Look em, Soak em, Rinse em - What does this mean?You should always inspect your beans for splits, small rocks and dirt before doing anything. We pride ourselves on the cleanliness of our beans especially compared to store bought - but we aren't perfect! This step ensures the quality of what you serve after cooking. Soaking helps to soften beans and reduce enzymes that can cause flatulence or other digestive issues. Fresh beans don't need to soak as long but we do recommend you soak them for at least six (6) to eight (8) hours. As the beans get closer to a year old, you may need to soak overnight but you can easily see if they've expanded properly. A second method is known as a Quick Soak - boil for 15 minutes and then let sit for about 2 hours. Always make sure the level of water is at least even with the beans as fresh beans will take in more water so you may have to add water during the soaking process.
Sometimes beans don't soften enough during soaking - if this happens, check two things: 1) If you have hard water, this will actually cause the beans to remain firmer - use some baking soda in your soak water to fix the issue. 2) Don't use salt in the soak water - salt at this stage actually causes the beans to remain firm - add it later during cooking. If the beans are too soft after soaking, you may have soft water - try a little vinegar or salt to help with this. Regarding the use of salt with beans - instead of adding the salt at the start of cooking, wait until the beans begin to smell like beans and then add - this helps flavor the beans and keep them firm but not chewy. Always prepare according to your taste preference. Finally, drain the soak water (don't use it for cooking) and rinse the beans off - YOU ARE READY TO START COOKING!
Dry Beans (Pinto, Red, Black & White) and Garbanzos - All of our beans are packaged in FDA-compliant lined bags. They will maintain their freshness in the bags just by keeping them in a cool, dark place such as a cabinet or pantry area. If you want to keep them longer, consider placing in a sealed freezer bag for dry storage or a refrigerator/freezer but portion them to the amount you would normally cook - freezing or refrigerating larger amounts could result in condensation on the beans you don't use. Stored air-tight, they will keep for up to 7 years. Bean Flour - Our flour is packaged in FDA-compliant lined bags. They can be kept for up to 3 months in the bag and placed in a dark, moisture-controlled location like a cabinet or in the pantry. If you open the bag, re-close after use and keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Anything beyond, place in a sealed freezer bag and keep in the freezer for up to a year. Always smell the flour before use to make sure its fresh. Our other flours are packaged in FDA-compliant sealed bags - once the seal is broken, the flours retain their highest level of nutrients for about 6 months and are safe to use for 12 months.
Oat Flour - The flour is also packaged in FDA-compliant lined bags. Keep in the refrigerator to be able to use for up to 3 months in the packaging bag. Anything beyond, placed in a sealed freezer bag and keep in the freezer as described in the bean flour section above. Also smell before use to ensure freshness. Oatmeal - Our oatmeals are packaged in FDA-compliant lined bags. You can keep in the bag and place in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Anything beyond 6 months, use a sealed freezer bag as described above for up to a year. Always smell before use to verify freshness.
Almond & Coconut Flour - Our almond and coconut flours are specially packaged to maintain freshness as well as protect our customers with allergens to tree nuts. You can keep in the resealable bag in a refrigerator for up to 6 months or in a freezer bag in the freezer for longer storage. Remember, they are made from nuts which have oil versus our other products which are made from grains or legumes. Cassava, Rice and Tapioca Flour - These flours can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 6 months and longer if you freeze them.
Our beans and oats are planted using a no-till drill in order to minimize soil erosion on our farm. We do not use any glyphosate products in the growth or harvest of our crop. Beans have a single season per year with planting in the May/June timeframe and harvest in August/September. They are naturally dried for about a month before any processing takes place.
Oats have two seasons per year with a fall planting yielding a May harvest and a spring planting giving an August/September harvest. We also dry the oats naturally as part of our process.
All of the crops grown on our farm are naturally Gluten Free and our equipment does not see any gluten-containing crops so the primary source of gluten contamination (equipment cross contamination) is eliminated. Once the beans have dried, they are cleaned, inspected and packaged for sale.
Beans which will be used for flour are given an additional cleaning and then heat treated prior to processing. The cleaning step consists of washing and the heat treatment improves the shelf stability as well as taste/blend/adhesion characteristics. The process also reduces or eliminates enzymes which can affect your ability to digest beans properly - but is not a replacement for cooking.
Our other flours are made from fresh and natural raw ingredients that we clean, process and inspect before milling. Each are also heat-cycled for your safety as part of our process.
Oats are washed and steam roasted before processing. The steam roasting process process adds flavor as well as improves shelf stability. The oats are then processed as either flour or two different kinds of Scottish Oatmeal. Our Almond, Cassava, Coconut, Rice and Tapioca Flour are made by us from the highest quality raw sources and then processed, tested and packaged to our strict standards.
We added a 3rd and 4th mill so that these flours are not made using equipment for our other products. The Almond and Coconut flour is actually processed, tested and packaged in a completely separate facility in order to eliminate exposure to our customers with nut allergens. Processing and packaging of all our products is performed on a batch basis to ensure customers receive the freshest possible products when they are purchased.
We also provide storage recommendations to maintain quality. An important part of our process is testing for Gluten. We test the batches to verify they are less than 10 ppm before labeling (the FDA requirement is 20 ppm) and reject anything testing positive so that you are assured of an extra layer of protection if Celiac disease is a concern. Remember, all of our processing is performed in-house and we don't sell anything that we don't grow or make so you are assured of the content and quality of what you receive from us.