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    Dried beans

    Dried beans and peas are a good source of B vitamins, potassium, iron and fibre, with the added bonus of containing lots of complex carbohydrates, little fat and no cholesterol. They are inexpensive and a healthy option to include in your 5 - A -Day, with one serving of cooked beans (about a handful) containing around 80 calories. In addition, beans are thought to help prevent colon cancer and reduce blood cholesterol. Once prepared, dried beans should be put into cold water, brought to the boil and boiled rapidly for about 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour 30 minutes. If desired, skim off any foam which forms on the top of the cooking water though this isn't entirely necessary as it is merely water-soluble protein which is released from the beans. Beans can also be cooked in a pressure cooker which drastically reduces the booking time. Below is a chart showing the comparison in cooking times for a selection of beans