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How to Make Fermented Bean Paste

Updated on March 21, 2017
What you need
Seasoning options
dry beans--any kind
onion
water
garlic
blender or food processor
cayenne pepper
beet kvass, whey, or a high quality probiotic
fresh hot pepper of your choice
course sea salt
cumin

This recipe makes a delicious, healthful, and much more digestible alternative to refried beans or other dips. It is also very inexpensive. I made mine from organic beans and it cost less than 20 cents per quart. Almost all dips are made with additives such as sugar and worse, MSG. Here is a way to make a healthful, wholesome dip that is much easier to digest. Serve it as part of a layer dip with fresh salsa, sour cream, cheese, and chives.

This recipe is based on the recipe for Fermented Bean Paste from p. 103 of Nourishing Traditions with some changes I have found helpful. Altogether, this recipe takes about five days and is in three stages:

1. Soaking the beans for 1-2 days.

2. Cooking the beans until soft, about 1-2 hours.

3. Mixing with seasoning and lacto-bacilli and allowing to ferment for 3 more days.

This seemed like a lot when I first started using Nourishing Traditions, but you will find that once you are accustomed to planning a couple days ahead, and culturing a variety of foods, the rhythm becomes much more natural.

Beans soaking.  Bubbles are a good sign.
Beans soaking. Bubbles are a good sign.

Stage 1: Soaking


1. Rinse 1 cup beans well to dissolve the oligosaccharides that cause gas. The more you rinse throughout the following steps the less gas you will experience.

2. Cover beans with boiling water. This helps jumpstart the process of neutralizing phytic acid and hydrating the beans.

3. Add apple cider vinegar, preferably raw, once the soaking water is cool enough to touch. Allow to soak for one or two days.

4. Rinse thoroughly.

Stage 2: Cooking


1. After you have rinsed, use approximately twice as much water as beans and bring to a boil.

2. Turn heat to low and simmer for one to two hours, or until beans are soft.

3. Rinse thoroughly.

Stage 3: Culturing


1. Combine the following ingredients in a blender or food processor and process in batches until desired consistency:

3 ½ cups cooked beans

½ large onion

2 cloves garlic

Cayenne pepper to taste (about ¼ tsp, optional)

½ tsp cumin (optional)

1 Tbsp course sea salt

2-4 Tbsp whey, probiotic, or beet kvass (This is what gives mine the pink color)

Enough water to reach desired consistency

2. Put paste in a clean glass jar and cover with an air-tight lid.

3. Keep it in a warm place for three days and transfer to the fridge.

And you’re done.

It should have a pleasantly sour flavor if it has fermented properly. Do not even try it if it smells rotten.

Now what do you do with this effervescent bean paste? I love it plain with chips or in a layer dip. I spread it on bread or even on cheese. Try it in pitas or sandwiches. Use it instead of refried beans. It is best raw, so if you want it warm try not to heat it higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit if you wish to take advantage of it’s probiotic properties.

You can use any dried bean, so be creative. Try garbanzo beans for a hummus-type spread. Try changing the seasoning. The onion and garlic are not necessary, though the garlic seems to help fermentation dramatically.

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      fredé 2 years ago

      when do you add the lactobacilli and in what amount?

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