Why are beans really good for you

3 reasons why you should buy dried beans more often

... and how you prepare them

Beans are a wonderful source of protein, iron, and fiber - and if you are on a meat-free diet, they are likely an integral part of most of your dishes.

As good-natured and indulgent as beans are in the preparation of your food, you may find that the cans, filled with all kinds of beans, are gradually taking over your pantry. And what are you supposed to do with the remaining half a can of kidney beans from the preparation of the last chili con carnes? Not to mention the well-known "side effects" of beans.

In fact, there is a solution to all of these scenarios - by swapping the cans for dried beans and incorporating a simple step into your evening routine: Soak time!

Why should you soak beans extra?

1) Dried beans are a real bargain! You can cut the price per serving in half if you buy dried beans instead of canned beans. Plus: It's super easy to measure the exact amount you need for a recipe without having to sit on the leftovers afterwards.

2) Your stomach will thank you! Using dry beans and soaking them before cooking can help break down the complex starch in the beans, neutralize the phytic acid they contain, and make digestion easier - bye bye, bloat!

3) You have full control over what you consume. Canned beans can be high in sodium and the industrial chemical BPA - a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to serious health risks. Instead of trying to decipher the manufacturing label, switch to dried beans right away - you'll see what you're getting!

Soak the dried beans properly

Now that we've celebrated the amazing benefits of dried beans, the catch may have already crossed your mind: yes, it does take some preparation. But let me tell you, the effort is worth it! In addition, soaking also shortens the cooking time. So let's get down to business!

Always start by spreading out your beans and looking for broken or bad specimens. Then rinse them well in a colander under cold, running water. After the beans are prepared, you can choose between two soaking methods:

The traditional method: Simply cover the beans with plenty of cold water and let them soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. Then you can rinse them again with cold water and use them for cooking.

The hot method: Put the beans and water in a ratio of 1: 3 in a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to soak for at least 4 hours. Then rinse with cold water and they are ready to cook. (If you're in a hurry, you can reduce the soak time to 1 hour, but you may not get the same creamy texture as the beans.)

Did you forget your beans in the water? Don't panic, you can easily soak the beans for up to 24 hours.

Of course, you're not as flexible with soaking beans as you are with canned beans that you always have on hand - and even the greatest soaking professional probably has an emergency canned chickpeas in the pantry. But if you simply incorporate this quick step of soaking into your evening routine, you will be able to look forward to perfect, ready-to-cook beans the next day. So don't forget: Brush your teeth and soak beans!

Published on November 12, 2017