Why discard bean soaking water?
Recently, I found myself alone and having to now cook for myself.
Dried beans are an old favorite and I have stocked up on several types. I wanted to be sure I was doing it right (or not) when I cooked them so I have been looking on the Web.
All of the directions I see say to drain the soaked beans and rinse them before cooking. What I have always done is to soak them and then cook them right in the same pan and soaking water. Why is this not OK? Why would the soaking water not be better that fresh tap water? And lastly, would my beans improve in any way if I changed my method and discarded the soaking water, and used fresh water for cooking instead?
My beans (usually Pintos) are always very dark and taste great. Maybe they could be even better?
I understand that this is a minor issue but I am surprised that I cannot find the answer to this question. There MUST be a reason since all directions that soak, do it this way. Thanks for any help.
Signed: A lost old male cook.
Named: Larry C
Portsmouth, VA USA*****Hi Larry
-- Very good question. Perhaps we should begin with WHY you are soaking the beans in the first place.
Firstly, soaking allows the beans to release indigestible sugars that make for some uncomfy gaseous situations, IF you know what I mean. ;O)
Soaking also makes the beans more digestible. It cleans them more thoroughly (since beans cannot be washed before being sold or they can turn moldy). Finally, soaking beans helps them to cook up in about half the time.
So after the beans have soaked for a while, the soaking water now contains these elements that you are trying to eliminate by soaking the beans in the first place.
And this is why the bean water is discarded. So it is best to drain the water and rinse the beans thoroughly before cooking.
By the way, you can feed this water to plants. They love it. :O)Click here to learn more about beans
, including selection, soaking, cooking, and creating recipes.