Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Soaking Your Beans

Since I quit buying can foods, I started buying beans in bulk. I love love me some beans! I don't eat a lot of meat so I get my protein in tossing a variety of beans on my salads. Fred Meyer has organic beans in bulk for a great price. You get a whole lot more than what you would pay for in a can.

To prepare my pinto and black beans, I began by soaking them overnight. Why soak them, you ask? Here are some benefits:

  • Better digestibility
  • Minimizes gas
  • Preserves nutrients
  • Shortens cooking time
  • Removes contaminants
  • Reduces phytic acid effects

Begin by rinsing the beans thoroughly.

Cover them in water and place a towel over the bowl overnight. I would suggest not soaking pinto or black beans more than 8 hours. I soaked mine for 8 hours and it was too much. {Other beans with harder coverings will require longer soaking though.}

In the morning, rinse the beans and place in crock pot on high setting for 3-4 hours.

Because I soaked them overnight too long, my pinto beans turned out a little mushy and the black beans broke apart. Thankfully, they were still edible.

My first time soaking the beans didn't turn out so well but there was a trial and error period that I went through until I figured out the right soaking and cooking times depending on the bean. This batch was one of my better ones. Here's a helpful link if you'd like more information on soaking beans: Nourished Kitchen.

I used these beans to make Spinach and Three Bean Enchiladas. They were delicious! Even my meat-loving husband loved them. I'll post the recipe soon!

1 comment:

  1. Oohhhh! Those enchiladas sound Yum! So how long did you end up soaking them for? I really need to start doing this with beans to try and transition totally away from cans. I use a lot of beans too. I need to look ups recipe for retried beans and make it in bulk and freeze them for dinners later. Beans and tomato sauce are my big canned food staples....and tomatoes are the worst canned thing since the acidity causes the cans to leech the chemicals lining them into the sauce. I need to make my own really bad! You are inspiring me to get even more crunchy! I need help though I think. Lol