All you need to know about Cooking Dried Beans & Legumes

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Beans and legumes (lentils, chick peas, cannellini beans) are excellent sources of protein and fibre. Cooking dried beans can take some time, but soaking them first will dramatically reduce the cooking time. Soak them during the day leading up to an evening meal, or overnight to cook the next day. Lentils, split peas and mung beans do not need soaking prior to cooking, but any other pulse needs to be soaked. Soaking beans/legumes can ferment in hot weather, so if it is very warm, put the soaking beans in the fridge.

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Grated Beetroot Salad

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Beetroot is a wonderful vegetable rich in folic acid, manganese, potassium and fibre. Beetroots have a reputation for being a blood tonic, with their bright blood red colour it’s an easy one to remember. It’s actually the nitrates found in beetroot that have shown to reduce blood pressure. This is done by way of nitric oxide which is a key regulator in vascular integrity. Don’t discard the leaves as they are nutritious too! Beet greens are rich in calcium, iron and vitamin A and C.

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Ponzu

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Ponzu is an ingredient I can’t live without in the kitchen. It’s a Japanese light soy vinaigrette that is lovely by itself on steamed vegies and rice or used in a stock or dressing. There are some excellent commercial versions available or you can make your own. My favourite store-bought ponzu is the Spiral brand – I even pack a bottle in my suitcase when I travel!
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