(Method 1) The Long Soak
The “Long Soak” method is the most common way to soak your beaners. Just put your beans in a large bowl or pot of water and let them sit submerged for 8-12 hours overnight. Soaking beans overnight actually begins bean germination and promotes enzyme release. The germination process is what breaks down all the complex bean sugars. Breaking down the complex sugar is a good thing as this is what gives us gas. Apparently, soaking beans overnight using the “Long Soak” method can reduce complex sugars by up to 60 percent. I usually use this method of soaking dried beans with exceptional results – no gastrointestinal gusts.
(Method 2) Quick Soaking Beans (The Power Soak)
I haven’t tried the “Quick Soaking Beans or Power Soak” method yet. But basically, just bring a pot of water to boil, add your beans, and then let them boil for about three minutes. After boiling, remove the beans from the stove and let them sit in the hot water for 2-6 hours. This method apparently removes 80 percent of complex bean sugars. How does that toot your horn?
(Method 3) Quick Cook
While most bigger beans like red beans, chick peas, and navy beans do require soaking – some smaller beans and legumes require little to no soaking. Legumes like lentils, mung beans, or split peas can be added to soup (like lentil soup) without ever needing time soaked in water before cooking.
If you’re using smaller beans and legumes, then use the “Quick Cook” or “no soak method” where you just throw your dried beans into a pot and cook the heck outta them. I wouldn’t recommend the “Quick Cook” method for tougher beans like kidney or chick peas cause you will fart your friends into an oblivion. Just saying….
How long can you leave your beans soaking?
Most beans only require about 6-8 hours of soaking to fully expand and soften. I’ve been kinda lazy at times and soaked my garbanzos for two full days without issue. The key is to change the bean water frequently (at least daily). If beans are soaked longer than two days then some fermentation may begin which can change the bean’s flavor after it is cooked. A few readers have asked about soaking beans beyond three days – I’m of the opinion why risk getting sick to save $1, it just doesn’t make cents.
Article By Kerry: How To Soak Beans