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Rinse canned beans?

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I've always rinsed canned beans because the gooey gunk creeped me out...but last night, amidst draining and rinsing, I suddenly realized that perhaps I was rinsing away all sorts of nutrients that had leached out, and maybe the goo was gooey with starchy-vitaminy goodness.

So am I supposed to rinse canned beans or not?

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  1. There is no "supposed to." Depending on the brand and type of bean, the "goop" may contain a bit of salt and/or sugar. I generally don't rinse them as I find that the liquid in the can adds a touch of flavor (and in some dishes texture) that I like. But if I were doing a very delicately flavored dish, or watching my salt or sugar intake, I might rinse to ensure that I'm adding nothing but actual beans.

    1. I always do. I can't stand the gooey gunk either.
      But you don't need to if you're throwing them into a chili or soup--it will help thicken.

      2 Replies
      1. re: iluvcookies

        It depends on what you're using them for. I rinse if I am making texas caviar but don't if i am amking chili.

        1. re: iluvcookies

          I make bean salad with 5 or more kinds of bean, using some canned and some that I've cooked from dry. I always discard the water from canned green and wax beans, and rinse the canned black beans (so the salad doesn't look like the Exxon Valdez) but I include the sludge from the canned garbanzos and kidney beans. It thickens the dressing, which I like very much instead of other bottled or homemade dressings on a green salad.

        2. I always rinse garbanzos. I don't rinse black beans if I'm just heating them up but do if I'm using them in a salad. Never thought about why I don't rinse (or not) consistently.

          1. Sometimes I want the "gooey" liquid to thicken a soup or stew. So, I drain just a little BUT remember to lessen the salt I'm cooking with-canned goods can be pretty loaded with sodium. I just try to keep that in mind. If I'm serving beans just reheated-I could go either way. Or, if i serve beans cold like, say, on a salad, then I rinse completely.