Soaking and cooking beans
- Rinse the beans under cold running water to wash off any impurities. Do this in a sieve or colander, for example.
- Soak the beans in water (in a suitable pan or container), using four parts water to one part beans. Soaking the beans shortens the required cooking time and ensures that the beans cook more evenly and are less prone to breaking apart. How long you need to soak the beans depends on the type of bean, and in most cases this will be stated on the packaging.
- Bring the beans to the boil in the soaking water to retain the nutrients that have soaked into the water. Do not add any salt to the cooking liquid! Salt reacts with the legume, and the beans will burst open as a result.
- Turn the heat down to low while the beans are cooking.
- Leave the beans to cool in the cooking liquid.
- Store in the cooking liquid in the refrigerator until needed.
- Before cooking, add flavour enhancers to the soaking liquid, such as kombu, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, etc.