Before cooking raw beans, they must be soaked. The sauce makes the beans softer and helps them heat up evenly, as well as removing the starches that give gas and other digestion problems that cause discomfort. All you need is a bag of raw beans, a large pot and a few cups of water. Then you can choose which sauce method you prefer - quick, hot or traditional overnight - based on what works best for the time you have available and the dish you want to prepare.
Method 1 of 3: Making Traditional Sauce
Step 1. See if there are stones in the middle of the beans
Place the beans on a large, flat baking sheet and spread the beans until they are evenly distributed throughout the space. Go picking up the beans with your hands and take out any foreign objects you find. No sauce in the world will make a stone softer.
- Since beans grow on the ground, it is common for small stones and other debris to end up with the beans.
- Stones are usually easy to find as they are discolored and tend to be smaller than most beans.
Step 2. Wash the beans
Place the beans in a colander and leave it under the tap, stirring occasionally by hand. A wash of water will help remove any traces of dirt that may have remained on the beans. Keep washing the beans until the water comes out clean.
Some cooks prefer to skip this step as soaking the beans washes them off, but running them in running water first will result in much cleaner beans
Step 3. Place the beans in a large pot or bowl and add water
Fill the pot until the beans are completely submerged - there should be 2.5 to 5 cm of water above the beans. Use room temperature or warm water. Do not use cold water.
- Unless you're making a lot of beans, it's best to soak them together. Sorting into portions can take a long time.
- Beans expand when they absorb moisture, so choose a container large enough to hold the size change.
Step 4. Soak beans overnight
Cover the container and let it sit for eight hours. To make the beans even softer, wait 24 hours. The longer it soaks, the more indigestible sugars will come out of the beans.
- Softer beans such as lentils and chickpeas only need a few hours to soak, while harder beans such as black beans do better if soaked longer.
- If you're short on counter space, place the bowl or pan in the refrigerator.
Step 5. Drain the water and rinse the beans
As soon as you think the beans are good, take the lid off and drain the water (you will see that it has changed color). Rinse the beans one more time and fill the pan with water again to start cooking.
- Traditional sauce is great when you have time or if you prefer to prepare well before eating time.
- Never use the same water as the sauce to cook the beans. This will only keep dirt and starches in the beans.
Method 2 of 3: Making a Quick Sauce
Step 1. Place the beans in a large pot
You will use direct heat to soak the beans in this method, so don't use bowls or other containers. Go straight to the spacious pot that will go into the fire. A tall pot is ideal. If you're going to make just one serving of beans, use a smaller pot.
- Don't forget to pick and wash the beans before starting.
- The pot you choose should have enough space to boil several cups of water.
Step 2. Add enough water to cover the beans
The water level should be a few centimeters above the beans. Use a little more water than you would for regular dressing, as some of it will evaporate in the process.
The rule-of-thumb ratio is to use six cups of water for every 2 cups of beans
Step 3. Boil the beans for one to two minutes
Turn the heat on medium to high and heat the pot uncovered until the water starts to boil a little. After a few minutes it starts to boil, turn off the stove.
- Stir the beans periodically as they boil to keep them circulating.
- This quick first boil will help break down the bean's waxy houses, which dramatically shortens cooking time.
Step 4. Soak the beans for an hour
Leave the pan covered to keep it warm while it soaks. Set a timer to go see the beans when the time is up.
- Place the pan in one of the mouths behind the beans so that no one accidentally drops or pushes it.
- Making a quick sauce is the least time-consuming way to prepare raw beans and is very useful when you have to prepare a meal in a short amount of time.
Step 5. Change the water in the pan
As soon as the pan cools, drain the water and put a new one on to cook. Now you can cook the beans to the point you like and use in your favorite recipes or save them for later.
Adding some mild vinegar or fresh lemon juice helps larger, harder beans cook evenly
Method 3 of 3: Making Hot Sauce
Step 1. Pour beans into a pan
Once you have selected and washed the beans, place them in a high pot. Make sure you have enough space for the amount of beans you're going to prepare, the water to soak them in, and more room for the water to expand as it heats up.
As with the quick sauce method, you will be making the sauce and cooking in the same pan
Step 2. Fill the pot with water
Put 10 cups of water for every two of beans. To make the hot sauce you will need more water than the quick sauce or traditional sauce. This prevents the beans from losing too much moisture while being heated.
Do not overfill the pot or the water may run out when it starts to boil
Step 3. Boil the beans for two to three minutes
Leave the pan uncovered and stir periodically to prevent the beans from sticking together. You will see a thick foam forming over the boiling beans - this is proof that the thicker starches are being eliminated.
If the water level seems low by the time you finish boiling, add half a cup at a time
Step 4. Soak beans for two to four hours
Set aside a space on the stove or counter to leave the pot. This method makes up for the time the beans spent soaking by making them cook much faster.
- Hot sauce is the most effective method of preparing beans so that they are very tender.
- Soaking beans in hot water can cut the effect of flatulence-causing starches by up to 80%.
Step 5. Prepare the beans for cooking
Pour in the dirty water from the sauce and replace it with the same amount of clean water. Add salt, black pepper, oregano, chopped onion or any other seasoning you prefer and boil the beans until they reach the desired texture.
- Beans that have been soaked in hot water are great for soups or salads because the beans are soft and mushy.
- The ideal spot for beans is firm on the outside and soft on the inside, keeping the skin intact.
- Soaking beans in salted water is a good way to start seasoning (although some chefs say it slows down the beans).
- After a while, raw beans can lose some of their moisture and become hard and tasteless. Use beans for up to six months after you buy them, without going beyond this period.
- If you have high blood pressure or are on a special diet, making beans at home allows you to be able to limit the amount of sodium you consume.
- Beans have many beneficial nutrients and many varieties as well, making them perfect for stews, sauces, side dishes and even salads.