" We're here to facilitate your plant-based journey "

PlantPlate.com is here to provide the recipes, information, and practical advice needed to follow a healthy plant-based diet. Whether you're interested in improving your health, losing weight, or eating more sustainably, a whole foods plant-based diet may be the perfect solution for you.

My name's Emma, and I started PlantPlate in 2013 with the help of my husband Scott, a web developer and fellow plantivore. I’m a certified Plant-Based Nutritionist who loves to cook, and I've followed a plant-based diet for over a decade. Having lived in various locations throughout the world - sometimes on a shoestring budget, and often with irregular and demanding work schedules - I’ve had to constantly adapt my diet in order to make it work. It’s taught me a lot, and it’s motivated me to show others just how accessible and enjoyable this way of eating can be.

The recipes featured on PlantPlate are based on minimally processed plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. They're free from all animal products, processed oils and refined carbohydrates, and are made with simple and affordable ingredients. Our articles are aimed at providing you with plant-based know-how when it comes to shopping, cooking, nutrition and day-to-day living. We have answers to common questions and share practical knowledge that we have acquired through experience. Finally, the resources section contains links to books, DVDs, and video presentations from some of the world's leading experts on plant-based nutrition. It is our hope that these resources will help you to fully understand and evaluate the health benefits of this wonderful way of eating.

Welcome to PlantPlate!  We hope you enjoy your visit. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email us at contact@plantplate.com.

The information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat health problems or illnesses without first consulting your doctor.

How to Prepare Legumes

Cooking your own beans, peas and lentils from scratch will save you money, and save waste! Learn how to do it, with our step-by-step guide to preparing legumes.

Legumes are a staple of a whole foods plant-based diet, providing ample protein and many essential nutrients. Though tinned legumes may be more convenient, there are a few good reasons you should prepare your own legumes if you can. Firstly, it will save you money, especially if you or your family are using them on a daily basis. A one pound (500g) bag of dried beans will generally yield the same amount of cooked beans as 4 cans, but for half the price. Secondly, the amount of sodium in canned legumes tends to be very high. If you can't find brands that have no salt added, it's better to cook your own instead. You can boil legumes with herbs and spices to enhance the flavour instead of using salt.

Many people are deterred from cooking legumes due to the seemingly long preparation time. However, most of this time is the soaking process, which requires no involvement on your part. You can also save a lot of time by cooking your legumes in large batches, and storing them in sealed containers in the fridge or freezer.

For those who are wondering, you can buy dry legumes at most supermarkets and health food stores, either pre-packaged or from bulk bins. Ideally the legumes should be no more than one year old, as they will start to become stale after that. 

 

How to Prepare Legumes

1. "Sort"  legumes by laying them out on a large tray and picking out any rocks, discoloured or shrivelled legumes. 

2. Rinse legumes in cold water, then add to a large container or glass jar. Add 3 cups of room-temperature water for each cup of legumes. Cover the container with a lid and leave for 6-8 hours, or overnight. This step is very important as it will make the legumes digestible, and also reduce the cooking time. (Certain legumes, such as lentils, split peas and adzuki beans require no pre-soaking and can simply be rinsed and cooked. See cooking times below.)

3. Drain legumes and rinse thoroughly. Add to a large cooking pot with fresh water; about 3 times the volume of water to beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until cooked. (Cooking times by variety are listed below.) Add extra water to the pot as they cook if necessary. Garlic, herbs and spices can be used during cooking for additional flavour. Do not add salt or acid (vinegar, lemon juice) to the legumes until the very end of the cooking time, as it will cause the outer skin to stiffen, and will halt the cooking process. 

4. When the legumes are done they should be uniformly soft. Drain them in a large colander, then rinse in cold water. If you are not using the legumes immediately, allow them to cool before transferring them to a sealed container. They can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. If you want to store them even longer you should let them cool completely, pat them dry with a towel, then transfer to a sealed container and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 


Cooking Times by Legume Variety

 

  • Adzuki Beans: 45 - 60 minutes
  • Black Beans: 60 - 75 minutes
  • Black-Eyed Beans: 50 - 60 minutes
  • Borlotti Beans: 45 - 60 minutes
  • Chickpeas / Garbanzo Beans:  75 - 90 minutes
  • Fava / Broad Beans:40-50 minutes
  • Kidney Beans: 60 minutes
  • Lima / Butter Beans: 45 - 60 minutes
  • Mung Beans: 60 minutes
  • Navy Beans:45 - 60 minutes
  • Pinto Beans: 75 - 90 minutes
  • Soy Beans: 3 - 4 hours
  • Lentils: 
    • Lentils do not require pre-soaking in order to cook properly, but you should always sort and wash them as you would other legumes. 
    • Use a 2:1 ratio of water to lentils.
    • Cooking Time- green, brown and puy lentils: 30 - 45 minutes
    • Cooking Time- red and yellow lentils: 15 - 20 minutes
  • Split Peas: 
    • Split peas do not require pre-soaking in order to cook properly, but you should always sort and wash them as you would other legumes. 
    • Use a 2:1 ratio of water to split peas.
    • Cooking Time: 45 - 60 minutes

 

Article photo © 2013 by Holly-Granville-Edge for PlantPlate.com