Cooked beans are a staple in my weekly meal prep. I throw them into salads, soups, and process them with a few other simple ingredients to make my go-to hummus. There's a big misconception that the fiber in beans causes everyone digestive upset. However, I'm here to tell you as living proof, that is simply not true.
Switch to sprouted, it makes all the difference. When you sprout beans (or any nut, legume, etc..) it makes them infinitely more digestible. I buy bulk sprouted beans online for cheap here and here. If you don't have access to sprouted dried beans, fear not, this can be a simple DIY project. In such event, soak them overnight in filtered water with a hearty splash of apple cider vinegar.
Because beans come in all shapes and sizes, this is more of a guideline than an exact recipe. Call it an unrecipe, perhaps? You almost can't go wrong if you keep a side eye on the beans every 10 - 20 minutes during cooking so as to avoid having all the water evaporate. There are only two important things not to do. Avoid the two things below and you won't have tough beans:
1. Don't boil the living hell out of the beans, low and slow is the game.
2. Don't salt the beans in the water, we're not making pasta here.
- 1 cup dried beans
- 5+ cups filtered water
- 1 piece of kombu seaweed*
*The inclusion of kombu seaweed is optional, but this the optimal way to incorporate some extra iodine among other minerals into your diet. Additionally, its rich amino acid profile helps break down the starch in bean.
Measure out dried beans (or the ones soaked overnight) into a large cast iron pot or dutch oven. Cover with 5+ cups of water depending on the diameter of your pot. The rule of thumb is to start with 1" of water covering the uncooked beans. You can always add more depending on the type of bean. For example, it takes almost 2x the amount of water to cook garbanzo beans vs. kidney-shaped beans.
Drop in the piece of kombu seaweed if choosing to use and turn the burner to medium. Cook gently for 45 minutes, check on the beans to see if most of the water has evaporated. Give it a taste test for doneness, and adjust with additional time and/or water. At a medium heat, some beans will need a few hours to cook thoroughly.
Discard the piece of kombu seaweed (it will be exceptionally slimey by now, but try not to gag it's good for you). Drain the beans and let cool before storing in glass jars in your refrigerator. Use within 1 1/2 weeks.