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Should Beans be Soaked?

Last week we discussed whether or not raw nuts should be soaked; today we are reviewing the question “should beans be soaked?” 

beansIf you’ve never heard those lovely little ditties about beans and their adverse effects, you probably have never eaten beans! Beans, like nuts and grains, also contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors which are the culprits of gas – so often a yucky result of a meal including beans.

Fortunately, there’s a super easy and cheap way to eliminate these effects and more (like reflux, bloating and other gastrointestinal issues). And it actually doesn’t require popping anything post-chili!

Soak those Beans!

Pour a 16 oz bag of dry beans into a big bowl (like this one) and cover with filtered water – about 2″ past the beans. Stir in 2 T of an acidic medium. Cover and let sit for a good 24 hours (more is fine, a little less is ok, too). Within the first couple of hours, check the water to be sure it is still covering the beans. If not, add more.

At the end of the 24 hours, drain and rinse the beans and cook as usual!

Now, let’s go back to the acidic mediums for a moment. Weston A. Price Foundation has done a wonderful job in explaining the benefits of preparing foods the way our ancestors used to! The purpose of these mediums is explained in detail there. But for now I will sum up the information you will find there: humans don’t contain the enzyme in our digestive tracts necessary to break down the sugars in the beans (hence the gas many often feel). But adding an acidic medium causes those sugars to break down prior to entering the body and enable the digestive tract to easily process and utilize the nutrients in beans.

006For lentils, black beans and garbanzo beans you’ll want to use (raw) whey, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. For pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, and split peas the medium should be baking soda.

Skip the Cans

Let’s walk through this. A (cheap!) 16 oz can of beans could be purchased in my area for $0.79. A 32 oz bag of dried beans cost $3.40. This bag of dried beans, soaked, will yield approximately 96 oz of beans. This works out to about $0.55 per 16 oz, a difference of $0.24 per can! That’s a savings that can add up quickly!

In addition to being more expensive, canned beans are mushier and often have salt (not real salt) and other additives.

How to Buy and Store Beans

old beansWhen you are looking for beans, you want to find beans that are lighter in color (even with the darker beans like kidneys) since this indicates a more recent harvest time. Any beans that have cracks or spots should be avoided. Once you get those beans home, put them in a glass jar in your pantry to protect them from continuously absorbing and losing moisture. You should be able to store them for 8-12 months this way!

And that’s it! It’s really that easy! I’ll be sharing some of my fave bean recipes soon! Stay tuned!

Soaking Beans
How to soak beans to eliminate digestive concerns and issues - easily and cost-effectively!
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Ingredients
  1. 16 oz dry beans
  2. 2 T acidic medium
  3. Filtered water
  4. Bowl
  5. Cloth
Instructions
  1. Pour dry beans into a big bowl and cover with filtered water - about 2" past the beans. Stir in 2 T of an acidic medium. Cover and let sit for a good 24 hours. Within the first couple of hours, check the water to be sure it is still covering the beans. If not, add more.
  2. At the end of the 24 hours, drain and rinse the beans and cook as usual!
Notes
  1. For lentils, black beans and garbanzo beans you'll want to use (raw) whey, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. For pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, and split peas the medium should be aluminum free baking soda.
Growing Up Triplets http://growinguptriplets.com/
 Linked up with Wellness Wednesday.

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Comments

  1. I always buy dry & soak, but never used as medium. Thanks for the lesson!

    • Jennifer Fountain says:

      Well, I never knew (till recently) how much of a savings dry was! And I always got tough beans when I’d soak dry beans, so I think this really has helped soften them, too!

  2. I always soak my beans in water before cooking, but never added any of the acidic medium! Baking SODA instead of baking POWDER (I’ve never known baking soda to contain aluminum, but baking powder certainly can)?? Thanks for the information and instructions! :)

    • Jaimie! You are right! Thank you for catching my slip-up! I’ve edited my post to reflect this! There is never any aluminum in baking soda! Any baking soda labeled “aluminum-free” is actually just a mis-leading claim, btw! :)

  3. Great summary!! I love buying beans in bulk – last year I purchased 125lbs from Azure standard and then went to pick them up at 8 months pregnant with two toddlers in tow. I didn’t think about the logistics until it was too late. Thankfully there were gracious people there who saw me and took pity. I loaded the kids into the car while they took care of the beans. :)

    Thanks so much for linking up to Wellness Wednesday! I’m featuring you this week. :)

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    Should Beans be Soaked? – Growing Up Triplets, pictures and recipe

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