Can you eat soaked beans without cooking them?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat soaked beans without cooking them?” We will as well discuss what a raw vegan diet is and talk about the benefits of soaking beans. We will as well briefly discuss how to soak beans effectively.

Can you eat soaked beans without cooking them?

Sure, you can eat soaked beans without cooking them. You first need to ensure that you have soaked them long enough to enable them to become soft and rinse them so that they are safe to eat. 

You can sprout them as well, this is done by immersing them in water until the sprouts begin to grow and then you can consume them. This can then be enjoyed as part of a salad, lettuce wrap or even sushi.

Care should however be taken because consumption of some raw beans can be detrimental to your health. For example, red kidney beans usually contain a protein known as lectin that is toxic in high levels such as wehn raw. 

The cooking process usually neutralizes the toxin. 

Soaked beans have been eaten by people who follow a diet known as Raw vegan diet.

What is a Raw vegan diet?

A raw vegan diet is a diet that incorporates the principles of veganism and consumption of raw food. It has immensely grown in popularity with some people abiding by it because of its health benefits such as a reduced risk of getting heart diseases and diseases, weight loss and others follow it because of ethical or just environmental issues.

Raw veganism involves not consuming any foods of animal origin and also only eating foods that are totally raw or heated to internal temperatures below 104–118°F (40–48°C). The diet promotes the consumption of fruits, nuts, sprouted grains,  veggies, seeds and legumes and also discourages eating of processed foods.

Why is it important to soak raw beans?

Soaking beans Increases Digestibility

The hard shell coating of beans contains sugars which are known as oligosaccharides. These sugars are usually not easy to fully digest more so if the beans are not soaked. When they enter the large intestine, bacteria present in the gut usually break them down resulting in the production of gas. 

Soaking beans helps in dissolving the membranes that cover the beans and in the process releases the oligosaccharides. Ensure that after soaking the remnant water is discarded and the beans are thoroughly rinsed to remove the sugars.

Helps in the removal of contaminants

Beans are usually grown in the fields and there are usually contaminants such as animal feces, soil particles, gravel and other forms of debris. Most brands of beans will undergo threshing and cleaning processes before they reach the shelves. However, they are not washed and rinsed as this would result in sprouting. 

Therefore soaking beans would help remove any contaminants such as dust as well as pesticide residues that might be present. It’s important to first remove any visible particles and already sprouted beans before soaking. After soaking your beans, drain and rinse them to remove the remaining contaminants and sugars as mentioned above.

Help reduce Phytic acid effects

Phytic acid is found in beans and it has been regarded as an antinutrient because of its effect on mineral absorption. Studies have shown it to prevent the absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium and also to promote mineral deficiencies.

Phytic acid serves as the main form of storage of phosphorus in bean seeds. When the seeds sprout, the phytate is broken down and the phosphorus is released. Soaking beans overnight helps reduce the level of phytic acids.

How do you soak beans?

First make sure that you have removed any dirt and debris that may be present in the beans. 

To soak the beans, put the beans in cold water in a large bowl and ensure they are covered upto 2 inches at the top. 

Cover the large bowl and have them sit overnight. Then drain out the water they soaked in and rinse the soaked beans with clean and potable water hourly to rid them of any toxins that might be present. After rinsing, add some stock of fresh water. 

Check if the beans are soft enough to bite into and if so, they should be good for consumption and/or cooking.

You can as well drastically lower the soaking time by boiling beans for about 3 minutes, and covering them for at most 3 hours if you don’t follow a raw vegan diet.

Other FAQs about Beans that you may be interested in.

How to cook black beans in a rice cooker?

Can you cook dry beans in instant pot?

Can you cook beans in a crock pot?


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat soaked beans without cooking them?” We have as well discussed what a raw vegan diet is and talked about the benefits of soaking beans. We have as well briefly discussed how to soak beans effectively.


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