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Chickpeas and white beans

How to soak your own beans

Every Friday at 5pm I have a phone reminder which beeps to tell me to “SOAK BEANS” … ok I’m not crazy, just organised when it comes to my fibre intake!

Have you ever soaked and cooked your own beans? They taste phenomenally better than from a can (really!), plus you avoid packaging waste and plastic lined cans.

It does take a little time and thinking ahead, but you can cook up a big batch and store them in the freezer for later. So whenever I want chickpeas for a recipe they are ready and waiting for me in the freezer! (I just stir them in frozen)

General guidelines are:

  • Soak chosen beans in water overnight. It’s best to use recently boiled water to completely cover the beans. I add a dash or two of apple cider vinegar which helps break down components in beans which can reduce nutrient absorption
  • Drain and rinse in the morning and bring to the boil in fresh water
  • Do not add salt yet (this can prevent the beans softening while cooking)
  • Simmer very gently for about 1hr, but this depends on the type of bean – just test them to see if they are ready
  • I always test 4-5 beans by squishing them between my fingers or biting into them (some beans cook quicker than others so by testing multiple beans you’re ensuring they are all evenly cooked)
  • When tender, switch off heat, add salt (about 1 level dessertspoon per cup of beans) and let the beans sit there for at least 15 mins
  • Drain and rinse beans and put in storage containers to freeze

This sounds like a lot of effort, but once you’re used to the process it’s easy to multi-task while they are simmering away. I like to set my phone reminder for a Friday night, so I soak the beans, then have time on Saturday morning to keep an eye on them while they’re cooking.

Do you reckon you’ll give this a go?