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Help, quickly please - beans not softening!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
ACK! I *thought* I learned about not adding acid to beans so that they will soften (after putting the vinegar too early in black bean soup.) But, I thought I was safe this time! I soaked some navy beans overnight (and almost all of today) and added them into a pot with some tomato juice and spices, veggies, kielbasa, chicken etc to make cassoulet (crockpot recipe, but I'm doing it stove-top, no time to prep today.) I quickly realized that the tomato juice was an acid, and that these beans, while soaked, were NOT cooked. Do I have any chance of saving them or have I just wasted a TON of quality food???

Any ideas/help apppreciated!!! Please!
post #2 of 17
I don't know. I always cook mine all day long in the crock pot. Sorry! Hope they soften eventually!
post #3 of 17
Ever since I ruined a crockpot full of chili by adding tomatoes to beans I'd only soaked (not cooked), I always precook beans before adding anything else. I'm sorry I can't give you any advice!
post #4 of 17
I seem to remember that adding a little baking soda will help the beans soften up. It destroys much of the B vitamins though.
post #5 of 17
Is it possible that they're just really old beans? If they're old, they stay hard and become gritty despite soaking and cooking.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Grrr, grumble grumble (stupid me who SHOULD have learned this Cooking 101 lesson!!

I tried the baking soda (B vits be darned, I'm not tossing this dinner!!) Worst case scenerio, I'll pick it through, and salvage the chicken and kielbasa, add new veggies, and cook up with some canned cannelli beans (I usually buy canned and just rinse - for this reason - dried ones are cheaper, but finicky!!!)
post #7 of 17
I recomend cooking dried beans by themselves, when you're not using the crock pot for anything else that day. Then freeze the cooked beans in meal-sized portions, to be tossed into recipes just like canned beans.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I recomend cooking dried beans by themselves, when you're not using the crock pot for anything else that day. Then freeze the cooked beans in meal-sized portions, to be tossed into recipes just like canned beans.
When you do that, how much liquid do you freeze them with? Do you cover them with liquid? Last time I did that, I didn't have enough water left over to cover all the beans and I'm wondering if it affected the quality.

Thanks!
post #9 of 17
I agree with Ruthla. You should probably cook the beans first before adding them to a recipe. You mentioned that the soup contained "spices". Was one of them salt? Salt will make your beans hard and should only be added after they are fully cooked. Like somebody mentioned older beans take longer to cook too.
post #10 of 17
From my reading, beans must be soaked, the soak water discarded due to toxins, and boiled for a minimum of 10 minutes to fully denature the toxins in dry beans. Apparently, black beans take longer to fully cook. Undercooked beans are more toxic than raw.

http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/reprint/77/1/109.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_bean
http://www.foodreference.com/html/ar...poisoning.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bean
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/chap43.html
http://missvickie.com/howto/beans/beantoxins.htm


Pat
post #11 of 17
I have a recipe for red beans with rice that uses soaked but not cooked beans simmered with tomato juice to cook them, and I've never had a problem with the beans not cooking.

I also freeze cooked beans, and I don't put any liquid in them when I freeze them. I just use them like I would canned beans - they're already cooked so all they need is to be heated - no extra liquid required.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Pat - From here on out - your advice on this will be my gospel! (For now, the baking soda actually seems to help! I don't want to toss this out and am trying to salvage. )

Yet again, lessons learned
post #13 of 17
I've added canned tomatoes to beans when cooking and have never had a problem. I will say that sometimes my beans will take extra cooking time if they are older. . .sometimes even double the amount of time.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Mmmm, the baking soda made them platable, but not a hit here. Lesson be learned (pass it around, people!!) COOK beans, THEN add teh ACID!!!
post #15 of 17
:
post #16 of 17
Coincidently, I just ate a half-cooked pinto bean. I hope I don't get sick. :Puke




(I've always wanted to use that smiley!)
post #17 of 17
I always soak overnight first. Then cook them with fresh water for about an hour and then use them in whatever recipe. That way, I can use some for that night's dinner and also keep some for the next day's bean/pasta salad.
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