare dressing in separate dish and when both are done, mix.

Baked peas and baked lentils are not used as much as baked beans, but they may be prepared in the same way.

Ripe limas only need to be washed and cooked until they are tender; they are good when baked.

Yeast bread: Use your own recipe, but get into the habit of having whole wheat, graham, or rye bread. Yeast bread is somewhat wasteful, for in working about ten percent. of the food value of the flour is turned into alcohol and carbonic acid gas, which escapes into the air. Fresh yeast bread should not be eaten. Sometimes the yeast fungi begin to work in the stomach, producing more carbonic acid more alcohol, which is injurious.

Toast: Let the bread be two days or more old. Slice rather thin. Put into warm oven (not hot) and let it slowly bake until it is crisp throughout. This is real toast, and enough can be made at a time to last several days. Slightly scorching slices of fresh bread near the fire does no good. Stale bread can be well toasted in an electric toaster.

Unleavened or French bread: Make flour into firm paste with water, salting moderately. Roll thin and bake until it is crisp throughout. White flour is usually used, but rye or whole wheat flour may be used, or a mixture of whole wheat and white flour.

Baking powder bread, biscuit or sticks: Here is a good recipe : One quart of flour, well sifted; a little salt and heaping teaspoonful of baking powder. Sift together three or four times. Add one or two tablespoonfuls of soft butter. Mix quickly into stiff dough with milk, roll thin, cut into strips (sticks) or biscuits, place quickly into pan and bake in hot oven until there is a crisp crust on bottom and top. The baking time is about twenty minutes.

Those who want their biscuits light must sift the flour several times, to work air into it, make the mixture quickly, and bake in hot oven.

This may be made of any kind of flour. It is almost impossible to make a light loaf of bread according to this recipe, but the thin sticks and biscuits are fine.

Ready-to-serve cereals: Flaked and puffed cereals, if well made, are good but rather ex pensive foods.

Whole wheat biscuit and crackers are fine food products. But they should not be piled high with sugar and soaked in cream. They should be eaten dry, with butter or nut butter, and thoroughly masticated.

Macaroni and cheese: Take a cupful of macaroni, break it up, place in two quarts of boiling water and allow to cook until tender and then drain. This usually takes twenty minutes. The water is generally salted. It may require a little more than two quarts of water for a cup of macaroni, which will make a big dish of macaroni and cheese.

Take buttered baking dish; place layer of macaroni and then layer of cheese, repeating as often as desired and finishing off with layer of cheese. Add milk to almost cover, put into oven and bake until top cheese is brown.

Rice and cheese: Take plainly boiled or steamed rice and use it in place of macaroni, and proceed in same way as in recipe just given.

Corn bread: There are numerous recipes, most of them quite complicated. This makes a tasty corn bread :

Two cups corn meal; one-half cup wheat flour; one tablespoonful sugar; one-half tea-spoonful salt; two teaspoonfuls baking powder; two eggs; one and three-fourths cups milk. Sift corn meal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together four or five times ; add eggs and milk, stir well, pour into a hot buttered pan, bake a good brown in hot oven. The top is usually smoothed with a little melted butter to make the crust crisp.

Corn mush: Cook corn meal in plain water until it is done, using moderate amount of salt. The mush can be cooked directly over fire, in double boiler, in fireless cooker, or in steamer. Serve with rich milk. Masticate well.

Oatmeal or rolled oats: Stir meal into water, and cook in double boiler, steamer or fireless cooker until thoroughly done, using moderate amount of salt. Oatmeal must be cooked several hours to be done. Serve with rich milk or butter, but no sugar. Masticate very well.

Those who like the flavoring may cook an onion with their oatmeal.

Boiled rice: The brown whole rice is best. Cook like oatmeal and serve in the same way. Salt sparingly.

Raisins to suit taste may be added to the rice and water. Children usually think this is fine.

Boiled wheat: Wash the whole wheat berries and cook same as oatmeal, applying the heat until the berries are tender. Serve like oatmeal and masticate well. This is rather an uncommon dish, but many like it.

Gluten breads: Can be bought on the market. They are of no special value in diabetes or in health.



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