At 02:14 PM 5/28/98 -0700, Gloriamarie Amalfitano wrote:
>One of us wrote: "I was taught to put a pinch of baking soda in my beans
>so that they =
>would get soft."
>This is not a good idea. I chemist aquaintance told me that there is some
>sort of undesireable chemical reaction between beans and baking soda. The
>baking soda leaches all of the nutrients from the beans.
In general this is very true. However, the one exception is if you have
impossibly hard water like we do in Sudbury (they don't call us the nickel
capital of the world for nothing you know)and the beans ABSOLUTELY WILL
NOT soften on their own, then you may add a scant (and I do mean
scant....as in 1/8 teaspoon per cup of beans). This will help to
neutralize the water slightly and allow the beans to soften. Add any more
than this amount...or add the baking soda without making sure first that
you actually have hard water and that leaching effect will happen!! Hope