If any of you are like me and go through a crazy amount of beans each week, then this tip is for you! I absolutely love all types of beans. They’re incredibly versatile and as a good source of protein, fiber, and carbs, I try to eat them on a regular basis. One of the things I do get tired of is going through endless cans throughout the week. I try very hard to cook my own beans, but sometimes with my busy life, I just don’t get the chance to. I am one of those people who is extremely bad at planning ahead and too frequently I miss this important step. I always wondered why people would recommend soaking beans, but never understood why.
First of all, soaking beans cuts cooking time down by over 50%, especially with harder beans like black or chickpeas. If you’re cooking black eyed peas, they only take 15-20 minutes if you soak them overnight! Second, soaking for 8 hours or overnight helps break down some of the sugars in the bean that can cause gas and bloating, in other words they become easier to digest (also adding a piece of kombu also helps with this)! Third, its way cheaper. I can buy one pound of dried beans for $1-$4 and it will yield roughly six cups of cooked beans; I can also purchase one can of beans for $1-$2 that contains about a cup and a half of beans. By cooking my own beans, I’m only spending 1/6 of the price of a can of beans.
It may seem silly to think there is a right and wrong way to soak beans, but there are suggestions. There are two simple steps: soak in fresh water overnight, drain and rinse before cooking. Thats it! If you have a lot of beans, I suggest freezing them and thawing as needed. That way you don’t have to cook a small amount each time you need them.
I hope this tip was helpful and motivates more people (including myself) to take the time to soak beans!