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Jan 19, 2009 07:06 AM

soaked beans - how long is too long?

I was planning on making a chickpea soup this weekend. I started soaking them friday night at 6pm - the weekend got away from me, and i never got a chance to make cook them. How long is too long to soak beans? Will they be ok, if I make the soup tonight (Monday)? Or should I just toss them.

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  1. jmax If there is any foam on the beans or on the soaking water TOSS if not just rinse and cook. My daughter called Friday to ask the very same question. Small world.

    1 Reply
    1. re: miss margie

      what is the foam? when you rinse canned beans, some times there's foam...

    2. I wouldn't be so fast to dismiss them. Actually, I think they'll be fine as long as they don't smell bad/rotten/fermented - Even with a little foam.

      Miss Margie, if we should be so concered about the dreaded foam, please explain what you perceive the foam to be and why it is such a bad thing.

      General advice: I would strongly suggest rinsing them well and then smelling them.

      I think the foam is just protein in the water, nothing to be afraid of, which is why it happens in canned beans as well as stove top cooked beans.

      1. I think it would be pretty clear by smelling them if the foam was fermentation (which is what I'm guessing miss margie was referring to) or just from the protein and starch in the water. I know I've had that "off" smell when I'd forgotten a container of chick peas in the back of the fridge (bean left from opened can, stored in plastic). It's a pretty clear signal!

        1. If it's from Friday night, it should be fine. Unless it was stored on a heating vent.

          Sniff, see if there's anything fuzzy or moving, drain, rinse, and cook.

          The foam is from fermentation, but at least another poster found the smell divine when it came to soybean foam. Some believe that soaking beans and peas longer (2-3 days, ideally) reduces their ability to produce flatulence, though I've never found that to be the case.

          1. I hope you didn't toss them, even if there was a touch of foam, which is not worrisome after only two days of soaking.
            I would be curious to know why the fear of foam on the beans as well...frankly, I'd use them even if they did ferment slightly (which is unlikely).