Cooking Beans & Grains

Name That Grain

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Cooking with dried beans and whole grains doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are tips on how to easily prepare these budget-friendly foods into wonderful, nutritious meals. Once you get the methods down, you'll find you can easily work them into your cooking routine. Below you will find information on:

  • Dried Beans
  • Whole Grains
  • Rice

Dried Beans

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Soaking & Cooking

Soaking: Measure out beans and enough cold water to cover them in a large bowl or pot and soak 8 hours or overnight. The smaller the bean, the less time it needs to soak - for example, black beans can be soaked in the morning and cooked in the evening.

Quick-soak method: A same-day method that works best with smaller beans. Measure out beans and bring to a boil with 3 times the amount of water. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and set aside for 1-2 hours before proceeding with cooking.

Cooking: Rinse and drain pre-soaked beans and place in a pot with 3 times the amount of water, or amount specified by the recipe (it should be enough to amply cover the beans).

Optional: Add a strip of kombu seaweed to increase the flavor and digestability of the beans as they cook (available in our Bulk section near the spices). You can also add onion, garlic, ginger, or spices - but no salt at this point.

Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer with the lid ajar until beans are tender.

Seasoning and serving: When beans are tender, drain off any extra water or blend the water in to make soup. Season to taste with salt.

Cooking Times

1 cup of dried beans yields between 2-3 cups of cooked beans. For 1 cup of beans, use the following amount of water and cooking times after pre-soaking:

(follow the links for recipes!)

1 cup beans
(serves 2-3)
  Water Cooking time
Adzuki Beans   3 cups 1 hour
Anasazi Beans   3 cups 1 ½-2 hours 
Black-Eyed Peas   3 cups 1 hour
Black Turtle Beans LOCAL 3 cups 1 ½ hours
Cannellini Beans   3 cups 1 ½ hours
Cranberry Beans   3 cups 1 ½-2 hours
Christmas Lima Beans   3 cups 1 ½-2 hours
Flagolet Beans   3 cups 1 ½-2 hours
Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)   3 cups 2-3 hours
Great Northern Beans   3 cups 1½-2 hours
Jacob's Cattle Beans
(Appaloosa Purple & White Beans)
LOCAL 3 cups 1 ½-2 hours
Kidney Beans LOCAL 3 cups 1 ½ hours
King of the Early Beans   3 cups 1 ½-2 hours
Lentils (Green & Red)   3 cups 40 min.
Lima Beans   3 cups 1 ½ hours
Maine Yellow-Eye Beans LOCAL 3 cups 1 ½-2 hours
Marifax Beans LOCAL 3 cups 1 ½-2 hours
Mung Beans (Mung Dal)   3 cups 45-60 min.
Navy Beans   3 cups 1 ½ hours
Pinto Beans   3 cups 1 ½ hours
Red Chili Beans   3 cups 1 ½ hours
Rice Beans   3 cups (no pre-soak) 15-30 min.
Split Peas (Green & Yellow)   3 cups 1 hour
Soy Beans   3 cups 1 ½-2 hours

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Whole Grains

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Rinse and measure whole grains, cold water, and salt and place together in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil and stir, then cover tightly and reduce heat to its lowest setting (so it simmers). Start the cooking time from the moment the water boils. Resist the urge to lift the cover! Let the steam do its work and only stir when the grains are done (whole grains are slightly chewy when cooked).

Cooking Times

(follow the links for recipes!)

1 cup grain
(serves 2)
  Quantity of water +
½ tsp. salt
Cooking time
Amaranth   3 cups 25-30 min.
Barley (hulled)   2 ½-3 cups 45-60 min
Barley (pearled)   2 ½ -3 cups 30-45 min.
Buckwheat / Kasha   2 cups 15-20 min.
Bulgur (all types)   2 cups 15 min.
Couscous (all types)   1 ½ cups 5-10 min
Cracked Wheat   2 cups 20 min.
Millet   2 ½ cups 30 min.
Polenta / Grits   4 cups 5-10 min.
Quinoa   1 ¾ cups 12-15 min.
Wheat Berries LOCAL 2 cups 1-1 ½ hours

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Rinse and drain the rice in a strainer under running water. Measure cold water and place water, rice, and salt in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil. Stir once, reduce heat to its lowest setting, and cover with a lid. Cook for the specified cooking time (below). Resist the urge to lift the lid so steam doesn’t escape! Remove from heat, stir once to check for doneness, and keep covered for 5-10 minutes before serving to improve the texture. Fluff with a fork before serving and add more salt if necessary.

Cooking Times

(follow the links for recipes!)

1 cup rice
(serves 2)
Quantity of water +
1/2 tsp. salt
Cooking time
Arborio Rice (see below) 4-5 cups broth 20-30 min.
Bhutanese Red Rice 20 min.
Black Japonica Field Blend 2 cups  45 min.
Brown Rice
(including basmati & jasmine)
2 cups 45-50 min.
Country Wild Rice Blend 2 cups 45 min.
Forbidden Rice 1¾ cups 30 min.
Kalijira (baby basmati) 1½ cups 10 min.
Old World Pilaf 2½ cups 50 min.
Sushi Rice (see below) 1¾ cups 15 min.
Thai Purple Sticky Rice (see below) 2 cups 20 min.
Volcano Rice 2 cups 30 min.
White Rice
(including basmati & jasmine)
1½ cups 15-20 min.
Wild Rice 3 cups 40-45 min.



Arborio Rice

Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Sauté 1 large chopped onion in oil until translucent. Add 1 cup arborio rice and stir until grains are coated with oil. Add ½ cup wine (optional) and stir constantly on medium heat until wine is absorbed.

Meanwhile, heat 5 cups stock in a small pot. Add 1 cup hot stock to the rice, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes, adding the remaining liquid 1 cup at a time. This rice creates its own creamy sauce. Add additional liquid if creamier texture is desired. Remove from heat, stir in ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately. For variety, add fresh herbs and chopped vegetables during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Sushi Rice

Bring 3 cups water and 2 cups sushi rice to boil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Place 2 Tbs. rice vinegar, 2 Tbs. sugar, and 1 tsp. salt in a small saucepan. Heat slowly until salt and sugar dissolve.
Place hot, cooked rice in a wide, shallow non-metal bowl. Toss rice gently with vinegar mixture using a wooden spoon. When cool, use to make homemade sushi rolls.

Thai Purple Sticky Rice

In a heavy-bottomed pot, soak 1 cup rice in 1 cup water for 20 minutes to an hour. Then add 1 more cup of water plus ¼ tsp. salt and 1 Tbs. brown sugar. Stir well.

Gradually bring to a gentle boil (stirring occasionally), then partially cover with a lid. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow to cook for 10-20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed by the rice. Don’t worry if the rice still seems a little undercooked when the water is gone. Just remove the pot from the heat, place the lid on tight, and set aside for 10-15 minutes. The heat within the rice pot will finish cooking the rice. Put the covered rice in the refrigerator until cool and sticky. Serve with warm, sweetened coconut milk and fresh sliced mango.


Looking for more recipe ideas? Click here to search our recipe archive.


LOCAL  = When available, our Bulk Department sources this item from a local producer.

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