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How to Use Baking Soda to Prepare Your Beans Faster for Healthy Benefits

Does Baking Soda Soften and Speed Up Cooking of Dried Beans?

The simple answer is, yes – soaking dried beans with a little baking soda can indeed tenderize them. The end game here is to make the beans tender or soft enough to cook in the shortest time possible. How does the tenderizing process work? Baking soda is a natural tenderizer. It acts by increasing the pH and the alkalinity of soaking water, as well as removing elements like magnesium and calcium from hard water. Also, baking soda speeds up the disintegration of pectin, allowing the beans to soften faster. The upside of this is that the beans will cook quicker and more evenly.

Here are three reasons you should be sprinkling a little baking soda into your water before cooking your beans.

Prevent Gas

Now, wondering when to add baking soda to beans? It works best with just a pinch (about 1/16 of a teaspoon) sprinkled into dried beans while they soak in water before cooking. According to Nutrition Facts, many beans contain the raffinose family of sugars, which is a starch that is poorly digested due to the lack of certain enzymes. In other words, you can blame this raffinose for bad gas. As it turns out, research dating back more than two decades found that using baking soda significantly decreases their levels of raffinose.

Better Texture

The addition of baking soda to the cooking water does two things: It adds sodium ions that weaken the pectin, and more importantly, an alkaline environment causes the pectin molecules to break down into smaller molecules that greatly weakens the pectin causing the beans to soften much more rapidly. Beans cooked with a tiny amount of baking soda (about one teaspoon per cup of dry beans) added to the cooking water cook in about half the time as beans cooked without.

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Content created and supplied by: LIZZYhealthmedia (via Opera News )

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