|Protein In Seeds
Many foods rich in protein belong to the animal kingdom. The seeds
of plants, however, contain protein. The common cereals, wheat and
corn, contain almost 10 per cent of protein, while oats contain
about 16 per cent. But the dried seeds of legumes exceed all seeds
in protein content. Peas, beans, lentils, and peanuts contain more
protein than most cuts of meat. About 25 per cent of their
composition is protein. Soy-beans are much richer in protein than
any of the other legumes. They contain about 37 per cent.
It has been mentioned that proteins differ in quality. Although the
dried legumes are especially rich in protein, they do not all
contain complete protein. With the exception of peanuts and
soy-beans, these foods need to be supplemented with other
protein-rich foods such as milk, eggs, and cheese.
Since the dried legumes are a much cheaper source of protein than
meat, they should be used oftener than they are. Legumes
supplemented with milk or combined with a small quantity of meat
furnish economical sources of protein food. The protein in legumes
is called "legumin".
Cooking Dried Legumes
The dried legumes should be soaked overnight in water, to which a
little baking soda has been added. These vegetables require long
cooking to soften them, and also to develop flavor. A little soda
added to the water in which they are cooked also aids in softening
them and neutralizes the vegetable acid found in some of the
legumes. During the long heating, dried legumes break up, if not
Dried soy-beans have a strong flavor which is objectionable. This
can be removed as follows: Soak the beans overnight in a large
quantity of hot water, drain, add fresh water and baking soda (about
1 teaspoonful for each cupful of beans), and cook the beans for
about 40 minutes, then drain, add more water, and cook until they
are tender. Dried soy-beans require long cooking, usually 4 or 5
hours. After the 40-minute cooking, they may be drained, heated in
more water, and then placed in a fireless cooker. The pressure
cooker may be used effectively in cooking these dried beans.
Soy-beans may also be baked after the 40-minute cooking in the same
manner as navy beans (see Boston Baked Beans). Serve cooked
soy-beans with Tomato Sauce.
Although dried legumes are comparatively cheap, the fuel required to
cook them for so long a time may increase their cost to a
considerable extent. In cooking these foods, care should be taken to
utilize fuel that is already required for some other purpose. The
fireless cooker is most satisfactory in cooking these dried foods.
Boston Baked Beans
2 cupfuls navy beans
2 tablespoonfuls molasses or brown sugar
2 teaspoonfuls salt
2 ounces salt pork or bacon
1/2 teaspoonful mustard
Soak the beans overnight as directed in Cooking Dried Legumes. Add a
little baking soda and gradually heat to the boiling point. Then add
the seasoning to the beans; place half of them in a bean crock; and
add the pork which has been scraped and scored. (To score salt pork
cut gashes in it nearly to the rind.) Add the remainder of the beans
and enough water to cover them slightly. Bake in a slow oven (250
degrees F.) 6 to 12 hours. Keep the beans below the boiling point
and see that they are covered with liquid.
Lentils may be baked in the same way as beans.