How and WHY to Soak Beans

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With economic times in the current state, it might be financially beneficial to buy dry beans and soak them. In addition to the money you could potentially save by doing this, you also gain added health benefits, and save cooking time!

In addition to saving a bit of cash, there are many other benefits to soaking beans before cooking. Soaking beans can allow for shorter cooking times, by 50% or more, giving you fully cooked beans in 8-15 minutes. Shorter cooking times also help to preserve more of the proteins, vitamins and minerals present in this healthy food.

Beans, beans, good for the heart… Beans, beans, good for the heart… Another great reason to soak beans is to minimize gas. The outer shell of beans contains a complex sugar which is significantly reduced during soaking. This ‘problem’ may not be completely avoided, but will be noticeably better.

Dry beans are covered with a number of ‘dirty’ substances, including, but not limited to pesticides, animal contamination, insect larva, fertilizer, dirt, and mold. Soaking beans helps to thoroughly wash these substances from the surface before cooking.

Now that you’re convinced that soaking beans is the way to go, here are two options:

Quick soak:
1)Sort and rinse beans in a large pot.
2)Add 6-8 cups of hot water to 1 pound of beans (about 2 cups of Black Beans; 2 1/4 cups of Pinto Beans)
3)Bring to rapid boil; boil for 2 min
4)Remove from heat
5)Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
6)Drain and rinse

Overnight soak:
1)Sort and rinse beans in a large pot.
2)Add 6-8 cups of cold water to 1 pound of beans (about 2 cups of Black Beans; 2 1/4 cups of Pinto Beans)
3)Let stand overnight (at least 6-8 hours)
4)Drain and rinse

Cooking directions:
1)Add 6 cups of hot water to drained and rinsed beans
2a)Simmer gently with lid tilted until desired tenderness is reached. About 1 1/2 – 2 hours
~OR~
2b)Cook more swiftly, on higher heat, to desired tenderness
YUMMMMMMMMMM!

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