Last night, as I was setting up some dried beans to soak, I had the thought to write a post about it.

Soaking dried beans before you cook them is a great practice to get into. I used to just do it whenever I would remember to, but now, it’s something that I always do. It requires a little planning ahead because the beans have to soak for several hours, but otherwise it’s really easy to do.

Always Soak Your Dried Beans Before Cooking: Why and How - Sophisticated Booty

  • Did You Know?
  • All dried beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains can be soaked for better digestion and nutrient absorption.

Why You Should Soak Your Dried Beans

I highly recommend soaking dried beans before cooking them. When you soak dried beans it removes the enzyme inhibitors. This makes them easier for your body to digest. Better digestion results in improved nutrient absorption, as well as, less gas and bloating. I’ve found that a lot of gas and digestive discomfort is caused when we don’t soak our beans prior to cooking them!

How to Soak Dried Beans

Before I soak my dried beans, I pick through them and discard any debris. Sometimes there are little rocks and clumps of dirt mixed in with the dried beans. Then I place the beans in a bowl and cover them with water. I don’t measure the amount of water I use for soaking. I just make sure that the beans are fully submerged and that there is at least 2-3 inches of water covering them. The beans will expand as they rehydrate with water, so you want to make sure there’s plenty of water covering them (and your bowl is large enough). You don’t want any of the beans to end up above water level. Then I allow the beans to soak for the appropriate amount of time. When they’re done soaking, I drain (using a colander) and thoroughly rinse the beans under running water. Now, they’re ready to be cooked.

Steps for Soaking Dried Beans - Sophisticated Booty

Soaking Made Simple

I usually set my dried beans up to soak before going to bed. I like soaking my beans overnight because it’s convenient (for me), and ensures that they’ll have 8-12 hours of soaking time. 8-12 hours covers the range of soaking times that you’ll commonly see on bean soaking charts.

Soaking your beans during the day is another option. Just set them up to soak before you go to work in the morning.

  • You Don’t Have to Throw Out the Soak Water!
  • The water that’s drained from the beans after they’ve soaked can be given to houseplants or thrown into the compost. This is recycling at it’s finest!

Tips for Buying and Storing Dried Beans

BUY: Opt for organic, or at least non-GMO varieties. Purchase dried beans in bulk from a source that has a fast turnover rate. This will help to ensure that you’re buying fresher beans. Also, look for beans that are mostly whole (unbroken).

STORE: Store dried beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. A 1/2 gallon Mason jar with a BPA free lid is a great non-toxic option for storing your dried beans.

Alright, that concludes this post. I hope you found this information helpful. I definitely encourage you to start soaking your dried beans before cooking them. Your digestive system will LOVE you for it!

Best of Health,


P.S. Do you notice a difference in the way you feel when you eat beans that have been soaked before they were cooked versus beans that were not? Please comment below 🙂

P.P.S. – What are your favorite bean dishes? Feel free to share recipe links in the comments below 🙂

*Information and statements regarding Nutrition, a Raw Food Diet, and  Superfoods have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.

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