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How & Why to Soak Beans for 4 Days To Prevent Gas AND WHICH beans do YOU digest best looks at what actually happens when you eat beans that have been soaked for 4 to 6 days (nothing, no gas!) AND, just as importantly, which beans does YOUR body digest best!
Which beans you choose has a direct bearing on their digestibility. So we look at both issues.
How long to soak your beans
This, my friends, is the MOST important question of all!
As one expert says, “… you’d have to soak beans for up to 3 days for any of the flatulence-causing sugars to start to leech into the water, by which point the beans would be close to germinating”. Yes, exactly!
And yet most sources recommend either no soaking, a quick soak or only soaking overnight. As many of us know from personal experience, an overnight soaking does NOT reduce gas.
The height of flatulence-causing sugars (called oligosaccharides) release on Day 3. More of these sugars continue to release through Day 6 of soaking, depending on the warmth of the room.
I always soak my beans a minimum of 4 days, and sometimes up to 6.
Do soaked beans have a good flavor and texture
I’ve read some sources that say long-soaked beans do not maintain as good of flavor or texture.
Firstly, this just isn’t true. And secondly, digestion is more important than a subtle nuance in flavor or texture.
But even after a 6-day soak, I get a great flavored and textured bean.
Are soaked beans less nutritious
Definitely not. Beans’ nutrition increases through soaking.
Otherwise, a bean is a dormant seed, and its nutrition is inaccessible. By soaking, that seed (bean) starts to germinate, which allows two things to happen:
- Phytic acid is reduced, which otherwise binds with minerals in the gut to reduce nutrition in meals. (source) (Phytic acid is the storage form of phosphorus, a natural substance found in seeds.)
- The bean’s own nutrition can now be digested and assimilated by our bodies.
Soaked beans are not only more nutritious, they are also lower in lectins. (source) Lectins can be harsh to the gut lining and even cause leaky gut. (source)
Do you soak beans in the fridge or on the counter
You can do either, but on the counter is much better.
A warm environment speeds up and encourages fermentation or germination of any kind. Again, think of a seed and that it germinates in the spring, as the weather warms.
WHEN TO SOAK IN THE FRIDGE
If you ever need to leave on a short vacation while your beans are soaking, you can move them into the fridge for a couple of days to slow down the process.
Then, when you return home, just rinse and replace the water, and keep soaking on the counter.
What is the best way to soak beans
Beans MUST soak for about 4 days minimum to significantly reduce gas. Here’s how to soak beans for 4 days:
- Place beans in large bowl. Cover by about 2 inches with room temperature water.
- Soak for 24 hours.
- Pour beans into a colander, and rinse them well. Wash the bowl. Place beans back into bowl, and again, cover by 2 inches with water.
- Repeat this process for a minimum of 4 days, or up to 6 days.
- Watch the amount of white bubbles and foam on the surface of the water. It will reach its height on Day 3, and then gradually decrease. Cook your beans when all or most of the bubbles have ceased.
Is a quick soak just as beneficial
No, definitely not.
Do you soak beans in hot or cold water
Room temperature to warm water is the best for soaking beans.
Soaking beans is indeed a pre-digestion of the food.
This means we’re actually pre-germinating, pre-sprouting and even pre-fermenting the beans.
As you know, the best temperature for seeds to germinate — or food to ferment — is warm or room temperature.
Why do you discard bean soaking water
Bean soaking water is full of the gas-producing sugars that we want to avoid.
Although some sources claim that the beans’ nutrition leaches into the water, this is not true.
Most of the nutrition is in the bean itself, in the form of B vitamins and fiber.
Can beans soak too long and what to watch for
Yes. I have never soaked my beans beyond Day 6, but beans can go bad.
What’s interesting is that most of us are super worried about getting sick from beans soaked for too long, so we never realize or get the opportunity to soak them long enough.
On Day 6, or on Day 4 in warm weather, your beans may start to smell fishy or like bad flatulence! This might sound dangerous, but this is just a sign of “hardcore” fermentation. If you’ve ever eaten natto (fermented soybeans), you know what I mean. Natto is super nutritious, but it’s fishy smelling.
A fishy or sulphuric smell is different from the smell of spoilage. Even beans that start to feel a little slimy within the 4 to 6 day window (depending on the temperature of the room) just need a good several rinses. These beans, in my experience, taste exactly the same after being cooked but produce zero gas!
What do spoiled soaked beans smell and look like? I haven’t ever gone that long. But just be aware that spoilage and the fishy fermenting smell are different. Most fermenting sites say that when something spoils, you can’t miss it.
Interestingly, each batch of beans I soak varies quite a bit. Temperature really affects their soaking time and how smelly they get. Some soaked beans stink quite a bit (like human gas!) while you’re rinsing them.
(Several times, I’ve been accused by my kids of “tooting” while rinsing beans —LOL. Other times, the beans don’t smell much while changing the water. I find that the more beans smell during the soaking and rinsing stage, the less gas they’ll produce in your gut after cooking.)
What to put in beans to prevent gas
During the soaking stage, nothing. You do not need to add baking soda, salt or vinegar to your soaking water.
Optional: To the cooking water, you may add a 6″ (or greater) piece of kombu seaweed. It will not add a fishy flavor but helps to alkalinize the water, breaking down oligosaccharides; and it adds minerals and B vitamins. (However, kombu is high in iodine, so not ideal for every body.)
Which beans are the most digestible
This section is VERY exciting. I only learned myself this year that my body digests certain beans MUCH better than other beans.
While I don’t agree with everything in the Eat Right for Your Blood Type book by Paul J. D’Adamo, there are a few nuggets that I’ve found to be very helpful. One is THIS CHART, which shares which beans we can digest best based on blood type. For me, and everyone I’ve shared this chart with so far (family and friends), it holds true!
I hope you find it as helpful as I have. (I learned of this chart from Dr. Garrett Smith.)
Before using that chart’s insights and learning to soak beans for 4 to 6 days, I couldn’t eat beans without gas, so I just avoided them.
What’s the best way to cook beans to reduce gas
There are two ways to cook beans that may further reduce gas:
- a long slow cook in the slow-cooker: The Weston A. Price Foundation says, ““It is important to avoid boiling beans since this will coagulate their vegetable protein and result in permanently hard, unpalatable beans.”
- use a pressure cooker
How to further reduce gas-producing sugars in beans
If you still experience a small amount of gas from long-soaked beans of the right variety for your body, there is one more thing you can do!
And that’s to ferment your cooked beans. This study (and others) show that lactic acid bacteria significantly reduces flatulence-causing sugars in beans.
How to ferment beans? I know it sounds hard, but you simply make fermented hummus! You can make hummus with any bean.
The probiotics proven to work in the above linked to study are L. plantarum, L. fermentum and P. acidilactici.
But you may use any probiotic you use to make yogurt. I recommend this one. You may also use 1/4 cup probiotic whey per batch, drained from dairy or dairy-free yogurt.
Fermented Hummus Recipe
Here’s how to make homemade hummus with your soaked and cooked beans:
- Purée the usual ingredients together (cooked beans [any variety you digest well], tahini, olive oil, optional lemon juice, garlic, sea salt and water).
- Add 3 probiotic capsules or 1/4 cup probiotic whey, and blend again briefly.
- Transfer to an air-tight container, and leave out at room temperature overnight, or 8 to 12 hours.
- Move to the fridge, or enjoy immediately.
As you may have gleaned, this hummus is also rich in probiotics.
What are more bean recipes that use soaked beans? Enjoy this Easy White Chicken Chili, for the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
How to re-introduce beans to your diet
Lastly, if you’re re-introducing beans in the hopes of having less gas, consider these additional tips:
- Do so slowly. Start with just 2 tablespoons to a quarter cup the first day, and increase gradually, so your body can get used to the increased fiber.
- During digestion, the soluble fiber in beans clings to toxic bile. (Beans help to excrete toxins from the body!) But if eaten with fat, the fiber will cling to that instead. Do not add a lot of fat to your beans, and you will have less gas. When the fiber clings to the bile, less gas results. (This observation comes from Dr. Garrett Smith, who helps patients recover from vitamin A toxicity by implementing aspects of Karen Hurd’s Bean Protocol.)
- Use a digestive aid: a splash of apple cider vinegar with your beans, digestive bitters with your meal or digestive enzymes that contain alpha-galactosidase.
How to Soak Beans for 4 to 6 Days for NO GAS
- bowl and colander
- slow cooker or Instant Pot (or other brand of pressure cooker)
- any amount desired! dry beans see this chart for which beans to use for your blood type
- enough to cover by 2 inches water preferably clean well water or filtered water
- Place beans in large bowl. Cover by about 2 inches with room temperature water.
- Soak for 24 hours (on the counter).
- Pour beans into a colander, and rinse them well. Wash the bowl. Place beans back into bowl, and again, cover by 2 inches with water.
- Repeat this process for a minimum of 4 days, or up to 6 days, rinsing, changing the water and washing the bowl every 24 hours.
- Watch the amount of white bubbles and foam on the surface of the water. It will reach its height on Day 3, and then gradually decrease.
- Cook your beans when all or most of the bubbles have ceased, on Day 4, 5 or 6.
- NOTE: Warm weather allows for a 4-day soak. In cooler weather, up to 6 days may be needed.
- To cook, cover soaked beans by 2 inches with fresh water. Add sea salt, to taste.Slow-cooker: Cook on lowest heat for about 6 to 10 hours. (Safety note: If you are cooking kidney beans, cannellini beans or butter beans, boil them for 10 minutes before slow-cooking. This neutralizes a toxin called phytohemagglutinin which can cause digestive discomfort.)OR — For Instant Pot, use the Manual button, and cook on High heat for just 10 to 15 minutes for smaller beans, like lentils, or up to 45 minutes for larger beans, like kidney beans. Experiment to find the cooking time and amount of salt you like best.
In addition to How to Soak Beans for 4 Days, learn about how to soak different seeds for eating HERE, or how to soak nuts to reduce phytic acid HERE.
This is a great post! I like beans but have had trouble digesting them so will definitely be trying this soon. Would you do the same with split mung dal, and lentils? Thanks!
Hi Jillian, good question. First, I’d check the bean chart linked to above to make sure your body digests each of those beans well. Then, this method does indeed apply to lentils, but I don’t know about split mung dal, which doesn’t have the same soluble fiber as other beans and are more like peas. For lentils, because they’re so much smaller, I’d go off the amount of foam they produce for how many days to soak. You may not need 4 days.
Linda Abraham says
Kombu seaweed is very high iodine and should not be consumed too often by most people.
Thanks, Linda, I’ve made a note in the article accordingly.
Does soaking cause high histamine? This is an issue for me and I’ve wondered.
Hi Megan, great question. I don’t know for sure for beans soaked 4-6 days. What we can do is speculate: Beans in general are low histamine, when soaked overnight for one night and then pressure-cooked. Longer soaking of the beans as outlined in this post is not true fermentation; it’s a bit more like germination. However, canned beans are high histamine. I don’t want to steer you the wrong way and cause a trigger, but if I still struggled with histamine issues myself, I’d try a very small amount to test.
Hey Megan! Thanks for this great article! I stumbled on it after accidentally soaking my beans for over 36 hrs (without replacing water) and finding foam! Never seen that before because I’d never soaked that long before! I usually only soak for 24 hrs and it was a fluke that they went this long. Do you happen to know if in general they should be ok as long as I change the water from here on out? Or is it a no-no to soak that long in the same water? This was all new to me so I appreciate the lesson in benefits of longer soaking (and replacing water). Thank you!
Janet M. says
Hi Erin, did you end up eating these beans? Were they ok for your stomach? Just curious, as I am here for soaking my beans too long and not changing the water as well!
Thanks for this post! I like to batch cook my legumes and have in the past soaked them in hot water for 12-24 hours before cooking. But I was anxious to try this method to see if it was even better! I am on day 6 of soaking, and my chickpeas are still producing quite a bit of foam, albeit significantly less than a couple days ago. Perhaps it’s due to the large quantity (2+ pounds), or perhaps I didn’t rinse them well enough? Anyway, I’m trying to decide if I should let them go another day or two… any thoughts?
Hi Kristy, you’re welcome! As long as you’re replacing the water and using a fresh bowl (or freshly washed bowl) each day, I’d continue if in your shoes for one final day. Let us know how it goes. 🙂
Hi Megan! Thanks for the advice. That is what I did – by the end of the 6th day, there was only a little foam, so I let it go until the 7th day, and then cooked them. Worked great, and we didn’t notice any tummy troubles. 🙂 Who knew you could soak legumes for so long? I’m glad to know our bodies are utilizing every part of these chickpeas instead of fighting against them and working so hard to extract the nutrition. Thanks!
You’re welcome. And thanks so much for sharing your experience!
I just completed my second batch of soaking beans – cannellini beans this time. Boy, were they smelly!! My 3-year old would run into another room yelling, “Stinky smell!” every time I rinsed them. 😀 (I’ve been keeping the bowl in the oven when not in use to contain the smell and free up space on the counter.) Is it normal for the skins to all come off and the beans to get soft and split? This happened with the chickpeas also. It seems like you could almost eat them after they’ve finished soaking, they’re so soft. Thanks again for sharing this method!
Hi Kristy, so funny! 😉 Thanks for sharing your story LOL! A few of my beans split, but not most of them, and my skins don’t come off, but perhaps with different sources, growing or processing practices? So happy the method is serving you well! 🙂
Hello. This is all fascinating. Why does literally every other of the dozens or maybe hundreds of articles and books I’ve read about beans say to soak them for just a few hours, or to place them in boiling water for soaking, or to add vinegar or lemon juice to the water, etc.? Is there some conspiracy?!
Hi there, I wonder if those individuals don’t have gas themselves from beans and/or are just repeating things they’ve read elsewhere. This is certainly the case with other information and how it spreads. I doubt any conspiracy. 😉
Megan, thank you for answering my questions! One more: That unpleasant fishy smell during rinsing? After very thoroughly rinsing the beans, should that smell be gone? I just completed a six-day soak. (Continuous foam, so I kept going). Now, even after three thorough rinses, the beans still smell slightly weird / fishy / unappetizing. I’m a little worried. Is this odor retention normal, or a warning sign? Thanks again!
Hi A.D., yours sounds more extreme than mine, and I don’t feel comfortable telling you anything is “safe” when I’m not part of the process. You’ll have to decide for yourself. I have soaked for 6 days, but each day I wash the bowl, rinse the beans and use fresh water. If you have done the same, you’ll need to decide what’s best. You’re welcome! 🙂
I’m asking if, in your experience, the soaked, thoroughly-rinsed beans sometimes still retain the fishy / fermenty smell. Or, for you, has that smell always disappeared down the drain during rinsing?
Hi A.D., yes, sometimes that mild fermented smell has remained before cooking. Other times, there is no smell before cooking.
Hi Megan. FYI, I used organic black beans, water that I always filtered just before soaking the beans in it, changed the water every 24 hours, rinsed the beans very thoroughly, and always used a new clean bowl. Even at the six-day mark there was a palpable layer of foam on top thick enough to prevent you from seeing the beans. Yet by that sixth day it all started smelling weird and borderline-unappetizing, and the beans continued smelling weird and suspicious even after several very thorough rinses. Note that the beans looked fine (black, shiny) and felt fine (not slimy, not mushy: texture like a peanut). I had deduced from your fine articles that if you followed the instructions to a tee, then as long as the beans were continuing to produce ample foam, then the water was still doing its job in removing the unwanted compounds. Because my instincts and nose hinted that something wasn’t right, and I wasn’t willing to chance it. Down the drain the little sob’s went! Do you have any hunches or expert insights for me based on what I’ve explained above….? Thank you.
Hi A.D., Sounds like you made the right choice. My guess is that the dried beans weren’t fresh, which is actually a thing and more common from some sources. There’s no way of knowing if the beans have sat for years except to buy from sources where you’re sure of a fast turnover. We buy our organic beans from a wholesaler who sells huge volumes of all bulk goods and even sells out occasionally. Dried beans that are older than a year begin to degrade in their original wrapping, losing oxygen and getting harder. This might explain why a normal extended soaking time wasn’t enough.
Thanks for replying again. “This might explain why a normal extended soaking time wasn’t enough”? That sounds like you think another day or two of soaking might have done the trick. At 5 days the beans smelled good. By day 6, still foaming away!, they smelled bad. Please clarify?
Sure. No, I think it’s good you dumped them. By not enough, I mean that I suspect that more soaking would not do the trick. Beans are seeds, and as you know, old dried up seeds will not germinate. Similarly, my guess here is that these beans were compromised, and would not fully reduce their oligosaccharides within the needed period of time without spoiling.
…..and oligosaccharides, of course…!
So, what again are the supposed approximate percentage of anti-nutrients, oligosaccharides, etc. that are neutralized via extended soaking?
And supposedly how much more “digestible” and “nutrients-available” are beans, nuts, etc. after carrying out all of this soaking and rinsing and soaking and rinsing and soaking and rinsing and……?
How do we really know that the theories are correct, and also that it’s worth all of the trouble? What’s your take on the availability supposed-facts on all of this?
Hi A.D., there are different studies that can be cited which measure the degree to which anti-nutrients are reduced. Some of my favorite are actually studies for animal husbandry, as companies need to maximize the nutrition in feed, so they’ll ferment grain, for example, and then measure the reduction in phytic acid afterward. Other studies have been done of native people groups’ diets who ferment their native staple foods. In regard to the “feeding the world” concept, controversial visionaries have looked at different preparations to make foods more nutritious, foods like beans and cassava. It’s been shown in these studies that fermentation reduces antinutrients up to 100% in some cases, depending on the length of time something is fermented, whereas soaking reduces anti-nutrients, but not as much. That’s why for someone who is really sensitive, it’s ideal to soak or sprout and also to ferment, as with fermented hummus. Some people have enough enzymes that break down phytic acid in their guts so that phytic acid in grains and legumes are not as big of a problem, but there are still other antinutrients to reduce: gluten, enzyme inhibitors, tannins and lectins. Proper preparation greatly reduces or eliminates these.
You asked how do we know these concepts are true. One is the studies we see that I mention above and the other is personal experience. For example, I get an actual stomach ache when I eat raw or roasted nuts. I can eat “activated” or sprouted nuts everyday, though, without any stomach issues. Of course, as mentioned in this article, the same is true for beans: lots of gas vs. a lot less gas or no gas. We can see the method working. Another great example is how those with Celiac can often times eat sourdough bread, although they must very carefully avoid all normal gluten bread.
I’ve attached some links you might enjoy reading since you want to know exact percentages of reduction in antinutrients:
In this article we read about Mellanby’s experiments with dogs and his discovery of the role of phytic acid and nutrition: https://jaschlepp.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/preparing-grains-nuts-seeds-and-beans-for-maximum-nutrition/ This article gives you what you’re looking for, exact numbers of the reduction of phytic acid in various scenarios. Here’s one quote on beans: “The best way of reducing phytates in beans is sprouting for several days, followed by cooking. An eighteen-hour fermentation of beans without a starter at 95 degrees F resulted in 50 percent phytate reduction. Lentils fermented for 96 hours at 108 degrees F resulted in 70-75 percent phytate destruction. Lentils soaked for 12 hours, germinated 3-4 days and then soured will likely completely eliminate phytates. Soaking beans at moderate temperatures, such as for 12 hours at 78 degrees F results in an 8-20 percent reduction in phytates.”
Here we can see that very warm water speeds up the germination of beans, nuts and seeds to increase their nutrition and make them more digestible:
https://parrotfunhouse.com/blogs/parronting-essentials-blog/soaking-and-sprouting-for-birds-with-schedules I could find studies for you to see charts, but I know you can look those up too.
I’ll take a look. Thank you!
Oh, okay, gotcha. Your word choice in saying that the super-long soaking time “wasn’t enough” really had me confused.
So perhaps beans-freshness is indeed the key to all of this.
Thank you again.
yolanda bodine says
Just finished my first bean soak. It’s been 6 days and I’m still getting the foam, but I’m going to stop today. Now off to the instapot! I referred to this post several times over the last week. Thank you so much! Is there a bean chart somewhere else? The link doesn’t seem to be working. I tried google but didn’t find a bean chart specifically. Thanks again!!
Hi Yolanda, I’m so glad the post has been helpful, and yay about your bean soak! 🙂 Oh boo about the link and website no longer working. I’m so glad you let me know. I also refer to it regularly… I will need to piece together the information from other websites. In the meantime, some of the information can be found here, but it’s a bit of work to decipher all the charts: https://www.docformats.com/blood-type-diet-charts-printable-tables/ I’ll try to squeeze this in ASAP. Blessings!!
After doing this entire 4 day bean soaking process, and cooking them, how many days after should I be able to eat these beans? Can I eat a little bit each day? The bean will not lose its properties if I don’t eat it fresh just after I cooked? In a few words I want to eat them on the followed days of when they were cooked.
Hi Patrick, feel free to eat them immediately after they’ve cooked, or refrigerate, and eat the following days. Freeze some of them if needed, to keep them fresh, and defrost as needed. The beans do not lose their properties at all, but they do gain resistant starch when chilled, so for those just starting out on the vA diet or others who may be sensitive to RS, this may cause more gas or other issues. For the low vA diet, be sure to be taking activated charcoal or similar as a binder so the RS doesn’t churn up toxins in your colon creating new symptoms. I take just one activated charcoal capsule daily.
Does Gareth Smith recommends this approach to someone that has constipation? Does the soluble fiber remain in the beans after 4 days of soaking?, I’ve heard that after beans germinate they loss all their soluble fiber.
Good question. The beans are still full of soluble fiber. They have not fully germinated. For constipation, it’s complicated in my experience. Beans help a lot of people, but not everyone, depending on how many you can eat without gas. Another great option I’ve found works well for me, and that Dr. Smith recommends is SunFiber, which can be started on a lower dose and then worked up to the full dose of one scoop nightly: https://amzn.to/335eysU I can’t say enough good things about it.
Do I take the Sunfiber at night dissolved in water before sleep? If I take more than one scoop a day it could cause the opposite effect? Because I’ve taken in the past and took 2 scoops/day and it didn’t work. Thanks for the answer ?
Hi Patrick, happy to help. I answered you elsewhere in this thread as well, in more detail (just now), but yes, you are right that that is too high of a dose. And yes, to dissolve in water before bed. Best wishes!
Hanan Ali says
I heard that you have to boil beans for at least 10 minutes. The FDA warns people about the toxin called phytohaemagglutinin which is present in many beans, and most highest in red kidney beans. Lots of people experience bad digestive issues from doing only a slow cook with no boiling, slow cooking doesnt reach a high enough temperature.
Patrick Osuch says
Does this also work for canned beans as well? How long would you soak canned bean before eating, etc?
Hi Patrick, canned beans have already been cooked, so it’s too late to soak at that point. The best canned beans that are soaked before they’re cooked are Eden brand.
I’m so happy I found this article! Making my beans tomorrow soaking for 6 days!
I’m soaking some great northern beans, on day three I believe. They aren’t producing much foam yet; they’re probably over a year old and were stored the last part of the time in the fridge. It was a pound of beans and looks like it’s going to make a large volume.
I plan to soak them another day or two and cook them in the Instant Pot for at least 30 minutes. How long do you thing they would store safely in the fridge? I also wonder if they could be canned when they’re freshly cooked, by putting them into the jars while they’re hot. I’m not sure how safe that would be. I appreciate the directions and tips on soaking and cooking beans!! 🙂
Hi Dorothy, if they’re that old and have been chilled, they may not cook up or soak as well. But you’ll see, and maybe all will be fine. Once cooked, you could store in the fridge for 4 days, and then freeze. I don’t have any experience with canning them, so I can’t advise you about the pressure cooking process for that, but I do think they’ll need pressure canning, not a simple water bath or sealing of lids because of their high protein content that’s more subject to contamination at room temp. storage.
That makes sense….thank you for your answer!
I just cooked the beans in the instant pot after soaking for four days. By this morning, they were really ripe. Not for the faint of heart, or with a delicate sense of smell! Even after cooking, they smelled pretty strong. I ate some of them, and haven’t been sick, so I guess they were probably ok.
Hi Dorothy, thank you for sharing! Did you rinse the beans each day, and replace with fresh water each day?
Hi Megan, yes I did. I used cool water for the first couple of days to soak in and then added hot water to cool a couple of times. I rinsed copiously in a colander and washed the bowl each time. The beans didn’t start releasing gas bubbles much until yesterday, the fourth day. And again it was bubbly this morning before I did the final rinse and cooked them.
Sounds like they started late. Glad all turned out well, but stinky! These may have been beans that needed that soak even more than usual, given that they took so long to start.
Yes I guess so, thanks. I’ll need to remember to put them in warm water from the start next time.
Or, what I meant was, maybe the beans were old to start, so they took longer to transition to sprouting.
Yes, I think so. The long soaking process for beans is good to know about and helpful as we’re going from eating beans sporadically to eating them every day. So far, we eat some from the can and cook some.
I cook my own beans occasionally, but often find myself using canned beans to save time. I always drain and rinse them well, but haven’t ever tried soaking them. Any idea if soaking canned beans is safe without having them spoil, and if it provides the same benefit as soaking raw beans?
Hi David, no, it would not be safe to soak canned beans. At that point, they are cooked, so it is too late. Soaking is only for dry beans.
Happy to help! 🙂
Chrissy White says
After cooking, how long will the beans last in the fridge?
Pat Beard says
Has anyone tried this with soybeans for making soymilk for tofu?
I tried to do this and I’m not sure this is a good idea.
I had it soaking for 4 days and no more because it was stinking a lot and hey I do not plan my meals a week in advance.
When I was cooking them, I checked to see if they were ready but they were still hard. Then it occurred to me, that the fermentation process has made the bean acid, and beans do not cook well in an acid medium. So I added baking soda and I think that also helped reduce the bad flavour, but I think it should be added before.
I did notice that very little foam formed on top when I was cooking them, which was a positive because I remove the foam all the time for better digestion.
I still had gas but it might be something else that I ate, or perhaps I didn’t soak it enough, in either case, it is not very practical to have stinking beans for 6 days.
Hi Gabriel, it sounds like your beans were old, actually. They won’t soak or cook properly if they’re not freshly dried beans. They should not stink so much during the process. Nor will they be hard when cooked. No, very funny: it isn’t practical to have stinking beans for 6 days, lol!
Thank you for your reply
I will try with lentils which are easier to cook than chickpeas and make less quantity. Despite, I know for a fact that all legumes cook poorly on acid medium, even tomato sauce is too acidic. I might rinse them with a bit of baking soda and see what happens.
Sounds good, Gabriel.
Tyler Steele says
Thanks for the tips. If using canned beans, do you also soak them for as long or is less time required if they are already cooked and canned?
Happy to help! If they are already cooked and canned, no more soaking can be done; they’d spoil. If you want to further digest cooked beans, the one option that remains is fermentation, such as fermented hummus or similar.