In this article, I will explain how you can soak navy beans considering various factors like tenderness, recipe, and the amount of time you have in hand.
Let’s look at the first method which is commonly used for soaking any type of beans.
Traditional Soaking Process
Below are the steps to soak navy beans.
Step 1: Sort the navy beans and remove any stones, rocks, or other foreign objects. Rinse the beans in a colander with cold water.
Step 2: Place the cleaned and sorted navy beans in a container that can hold at least three times as much water as you have beans. Cover with cold water by about 3 inches. Sprinkle in some baking soda, if desired (approximately 1 teaspoon).
Step 3: Wait until beans change to a light beige color. An easy way to tell if the beans have turned is when you taste some of them. A light beige bean has been soaked long enough but will still be slightly crunchy when tasted.
Step 4: Drain the beans in a colander and rinse thoroughly. If desired, drain in a colander lined with 2 layers of paper towels or make a coarse spray of olive oil on top of the paper towels o that all the gas-causing substances have been removed and they dry completely.
Quick Soak Method
Below are the steps to quick-soak navy beans.
Step 1: Sort the navy beans and remove any stones, rocks, or other foreign objects.
Step 2: Put the navy beans in a large container and add enough cold water to cover the beans by 3 inches. Let soak for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Drain the navy beans in a colander and rinse thoroughly.
Step 4: Put the navy beans back into the same large container filled with fresh water and boil for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Remove from heat and drain in a colander for a few minutes.
Note: The quick soaking method is the simplest way to get navy beans into a cooking solution in the shortest amount of time. However, quick soaking may not be enough to remove all the gas-causing substances in navy beans. If you have digestive problems such as gas or bloating after eating beans, try the traditional soaking method discussed below.
To soak beans overnight, place beans in a clean bucket or pot with enough water to cover the beans by 3 inches.
Allow the beans to sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours. The best time for soaking is overnight so the beans have enough time to absorb as much water as needed.
The reason this is important is that if you don’t give them enough water, they will not cook properly and will remain hard even after a long cooking period.
The reason it is important to cover the beans with water is that you don’t want them to get too dry. If they dry too quickly, they will have a hard time absorbing the water and will turn into mush.
These are the three different ways that you can employ to soak your navy beans.
Now let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions and answers.
Do you soak navy beans in hot or cold water?
It is a common myth that soaking beans in hot water will reduce cooking time. The truth is that the soaking process actually does not make a difference.
The reason why is because soaking the beans in water for an hour does not remove any of the indigestible sugars found in beans.
This doesn’t mean that they are bad for us but they can cause bloating and discomfort when they are not properly digested. For a faster cooking time, boiling beans in cold water will work just fine.
Can you soak beans for too long?
The cooking time is typically between 8-12 hours. However, it is not advised to soak navy beans for too long. I would suggest not soak more than 8 hours.
And when soaking navy beans overnight, it would be advised to change the water after at least 2-4 hours. This will help ensure that the navy beans are not oversoaked and will not produce an unpleasant taste.
Do you Soak beans in the fridge or on the counter?
Navy beans can be soaked in the fridge or on the counter, but it is better to soak them at room temperature. This is because some of the components of navy beans such as proteins and carbohydrates will begin to denature when they are stored in a cold environment.
When soaking navy beans on the counter, do so at room temperature and keep them there for no longer than 8 hours. After that time period, you can move them to the fridge if you want to cook at a later time.
Should you discard navy bean soaking water?
The soaking water will be typically brown almost black in color and rather smelly. This brown liquid is usually discarded after a period of time. However, if you cannot wait for it to turn fully black and do not mind the smell then go ahead and use it for your purposes.