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Cooking beans anyone else experience this?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
When I prepare beans or lentils the way suggested on the WAPF site,soaking them in warm water with a little vinigar or lemon juice in it,the beans remain hard even after cooking them for hours.
I used to just soak the them in water,no lemon or vinegar, for 2 days changing the water several times and they cooked fine and tender.
I wanted to reduce the acid in them, so tried this method but it does not work for me.
Does anyone else experience this?
post #2 of 19
acidity in soaking/cooking water can render the beans tough. i used to have this problem when we lived on well water. it was slightly acidic from the minerals in the water and i ended up figuring out i needed to use bottled water to cook my beans/split peas. otherwise they never cooked through.
post #3 of 19
I'm not sure how the WAPF site recommends cooking beans, but another common cause of tough beans is salting them while cooking.
post #4 of 19
How long do you soak with the lemon juice or vinegar? I think it works best if it is at least 18 hours. I do find I still have to cook my beans as long as without soaking using this method. That's why I make a lot at once to have on hand.
post #5 of 19
Have you tried whey or yogurt instead of vinegar?

Acid in beans causes them to be really tough, like the pp said. When ive added acid too soon, my beans never got soft. I dont habe that problem with salt, though.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
Have you tried whey or yogurt instead of vinegar?

Acid in beans causes them to be really tough, like the pp said. When ive added acid too soon, my beans never got soft. I dont habe that problem with salt, though.

I thought about that too Cristeen. The only thing is because I change the water several times, I just hate the idea of throwing out the whey.

Umami_mommy, in our case I don't think it is our water since I never ahd this problem when I soaked the beans without acid for 48 hours.

Mama Lea, i was also soaking them about 18 hours even longer but they were still so hard!

Annie Mac,I never salt the beans until they are cooked.

I was looking for where I got this information from on the Weston Price site and could not find it, and then realized it was from Nourishing Traditions cookbook. I like the book but not the way to prepare beans.

I am leaving out the lemon juice from now on and trying whey or going back to my old way.
post #7 of 19
obviously the lemon juice acidifies the soaking water like my hard water. i was drawing an analogy, not saying it was your water.

i would leave out the acid.
post #8 of 19
I add acid (lemon juice, tomatoes, vingear) to my beans after they are cooked.
post #9 of 19
I often add canned tomatoes to my beans while they cook, but add salt at the end. I've been soaking w/out vinegar, forgot that step, and my beans are plenty soft and only cook for a few hours in the crockpot (as long as they've soaked for 24 hours).
post #10 of 19
What's the reason for adding acid at all?
post #11 of 19
I don't know the official reason, but I fing that adding a tiny splash of vinegar, wine, or citrus at the very end of cooking brings out the flavors better.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
What's the reason for adding acid at all?
The reason the WAPF and Nourishing traditions suggests adding acid is the reduce the Phytic acid in beans
post #13 of 19
I always soak my beans in baking soda instead! because when you add the acid, it often causes the beans to seize (stay hard). They're still digestible if you soak them a while. The baking soda neutralizes any acid in the water.

(Then I cook them with seaweed, then when they are soft, add acid for flavor. beans need acid to taste delicious, but not to cook.)
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magelet View Post
I always soak my beans in baking soda instead! because when you add the acid, it often causes the beans to seize (stay hard). They're still digestible if you soak them a while. The baking soda neutralizes any acid in the water.

(Then I cook them with seaweed, then when they are soft, add acid for flavor. beans need acid to taste delicious, but not to cook.)
Interesting! The Lebanese often soak thier beans with a little baking soda in the water as well but I did not know why. Good to know it also neutralizes the acid!
I've seen some of the canned beans in the natural foods sore,Eden I think, use seaweed but I never knew why.
post #15 of 19
the seaweed is for the nutrition. Seaweed is so nutritious, and good for you, and I don't have a lot of ways I like it. by cooking a peice of kombu (kelp) in the beans, I get the nutrition of seaweed in my beans.
post #16 of 19
Amanda Rose says that soaking in just very warm water is sufficient to reduce phytic acid (140*F being the best temp.) http://rebuild-from-depression.com/a...ing-beans.html
post #17 of 19
I focus on getting those beans to germinate - sprouting reduces the phytic acid. I could also take out the trays from my dehydrator, and soak them at 140F but haven't done that yet!

Also, Cook's Illustrated has tested bean soaks and found that soaking (NOT cooking) in salt water results in nice soft beans. I do it this way every time now, along with enough time for germination, and get the most tender, creamy beans ever. Just make sure to rinse the salt water out and start the cooking with plain water or unsalted broth.
post #18 of 19
Magelet, what reation of baking soda do you use?
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by velcromom View Post
I focus on getting those beans to germinate - sprouting reduces the phytic acid. I could also take out the trays from my dehydrator, and soak them at 140F but haven't done that yet!

Also, Cook's Illustrated has tested bean soaks and found that soaking (NOT cooking) in salt water results in nice soft beans. I do it this way every time now, along with enough time for germination, and get the most tender, creamy beans ever. Just make sure to rinse the salt water out and start the cooking with plain water or unsalted broth.
Will the beans still germinate in salt water and how much salt do you use in ratio to beans and water?
Thanks!
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