To rinse, or not to rinse?
Everyone who uses canned beans knows that they come packed in a syrupy, cloudy liquid. Does anyone know if any of the beans' nutritional value is locked up in this liquid? My natural inclincation is to rinse the beans, since I find the liquid disgusting, but I wouldn't want to discard it if it had nutritional value, especially if I were using the beans in a moist dish, such as soup or chili. Does anyone have thoughts about this?
If I'm making chili, the whole can goes in. For salads, I empty the beans into a strainer and thoroughly rinse, then drain them off. If I'm going to be cooking them in some other dish, I rinse them while still in the can just until the sludge is gone.
You might lose some tiny amount of nutritional value, but mostly water, salt, and some sugars, plus whatever preservative lurks in the can. I doubt there's enough loss to worry about but, there are plenty of taste and appearance reasons to rinse.
Most recipes will tell you to rinse the beans.