There are many opinions on-line on the best way to cook beans. You can buy at least canned or dried beans, As long as you find canned beans with no added salt I think both options are great! However for me personally it comes down to prep time, if I have the time I prefer to cook dried beans. There are many reasons that dried beans have some added benefits to their canned counterparts but only if you take the time to pre-soak them.
Pre-soaking dried beans claims to have many benefits, below you can find a few:
- Less cooking time is required after pre-soaking which can help save more nutrients and the cost of energy required when cooking.
- According to the California Dry Bean Advisory Board it also helps increase your bodies ability to digest beans, as pre-soaking removes complex sugars which can help cause gas if your body is sensitive to fibre or you have recently introduced beans into your diet. For more information click here.
- Any dirt on the beans will likely be removed after pre-soaking and a few rinses before cooking.
- Lastly pre-soaking causes beans to start sprouting (when I first read this I was pretty sceptical but as you can see in my picture above, it is no joke!). According to Wikipedia, sprouts are said to have more nutritional benefits (for more information click here).
There are many different methods for pre-soaking your beans, all methods suggest the longer the soak the better. Most people recommend soaking overnight. It is also important that you shouldn’t let them soak too long either as the beans soak up a lot of water so if any parts are no longer covered they can begin to allow mould or other bacteria to grow! I have learned that the hard way as well, so take it from my wasted bag of dried beans that it is no myth.
- Add your desired amount of dried beans to a bowl (or pot if you want to do a hot pre soak)
- Remove any shrivled beans or other matter that doesn’t look like it belongs
- Add enough water to cover your beans by at least half of your first finger (a couple of inches)
- If you are doing a cold water overnight soak just leave the beans as is and wait, and wait some more. If you prefer to do a hot soak you can bring your water and beans to a boil for a few minutes then remove from the heat and let soak covered overnight.
- Rinse your beans after the pre-soak to remove the water and any remaining residue. Do not use the remaining water for any of your cooking, dispose of it! The water contains many of the complex sugars that you will want removed to avoid excess gas!
- Your beans are ready to cook! I often enjoy throwing mine into a crock, pot after to cook on low heat for a few hours until I am ready to prepare a snack or dinner later on that day.
I was up earlier than I expected this morning and found that I had left my sprouted beans for too long (over 24 hours) and had to re-soak another batch. I decided to take my pictures for the post as well so you could all see what they looked like. I figured I could edit the pictures during some point of our family Easter get together when I needed a break from all the conversation and yummy eats. Apparently others took notice! My brother decided to post an edited pic of me editing my pictures for this blog, check it out below and stay thirsty my friends 😉