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How to Make Fermented Bean Paste
What you need
dry beans--any kind
blender or food processor
beet kvass, whey, or a high quality probiotic
fresh hot pepper of your choice
course sea salt
This recipe makes a delicious, healthful, probiotic 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.
After a stint with the ketogenic diet threw my digestive tract awry, this probiotic recipe played a large part in my recovery. Eating it with rice or organic corn chips provides your digestive tract with both a probiotic and a prebiotic.
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.
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.
This is a great resource for learning to culture so many different foods. The other recipes are useful if you are just starting out eating whole, real foods, but they tend to use expensive ingredients and have very strong flavors (for better or worse). The cultured vegetable, fruit, pulse, and dairy recipes are very economical and make the book worthwhile. I refer to it frequently.
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 (optional)
2 cloves garlic
Cayenne pepper to taste (about 1/8 tsp, optional)
½ tsp cumin (optional)
1 Tbsp course sea salt
2-4 Tbsp whey or beet kvass, or a small amount of commercial probiotic
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 is not necessary, though the garlic seems to help fermentation dramatically.