There are books, pages and youtube video of tips and tricks regarding how to cook dry beans. There are many many theories, cultural traditions and secret remedies. Luckily here at the Better Bean Company we cook beans for a living and we want to share our cooking secrets with you!
Our home cooked beans taste amazing, they’re easier to digest, and they’re HEALTHY. Want to know our secrets? Read on.
- The first step to achieving tender, flavorful beans is using freshly grown beans. Beans become harder to cook and digest the older they get, so we cook them when they’re young. Ok, it might be impossible for you to determine how old the dry beans at the supermarket are and that’s ok. But if you use that 5-year-old bag of beans that’s been hiding in the back of your pantry you might not get the best results. They will cook, but it’ll take a whole lot longer.
- The next step is soaking the beans. Soaking activates enzymes that make it easier for our bodies to digest all the wonderful nutrients beans have to offer. It also helps break down the compounds in beans that cause flatulence. Bonus- soaking beans reduces cooking time!
How to soak beans: After sorting beans and discarding broken or shriveled beans and debris rinse beans and empty into a mixing bowl. Cover beans with a few inches of water and let sit overnight (about 8 hrs).
- After the beans have soaked for 8 hrs you can either discard the soaking liquid and rinse the beans OR use the soaking liquid to cook your beans in.
Fun Fact: Discarding the soaking water and rinsing beans can help make cooked beans more digestible. Some people choose to save the soaking liquid because some nutrients are leeched from the beans into the liquid during soaking. We prefer to drain our soaking liquid but you can decide what works best for you.
Note: Toss soaking water if you’re concerned about after effects and digestibility. Don’t toss if you’re concerned that you’ll be losing valuable nutrients that soak out into the water
- Next tip? We use ingredients that help ease bean digestion. Onions, garlic and cumin help – but the star ingredient? Apple cider vinegar, which breaks down indigestible sugars to help digestion. Onions, garlic, and cumin can be added to the pot with the soaked beans at the beginning of cooking, but reserve the apple cider vinegar for later.
- Once the soaked beans, garlic, onions and cumin have been added to the cooking pot pour in enough water to completely cover the beans. You may have to add more as the beans cook- beans expand as they take on liquid. Turn the heat to medium. It’s important to not let the beans come to a full boil as it can affect the integrity of the bean (they may fall apart), and it can cause the exterior of the bean to overcook before the interior is fully cooked.
- Cooking time: every bean is different and cooking time varies. The time it’ll take to cook your beans depends on how old the beans are, what type of bean, how long they were soaked and numerous other factors. There is no one size fits all for cooking beans. We recommend setting your timer for an hour then checking on the tenderness of the beans every fifteen minutes after that. Remember to add more water as needed to keep the beans submerged, and stir occasionally.
Note: Skim foam off the top of the pot after 10mins boiling for increased digestibility.
- Wait until the beans are tender but not quite done to add a splash of apple cider vinegar and a couple teaspoons of salt to the pot. The apple cider vinegar breaks down indigestible sugars to help digestion and also brightens the flavor of the beans without the need for excess salt. With the apple cider vinegar, onions, garlic, and cumin in this flavorful pot of beans you may not want to add salt at all!
- When beans are tender and creamy they’re done! Remove the pot from heat and let beans cool before transferring to storage containers. Remember to keep your cooking liquid. Drink it, use it as broth or make creamy beans. Unlike the slimy liquid from canned beans, this cooking liquid is full of flavor and good nutrients.
Beans will keep for one week refrigerated or can be frozen for up to three months.
Note: One pound of dry beans makes about five cups of cooked beans, equivalent to about 3 cans of canned beans.
Try these tips and tell us what you think! And Remember- if you don’t have time to spare and you’re looking for that healthy home cooked taste, Better Bean has you covered!
We cook all of our products using these tips and our ingredients are all ones you might find in your own home kitchen. Our beans are hand cooked, skillet sautéed, and packed fresh into BPA free tubs. You can find them fresh in the refrigerated section for a quick and tasty meal!