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Old 03-19-2014, 08:54 AM   #1
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Need advice: storing pre soaked beans

I bought a 1 pound bag of black beans and I'm trying to decide if I wanna just pre soak the whole bag and save the extras or if I'm better off just soaking what I need for my meal and then saving the rest dry until next recipe. Also, if storing them after soaking, what are my storage options?

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Old 03-19-2014, 09:34 AM   #2
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I bought a 1 pound bag of black beans and I'm trying to decide if I wanna just pre soak the whole bag and save the extras or if I'm better off just soaking what I need for my meal and then saving the rest dry until next recipe. Also, if storing them after soaking, what are my storage options?
If you want to soak the whole bag I think you are better off cooking the whole thing and storing cooked beans. They can be frozen. Uncooked soaked beans that are drained and ziplocked last about 2-3 days in the fridge and then you need to cook them.

I'd soak and cook the whole bag or just soak and use the amount you need for your meal.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:20 AM   #3
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I agree with jennyema.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:57 AM   #4
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I bought a 1 pound bag of black beans and I'm trying to decide if I wanna just pre soak the whole bag and save the extras or if I'm better off just soaking what I need for my meal and then saving the rest dry until next recipe. Also, if storing them after soaking, what are my storage options?
I wouldn't advise soaking all the beans and storing them uncooked as they won't keep well unless you freeze them, which somewhat defeats the object as they will take up valuable freezer space and defrosting time. The unsoaked dried beans will store well in a glass jar with a screw top lid (eg an old coffee jar) or in a Lock & Lock type plastic container. Make a note of the sell by/use by date as beans get hard and take longer to cook when they get old.

The better thing, if you want to soak the lot, is to soak and cook them. You can then freeze the ones you don't need, in useable amounts, for when you need want them. More economical than just cooking a few for one meal.

Some people on DC say you don't need to soak the beans before cooking but if you do it reduces the cooking time, and therefore the cost of cooking, by about 25%. There are two ways of soaking. Either overnight which is convenient or, if you forget, you can put them in a pan covered with 2-3 inches of water and boil for 2 minutes, then cover and leave to soak for an hour.

Incidentally, some recipes sugest that you cook the beans in the soaking water. Don't. Throw away the soaking water and cook in fresh. This avoids the worst of the "anti-social" effects of bean eating, If you get my drift ;-)

Another thing we have argued about on DC in the past is the advice that salt should not be added until the beans are cooked as it hardens them. Personally I have found this to be correct but others dispute this.

It's important to remember that, like red kidney beans, black beans carry a toxin (Lectin, IIRC) They should always be boiled fast for 10 minutes when you first put them on to cook in order to destroy the toxicity. This is especially important if you are going to cook them in a slow cooker.

I know you didn't ask for all this extra advice but it sounded from your post that you might be a "bean virgin" so I thought I'd give you the benefit of my 40-odd years experience with cooking beans. I'll now sit back and wait for the ensuing arguments
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:10 AM   #5
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Soak and cook what you need and store the rest dry until you need them.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:06 PM   #6
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Soak and cook what you need and store the rest dry until you need them.
My vote for the best way.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:11 PM   #7
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*SNIP*

Incidentally, some recipes sugest that you cook the beans in the soaking water. Don't. Throw away the soaking water and cook in fresh. This avoids the worst of the "anti-social" effects of bean eating, If you get my drift ;-)

Another thing we have argued about on DC in the past is the advice that salt should not be added until the beans are cooked as it hardens them. Personally I have found this to be correct but others dispute this.

It's important to remember that, like red kidney beans, black beans carry a toxin (Lectin, IIRC) They should always be boiled fast for 10 minutes when you first put them on to cook in order to destroy the toxicity. This is especially important if you are going to cook them in a slow cooker.

I know you didn't ask for all this extra advice but it sounded from your post that you might be a "bean virgin" so I thought I'd give you the benefit of my 40-odd years experience with cooking beans. I'll now sit back and wait for the ensuing arguments
I appreciate all the helpful tips. I have pre-soaked the beans both the long and short way in the past. Most of the instructions I found on soaking did involve draining the soak water and giving the beans a rinse before cooking. I was just unaware of the storing process afterwords.

The salt is a non-issue. Between not really using much salt for anything since meeting and cooking for my ex (long story short, health freak and had EXTREMELY bland tastes when I met her just over 8 years ago, both part of a very long story) and having slightly elevated BP, I do try to stay away from salt, at least in the amounts I used to use it in.

Last note. I was unaware of the toxin, not that it comes as a surprise to me. I actually enjoy learning about all of the self defense mechanisms plants have. I will be giving them that 10 minute boil before fully cooking. I did manage to find a little more information regarding the toxin:

Quote:
All legumes, including black beans, contain a compound called phytohenagglutinin, which can be toxic in high amounts. This is a major concern with red kidney beans, which contain such high levels of this compound that the raw or undercooked beans may be toxic when consumed. However, the amount of phytohenagglutinin in black beans is typically much lower than the levels in kidney beans, and reports of toxicity have not been linked to this type of bean. If you still have concerns about phytohenagglutinin, cooking beans thoroughly breaks down the toxin and lowers the levels in the beans. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends boiling beans for a minimum of 10 minutes before consuming them. The FDA recommends against cooking dried beans in a slow cooker because these devices typically cook food at temperatures that do not break down phytohenagglutinin and may actually raise the levels of this toxin.
Hope that helps.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:23 PM   #8
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...Last note. I was unaware of the toxin, not that it comes as a surprise to me. I actually enjoy learning about all of the self defense mechanisms plants have. I will be giving them that 10 minute boil before fully cooking...
You don't have to "...give them that 10 minute boil before fully cooking." You're going to cook the beans for more than 10 minutes to make them edible. That's all that's necessary. Besides, black beans aren't really an issue because of their low levels of the toxin.
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:51 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Andy M.;1352383]You don't have to "...give them that 10 minute boil before fully cooking." You're going to cook the beans for more than 10 minutes to make them edible. QUOTE]Be on the safe side. If I lived on your side of the pond I'd be inclined to listen to the FDA
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:03 AM   #10
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You don't have to "...give them that 10 minute boil before fully cooking." You're going to cook the beans for more than 10 minutes to make them edible.
Be on the safe side. If I lived on your side of the pond I'd be inclined to listen to the FDA
Yes and no, Mad Cook. They can be trusted to an extent, but in the end, they are funded by, essentially, the same people they are supposed to be protecting us from. So there is a *slight* conflict of interests. Though they seem to be leaning more toward our side more recently.

Andy M, I was personally thinking of something more along the lines of the soak when doing the 10 minute boil. Get them boiling for 10 minutes and change out the water or whatever to finishing the cooking process. You are right in that there is less of the toxin in them and not in an amount that would really affect you. My feelings on it are simple. I already have aspartame poisoning and god only knows what else is going on in there with all the crap I ingest. As it stands, I'm already trying to cleanse/flush my body, so whatever I can avoid ingesting, I will.
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