Legumes are essential foods in the diet, but do you know how to choose them when you go to the market or supermarket, and how you can better preserve them at home?
The legumes are seeds obtained from plants called legumes or Fabaceae. This small but great food at the same time, must be part of a healthy and balanced diet, as they provide many benefits to our body.
For example, they are rich in nutrients, among which we highlight a high content of proteins and minerals, also B vitamins, carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fiber, folic acid, and they are also low in fat.
Legumes are a recommended food in all types of diets, their consumption is recommended in case of suffering from high cholesterol since it helps us to lower its levels as well as to prevent it.
In diabetic people it is also advised that legumes are not lacking in their diet as it helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. In addition, we must consume legumes at least two or three times a week.
In the list of legumes that we can find we have lentils, chickpeas, beans or beans, dry beans.
Therefore, as we have said before, they should not be missing in our diet and for this we must always have them on hand in our pantry, in addition to being a superfood with legumes, we can prepare countless recipes.
Below we provide some tips that can help us when buying legumes, which ones to choose, we will also offer tips or little tricks that will help us preserve them better.
What legumes to choose when buying?
We arrived at the market and we found packages of legumes from different brands, origins, from organic farming or own cultivation, those that are grown for industries…
We must say that both are going to provide us with the same nutrients, on the other hand, if we can afford to buy legumes from our own or organic cultivation, we will notice how their quality improves, and their price is somewhat more expensive.
Although we will find legumes in the market throughout the year, it is interesting to note that legumes are grown in spring, harvested in summer, and then put to dry until fall, which is when they are put on sale.
Before cooking the legumes we must soak them in water to hydrate them for a few hours and then cook them, both the soaking time and the cooking time will vary depending on the type of legume that we have chosen to cook.
Having a pot of industrially cooked vegetables on hand in the pantry is a good option as a resource if we do not have much time to cook.
When buying already cooked legumes, it is better to choose those that contain less additives and less salt, as natural as possible.
Before consuming it or including it in any recipe we must remove the water from the soak in which they come and rinse them well, drain them and they are ready to eat.
They are ideal when preparing salads, pasta dishes, including them in scrambled eggs, stir-fries, soups or stews.
How to preserve legumes:
Legumes can be preserved in different ways, here are some tips that can come in handy:
- Freeze the legumes: cook the legumes until they are tender, let them cool, then put them in a container suitable for the freezer with the same cooking water and freeze them, so we will have them ready to use them at the time of cooking.
- Boil them beforehand and freeze them: give the legumes a boil, about 5 or 6 minutes, drain them, let them cool and then freeze them, is a good option to make them tender, especially when it comes to chickpeas.
- Pack them in sterilized glass jars and keep them in the fridge for a few days: once the legumes are cooked, put them together with the cooking water in a glass jar that we have previously sterilized, fill with the broth to the top, close the jar well and place it. We turn down until it is cold, in this way we will form a semi-empty and when it has cooled we store the pot of vegetables in the fridge.
- Pack them in glass jars as a preserve: in this way the packaging will last longer in the pantry. Cook the legumes until they are tender, put them in a previously sterilized glass jar with hermetic closure, cover with the cooking water up to the top, close well and put the jar with the lid down in a pot with water and let it boil for half an hour.
- We have leftover legumes from soaking or we decide not to cook legumes: in this case if we have soaked a lot of legumes, or we decide to make another recipe that does not include legumes, we drain the legumes well, put them in a hermetic freezer bag, we make sure that that the bag is well closed and we put it in the freezer.
When we go to cook them, it will not be necessary to soak them again, we have previously hydrated them.
The following advice is indicated to preserve a package of legumes, the best option is to find a dry, cool and dark place, in which we avoid excess heat and humidity.
Once we have opened the package of vegetables, if we are not going to cook them all, it is also advisable not to leave the package open, it is better to keep the vegetables in a well-closed container, jars or glass jars with hermetic closure are ideal.