It seems like I'm making Pesto bean dip every week now. This is super awesome because it means that we are all eating lots of veggies. I wondered how hard it would be to make this bean dip totally from scratch. It seems like it would be at least a little bit healthier in the sense that canned beans contain a LOT of salt. In addition to being healthier, dried beans are loads cheaper.
Since I had never cooked dried beans I used my handy dandy internet to find out exactly how to go about doing it. I knew that some dried beans contain a toxin that has symptoms like food poisoning if the beans aren't cooked properly. I found this informative recipe for cooked pinto beans from Tammy's Kitchen. I wasn't sure if Peruano beans needed to be cooked any differently, so I referred to this recipe on how to cook mayocoba beans from Livestrong.com. (Mayocoba is another name for Peruano Beans.) Yup. Pretty much the same directions.
Apparently, there is a debate as to weather or not to add salt to the beans in the cooking process. Some people say that it is the only way to flavor the bean, and others say that adding salt increases the toughness of the bean. Since I was adding lots of flavors to the bean dip, and salt, I decided to omit the salt in the cooking process. I think if I was making refried beans, where the beans are the highlight of the dish, I would boil them with salt. For the purposes of this dip, it just isn't necessary.
The first time I made beans I cooked them for a whole hour and a half. I have found this to be overkill for the purposes of making dip. I'll usually boil them from anywhere between 20 minutes to a hour, depending on how much time I have, and other activities that are going on in the kitchen.
When I cook up beans, I make up somewhere around a whole to a half of a pound, depending on how much room I have in my freezer. I use a generous cup of cooked beans per batch of dip, and I freeze the remaining beans in similar portions. The cooked beans freeze wonderfully. They just need to defrost in the fridge the day before, and they are ready to be zipped around in a food processor.