Do you soak your beans in anything other than water? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-05-2006, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've always soaked beans in warm water. But SF says to soak them with whey or lemon juice added to the water. Now, I'm pretty sure you all know what I think of SF's love affair with whey. So that ain't happening. But I do have some lemons I could squeeze.

I guess I just wonder what purpose the whey or lemon juice serves in this instance. Is water good enough?
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Old 11-05-2006, 01:22 AM
 
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There was a thread on this (sorta) in the past week...I think the title might've been about grains? Anyways, after reading that I rtied soaking my beans with a little added whole wheat flour (I just rinsed it off after soaking) and a pinch of baking soda. I also used hot water for soaking and switched out the water half way through.

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Old 11-05-2006, 03:21 AM
 
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I would be leary of the acidic soak b/c it seems that many folks have problems with the beans then never softening. I believe Jessica Prentice (FMF) uses some baking soda in water. I've also heard rumors that SF is going to be updating that suggestion as well...
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:09 PM
 
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The acid solution will break down the phytates better but they don't taste as good. In response to that last thread I did some research on beans and phytates and we did an experiment this weekend with a black bean recipe. We soaked half in warm water, half in warm water with kefir added. We cooked both separately and found that the kefir ones were a little more crunchy but, more importantly, they did not absorb the flavor of the dish as well. We actually did a blind taste test and my mother and I both noticed a big difference in the two beans. I'm working on getting a newsletter going on my site and this will be the first issue.

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Old 11-05-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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Caveat: I'm not an NT person, and I probably won't turn into one. Just someone who likes to solve culinary problems!

Can't you just add the acid at the end of cooking, as is usual in Indian cooking? I like a good squirt of lemon on my lentils, or vinegar in lentil soup. (Vinegar is also traditional in Hoppin' John--really a lot of bean recipes call for acid ingredients at the end.) Won't that do the trick for breaking down phytates during digestion?

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Old 11-05-2006, 03:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
Can't you just add the acid at the end of cooking, as is usual in Indian cooking? I like a good squirt of lemon on my lentils, or vinegar in lentil soup. (Vinegar is also traditional in Hoppin' John--really a lot of bean recipes call for acid ingredients at the end.) Won't that do the trick for breaking down phytates during digestion?
Soaking the beans will break down the phytates as the beans soak. There is some break down of phytates as you digest, but it's not a good strategy for a high-phytate food.

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Old 11-05-2006, 05:03 PM
 
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i can't remember the source of this info, but i recall a traditional society saving soaking water and saving some of it to innoculate the next set of beans soaking. don't know if it was a wild or guided fermentation process. . . . but that would be where i would direct my inquiry. i can't eat beans since i'm nursing a 5 month old, and posted about it when she was younger. i feel there must be a traditional way to prepare beans which makes them breastfeeding compatible, but we are just missing the info from our postmodern knowledge base. . . .
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:10 PM
 
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why can't you have beans while breastfeeding?
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Gale Force View Post
I'm working on getting a newsletter going on my site and this will be the first issue.
Ooohh...please do post on here when your newsletter is up to read. I'm especially interested in your further take on the issue.
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Old 11-06-2006, 12:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by triciareed78 View Post
why can't you have beans while breastfeeding?
I'm curious too... I personally avoid peanuts and a few other nuts b/c my oldest dd (who is still nursing... ummm avidly) is allergic to them and I am wary of that. But other than that, I can't think why one should avoid beans?

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Old 11-06-2006, 05:15 AM
 
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Could the answer to beans be SALT in the soaking water?!!

I just soaked some beans for 3 days in warm water with just 2 TBS of yogurt added, and then I cooked the beans at a low heat for 5 hours, and the darn beans are STILL not soft.

I guess an acidic soaking medium doesn't do beans any favors even if it does reduce the phytates.

So, I'm thinking salt could be the answer. Salt is alkaline. And salt is a traditionally-used seasoning. And salt is what SF says to use to soak nuts to reduce their phytates. So, if salt gets rid of nut phytates why not bean phytates?

I don't feel good about using baking soda because I don't see how baking soda is a traditional food. Baking soda is a manmade substance.

So, how much salt should I dissolve in my bean soaking water? Does anyone else think salt could be the answer?
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Old 11-06-2006, 12:04 PM
 
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Regular warm water would be better than salt for phytates.

Fallon uses salt for nuts to break down enzyme inhibitors. She says that phytates aren't a problem with nuts and seeds, though I am not really sure why she says that.

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Old 11-06-2006, 01:20 PM
 
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Hmmm... just remembered something. I saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen that talked about beans and acid level/PH and whether they got too soft, hard, etc.

http://americastestkitchen.com/recip...s=26&iSeason=6

The recipe is there, it looks like the article about the acid is not available anymore. Does anyone remember this? I *think* they said soaking didn't help... but they cook with salt pork.

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Old 11-06-2006, 04:37 PM
 
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Even before I started cooking NT, I didn't use salt to soak beans- I read somewhere (??) that salt would keep them from softening.

Will be watching this thread with interest- I am not big on whey either, but would like to know what else to add (or not add) for different types of soaking!
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triciareed78 View Post
why can't you have beans while breastfeeding?

maybe her dc had some kind of reaction to them?
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Old 11-06-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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i've only soaked beans once (they were pinto beans), and i added salt thinking it works for nuts, so why not? anyway, soaked 'em for 24 hours then cooked them for awhile, then made refried beans out of them. they tasted good to me, and were soft.

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Old 11-06-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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I just soak my beans in water. When I make cholent, I soak the beans with the barley in water overnight, then rinse and drain, and cook with beef and veggies, then add tomato sauce, salt, (and vinegar if I'm using it) after the beans are soft. I'm guessing the phytase in the barley helps remove the phytates in the beans AND the barley.

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Old 11-07-2006, 07:03 PM
 
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I just made cholent for the first time, and it's fabulously delicious!

So, soaking the beans together with the barley for cholent sounds like a good idea. How long do you soak them together for?

And what temperature should the beans and barley soak at? I read somewhere that the soaking should take place in a very warm environment like over 100 degrees, but that's just not happening anywhere here in the Northeast at any time of year, especially not now. The best I can do is perhaps put the beans to soak in my oven which stays at about 85 degrees because of the pilot light.

Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:11 PM
 
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Mild Boiling after soaking = soft beans

I always soak my pinto beans in a very large bowl filled with cold tap water. I put them on the counter and leave them there until I am ready to begin cooking them the next day. Throw out the soaking water, always rinse them and bring them to a boil before lowering the temperature, allow them to boil for 10 minutes lower the temp and add what you like. I have about 5 different recipes for different meals/occasions. Make them up yourself and you'll be happier. Mild boiling after soaking = soft beans.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldmomof3 View Post
I always soak my pinto beans in a very large bowl filled with cold tap water. I put them on the counter and leave them there until I am ready to begin cooking them the next day. Throw out the soaking water, always rinse them and bring them to a boil before lowering the temperature, allow them to boil for 10 minutes lower the temp and add what you like. I have about 5 different recipes for different meals/occasions. Make them up yourself and you'll be happier. Mild boiling after soaking = soft beans.

Thanks.
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