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Jul 28, 2014 04:29 AM

Must I boil split peas/lintels/beans/rice?

So, I'm planning a minimal cooking diet as part of my disaster preparedness plan. One of the things I was thinking of eating were dried split peas/lintels/beans/rice. I know I can eat canned chili/oat meal cold, but I wounder about these bulk foods that do typically require preparation. Not looking for taste, just stuff I can eat if I have no power.

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  1. Just to be clear: should respondents assume you're not intending to eat them in dried form, just long soaking/hydration in cold water?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Karl S

      Correct, I'm thinking just a long cold soaking.

    2. Raw/dried beans of the sort mentioned above aren't generally safe to eat without processing. Long soaking can make them more digestible (as in 24 to 48 hours), changing the water every few hours. But at this point they can still be pretty hard to digest. You can sprout them, which takes 1-5 days and regular water changes. Some beans are more toxic than others. If you do a search on beans on a raw food diet, you'll get more tips.

      In general, the above tends to be true for grains and beans, including rice. Rolled oats have already been processed, which is why you can eat them as is. Instant rice might be okay, as it's been mostly cooked as well.

      But for disaster preparedness, it doesn't sound optimal - a minimum of 24 hours preparation before eating, potential gastric issues, and a lot of water required, which will not be drinkable. And if they're too old, they may not sprout.

      3 Replies
      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

        ok, sounds like canned beans and peas would be best. I'll just have to not be so cheap.

        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

          What tastesgoodwhatisit said. With this addendum: Raw foods and semi-raw foods such as soaked or soaked-and-sprouted peas/beans are safe, and they are really useful for determined weight-loss dieters because they are largely indigestible. (you can eat your fill and gain almost no calories) i.e., they will pass through your system largely intact (in volume, they cause gas, diarrhea, cramping) This might be pretty great if your goal is to lose a lot of weight. (and if in your disaster-preparedness plan you have an unlimited supply of toilet paper and flush toilets) Not so great if you are hoping to live on uncooked dried beans.

          Dried foods that would work for you include fine-caliber cracked wheat, sold in bozex as tabouli salad. It is prepared by soaking, not cooking. Powdered hummus (just add water, oil) and canned hummus are also available.

        2. they will be a bit chewy but it beats starving. Although starving in the US is actually pretty rare.

          1. Get a cast iron dutch oven with legs, charcoal briquettes and a charcoal chimney starter. Then all you need is a match and a newspaper (or cardboard or any paper) and you are in business to cook outside. There will be 30 or 40 gallons of good water in the water heater for drinking and cooking.

            A Rayovac Sportsman LED Lantern (SE3DLN model $25) will give 40 hrs of light on high (240 lumens) and 90 hrs of light on low (100 lumens) with 3 D-cell batteries, for cooking after dark.

            Scouts Dutch Oven Cookbooks in PDF downloadable for free

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            1. You could cook them, then dehydrate and store. I did that in prep for long hikes--cook till a very thick consistency, then either oven-dry (very low and slow) or use a dehydrator. We hiked for 6 months, and my home-dried soups survived just fine--add water, and the meal is ready.

              3 Replies
              1. re: pine time

                Based on my experience being the support person for my daughters when they hiked the AT, I second this approach. They won't last forever but should be good for months. Be sure to package them so they will stay dry.

                1. re: Fiona

                  Yup, ours was the AT, too! I got the idea when just cooking a pot of beans--you know the dried crud that sticks to the side of the pan? I decided, hm, create more dried crud. Worked fine, and rehydrated easily and, since I had spiced it highly, was really tasty after a grueling day of hiking. Good, cheap protein, too. (My home-dried beef jerky didn't last quite as well, but was good for the 1st couple of months.)

                2. re: pine time

                  If you are hiking with it, I can see dehydration for weight. Just surviving at home, I'll open a can of beans. Cans of food last for years, are already cooked. You just need a can opener and a spoon. Dried food can get wet, bugs, mold, etc, and need water to prepare it.