How To Soak Beans, and Why You Should
Beans, another underrated powerhouse in the kitchen. Dried beans are easy to use, a great source of fiber and proteins, and super cost effective if your trying to cut down on costs in the kitchen! (Who isn’t these days?)
Say it with me: “Legumes”. Fun fact, on set with Washington Grown, this was the HARDEST segment to film because I COULD NOT say legumes. I was so flustered by the end. It was pretty comical looking back now. But at the time, I felt silly.
Regardless if you say legumes or beans, the process for rehydrating them is the same. And truly, dried “legumes” are such a great addition to most weeknight dinners. Bonus: anything with beans is usually even better the second day! No argument!
To watch the episode mentioned above, plus all the others in season 10, click here for the YouTube channel. This post is in partnership with WAGrown, make sure to visit their site and check out all the amazing content they have!
Why you should soak beans before using
Soaking beans in a saltwater brine is used to soften the beans and helps the cooking process go faster.
But, there are a few more reasons besides quick cooking to consider pre-soaking your legumes.
Reasons to soak:
- It reduces acid levels and helps with mineral absorption
- Reduces boating and gas (reason enough right there!)
- Helps to remove contaminants
How long to soak
There are a few different ideas of thought here. Some say a 12 hour soak is the best, and if you remember to pop them in water before heading to work or an event, that’s fine. But, if it’s 3 o’clock and dinner needs to be started at five, it’s okay to give them a two hour soak. Actually, that’s what I usually do!
I fill a pot about half way up with water and pour the beans in. Per two cups of beans I add about a teaspoon of salt. I love the Real Salt brand, and I actually have a coupon code for 20% off. Use code: ERYNWHALEN
Stir to incorporate salt, then place on the counter and let soak. This can also be called a salt brine. The salt helps to break down the skin, so essentially, adding salt reduces the need for a long soak.
How to use
Once soaking is done, drain and rinse once, then use as normal in whatever recipe you choose!
It’s that easy! Isn’t it funny how something so simple can add so many benefits to cooking?