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Beans - the iconic "survival food." Keeps forever, easy to grow, tastes like whatever you mix them with. How many pounds of beans do you suppose are owned by daily paulers? OK, now, how many of you have ever actually COOKED beans, from scratch? There really are a couple of tricks. I'll tell you my secrets, if you tell me yours... ;)

Rinse them, pick through them for small rocks and such. Discard floating skins and such.
First soak: Cover the beans with a couple inches of water to spare. I put in a teaspoon or so of baking soda. You can go two ways from here. The slow soak is just let them sit overnight (or all day.) The fast way is to bring them to a boil, then let them sit for an hour in the water.
I discard the rinse water, some folks re-use it. My method is for maximum gas reduction.
Next, cover the beans again with a couple inches of water and more baking soda and a 1/2 teaspoon or so of epizote, and bring to a boil. Let them boil an hour or two until soft.
Now you have a pot of tasteless beans BUT you have beans soft enough to eat. If you add ANYTHING with sugar to the beans before they are soft, they will NEVER soften. Now is when you start adding your onions and garlic and spices and such.

Happy New Year to all my friends down south celebrating with their beans! I hope you will now fill us in on how to make those tasteless beans into gourmet cuisine... C'mon, I know you are out there, bust loose with some recipes!

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I rinse them &

pick out the rocks, just like you do but I don't bother soaking them. I just put them in a pot with a lot of water and fatback and cook them for hours. Serve with homemade cornbread and diced raw onions and/or a few jalapenos on top.


this reminds me so much of my good mother... she loved beans with cornbread and louisana hot sauce.. one thing I've noticed about me is that they never seem to give me the gas that I hear about from others.

well.. back to my twilight zone marathon... some of these are eerily prophetic..

Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists


My four medals from the American Culinary Federation are in the vegan and Vegetarian category.

BTW Beans make wonderful gluten free brownues, cookies, cakes... and of course.. filling for the same and pies.

Now about this baking soda trick... my advice: lose it.

The trick to beans is .. scratch that.. this is a secret that was shared with me by a 93 year old Basque woman over a decade ago IT WORKS!.. add a whole unpeeled onion to remove gas. I have several pressure cookers, one being electric that cooks my sorted and soaked beans in 11 minutes.. otherwise, I cook with gas for 30. I use the presure cooker a lot because it conserves water and energy.

Beans are not a complete protien and I suggest searving with rice or another grain/seed.

About 7 years ago I got into raw food, which doesn't use cooked beans, but instead, we use seeds.. and I think seeds, chia and hemp especially favs of mine, are a survival food BIG TIME.

We have a Raw Food Culinary Institute here where I've worked at (may be doing that again)... and this vid below features one of our visiting chefs.. I love her and hope you do too.. check out this refried "bean" recipe:

Is that whole onion

during the soak or while cooking?

While cooking

After you sort out little rocks, wash the beans.

Cover the beans with 3" water, about 1 teaspoon salt, let soak over night (and chamge the salted water while soaking if you have time). much of the water will be absorbed.. I add more water to the line in my pressure cooker.. again about 3" and a whole onion, brown, yelow, white, purple, not green.

Here's a link that tells you why ypou should not use baking soda as it destroys the nutritional value of the bean

Why would that be different then

chopping up the onion?

you can remove the whole onion

but you can not remove a chopped onion.

Who in the world

would remove the onions. I always add 2 chopped onions into every pound of beans. No onions??? Course, I may at times have bad breath. lol

For flavor, you can throw in some uncooked bacon.

Depends on the recipe

My first introduction to beans were red beans.. red beans and rice, every monday in New Orleans, and people put in onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, green onion, smoked sausage, andouie.. herbage.. topped with butter.

For some folks.. they want just beans.. not a cooked salad with their beans.. the Basque woman who showed me this famous restaurant family secret.. without the onion bits.. the beans were much more creamy.. what can I say? Try it.

Chopping up the onion and returning it to the beans is an option.. but I don't do it anymore.. however.. If I was surviving.. you bet I'd eat the onion whole, chopped, raw..

PS.. back in 1973, New Orleans.. there was this little place... East side of the French Quarter, Buster Brown's, served the black community during segregation.. you could get a plate of red beans and rice for 25c.. if you wanted sausage or chicken it was 75c, served with a big plate of fresh French bread and slab of butter, lazy susan of condiments sat in the middle of the table.. to this day those were the best red beans.. creamy, tons of flavor.. but all it was was beans.. I think they knew that onion trick.

I too love the onions with my beans

but I will experiment with the whole onion thing and maybe try adding a chopped onion at the end.

put the same vid twice..

put the same vid twice.. sorry here's the "bean" recipe


And I agree about the seeds. Sprouts are just amazing. I have no doubt that a raw diet would be beneficial, I just have never made the leap. Brownies.... hmmmm..... you know how to tempt me....

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.



Cooking a pot as I type this...


And This Brings to Mind the Old Adage ...

"Beans, beans the magical fruit,
the more you eat, the more you toot;
the more you toot, the better you feel,
so have some beans with every meal."

Sorry, I couldn't resist; it's New Years Day after all.

Happy New Year, everyone!

deacon's picture

has beans

i mix warm water with a ham or beef base,
let soak overnight(never had any luck with boiling,them letting
sit) then add the beans,covering loosely with plastic
after the over night soak,i slow boil with onions,garlic
basil,salt/pepper to taste,cut carrots add some color as well as
a different flavor,meat can be added for extra flavor,but not always in season dear departed grandma told me to add baking soda,and the reason
for this,i told her why as it takes from the benefit of eating them :)

Leave an indelible mark on all of those that you meet.
OH... have fun day :)