Cooking dried peas, no matter which variety, is a simple process of soaking and boiling in water, or boiling without soaking. On the other hand, soaking and cooking times for your dried peas can mean the difference between overcooked puree mush, and perfectly prepared veggies.
There are a lot of recipes, like Jamaican rice and peas that you can make with dehydrated peas. First, let’s dive straight into how to prepare dried lentils for use in those recipes.
Soaking beans and peas for cooking
Using dried green peas as an example, soaking without boiling them can work in your recipes. However, when combined with acidic foods like apple cider vinegar and tomatoes, or sugary foods like molasses, they’ll remain hard during the cooking process. It’s often necessary to cook them thoroughly before use.
First, ensure that your water doesn’t contain calcium. This will prevent you’re your dried lentils from softening. It’s good practice to use an effective water filter to have nice, clean water to cook with, as well. Rinse your peas several times thoroughly before soaking them.
Soaking beans and peas is a process of letting them sit in cold water for up to 10 hours. This allows moisture to seep into the pea “shell” and soften it thoroughly. Soaking dried peas can also lead to germination, which produces undesirable digestive effects, so watch to ensure that embryos aren’t breaking from the shell of your peas.
As you know, heat is the essential feature of cooking dried peas, and also helps soften them. For this reason, boiling and then simmering your dried green split peas for a few minutes, then letting them soak for a couple of hours can speed up the process.
Another challenge, is that dried kidney beans will cook a lot more quickly that chickpeas or soybeans, for example. Remember this if you’re simply boiling them for cooking, as the cooking time can range from an hour or less, all the way up to 3-4 hours.
We also recommend using a dehydrator machine to ensure quality, organically-grown and properly-stored dehydrated beans and peas.
How to cook dried peas once softened
Generally, cooks understand the proportion of dried yellow peas, or other kind of dried peas, that they should use with a given ingredient. Beef, pork and meat bones, when used in split pea soup recipes for example, should be proportioned at a ratio of 4 ounces per pound of peas.
Another example of chef’s expertise, is proper use of spices. You’ll most commonly find curry used in dried pea recipes. However, garlic, salt, nutmeg, mint, bay leaf and black pepper are also commonly used. It ultimately comes down to the recipe, itself.
It’s rather easy to find ways to use dried green split peas. Shepherd’s pie, soup, stew and mashed potatoes are examples that may have already flashed into your mind.
How to make Jamaican rice and peas
- Dried red beans
- Dried kidney beans
- Almond or coconut milk
- Green onion
- Black pepper
- Scotch bonnet, habanero or Chile pepper
- Long-grain rice
Using the methods above, soak, boil and simmer your dried beans in a closed-lid pot. Add ½ cup of milk, a whole, chopped pepper, chopped onions and thyme and bring the contents to a boil.
Once your dried bean recipe is boiling, add in remaining ingredients and cook until the rice is fluffy and moist. At this point, it’s ready to serve.
Use a dehydrator machine to create a large, practical store of delicious and simple foods. Every ingredient in this recipe can be dehydrated and stored in vacuum-sealed containers for months on end. Even the almond or coconut milk can be powdered, stored and used with the same fresh, authentic flavor and consistency.
You can use a food dehydrator machine to save money and enjoy higher quality produce. Using food that you grow in your own garden, or purchase in bulk at your local grocery store at a discounted price, you can dehydrate and store it long term!