Is it possible to ferment "regular" beans?

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Is it possible to ferment "regular" beans?

Postby WF Newbie on Tue May 05, 2015 5:08 am

I was wondering if it's possible to ferment regular/common beans, such as black, kidney, pinto, etc etc?

When I look at fermentation books, soybeans are mentioned regularly, and one recipe ingredient is a starter culture called nattomoto. If it's possible to ferment regular beans, would it be wrong to stick to a traditional natto recipe instructions, which includes the use of a natto starter culture such as nattomoto?

If that step would be wrong/inappropriate, what kind of starter culture would be more appropriate?

Thanks a lot for any advice.
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Re: Is it possible to ferment "regular" beans?

Postby Tibor on Tue May 05, 2015 9:59 am

The first thing that comes to mind is Tempeh. I've made it out of all kinds of beans. I have delicious chick pea miso that a friend of mine gave me a while back, and I make Dosas out of red lentils and quinoa . Dosas are easy ,full of protein, gluten free, vegan, and an extremely versatile pancake/crepe.
Sandor Katz discusses quite a few different bean ferments-including natto- in his Art of Fermentation book, as well as a chapter in Wild Fermentation.
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Re: Is it possible to ferment "regular" beans?

Postby WF Newbie on Wed May 06, 2015 2:56 pm

Thanks a lot.

Also, I found this link (below), which talks about "nattifying" black beans. In the comments section below the article, someone recommends chickpeas, which I think I might try first. Someone else also mentions sprouting the beans first, which sounds like a good plan of action.

Now I need to research which dehydrator/incubator/oven to buy...
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Re: Is it possible to ferment "regular" beans?

Postby Kal on Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:31 am

Beans can also be pickled with lacto-bacteria from vegetable ferments.
I cooked up some red beans and rice [equal dry weights], just a tad undercooked. I made a 5% brine and added a little juice from a freshly finished vegetable ferment. Packed a jar with the beans n rice and brine, covered with a leaf and glass marbles and more brine, fermented for 10 days.
The result tasted like red beans and rice but pleasantly salty and pleasantly sour. No off odors or flavors, good for sandwiches and on crackers, etc., and I apparently survived ;)
Next time I'll ferment longer.
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Re: Is it possible to ferment "regular" beans?

Postby Tibor on Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:39 am

Thanks for the post ! That gives me all kinds of ideas and I'll have to play around. Black eye peas comes to mind and maybe even Garbanzo. I'll probably dial down the salt to 3.6 % (2 TBS/Qt) Much appreciated.
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Re: Is it possible to ferment "regular" beans?

Postby Tibor on Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:28 am

I made my first bean ferment.
This is what I did and it turned out great. I like black eye peas because of the flavor and also it is a softer bean and takes less cooking. This is my first attempt and will try garbanzo next .
I started out like I was making BEP soup or stew. I covered 2 cups of beans with water, brought it to a boil for 2 minutes, shut it off and covered and let it soak for an hour. Brought it back to a boil then reduced it to med. and cooked for 25-30 minutes until it was almost soft. Drained and cooled and added about a 1/2 # of diced onion, 2 large chopped garlic cloves and a grated carrot (for flavor and color).I added a 1/4 cup of my pickle juice and a 3.6% brine (2 TBS/Qt. water) to cover. I put it all in a gallon glass vase, weighed it down and covered it with a cloth and fermented 2 weeks. I skimmed the lacto film on top a couple of times. Nice and sour and delicious. Next time I'll add a jalapeno pepper for taste and more color and as Kal did I'll try adding rice so that I have a full protein. I imagine this Black eye pea ferment would go great in a bean salad.
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Re: Is it possible to ferment "regular" beans?

Postby JohnDulleck on Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:06 pm


Your mention of a bean salad reminded me of one of my favorites, Three Bean Salad. I have only had commercial canned varieties that are made with vinegar, but now I have to try making one with my own ingredients and lacto-fermentation. Sounds wonderful!
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Re: Is it possible to ferment "regular" beans?

Postby bacteriaguy on Sat May 27, 2017 9:56 am

Yes, you can ferment regular (non-soy) beans using Bacillus subtilis.

I rarely use soy beans to make natto these days because I can never find soy beans at my local grocery store.

Keep in mind it will NOT taste the same as traditonal natto, but it will still have the enzymes, vitamins, and probiotic benefits you might be looking for.

In some cases, like with black beans (turtle beans) and kidney beans, it actually tastes better than soy beans.

But I take short cuts with it because I eat it every day, so i use the quickest easiest methods most of the time, and save the more elaborate methods for special occassions.

The easiest method is using a bag of frozen peas. First boil a glass jar and its lid, and a spoon in water for 10 minutes to sterilize them. Next empty the contents of a small bag of frozen peas into the sterile glass jar, and then nuke it in the microwave until fully cooked to sterilize anything that might be lurking in the frozen peas. Then stir in natto starter or a few tablespoons of your last batch of whatever natto you made last time, or the contents of one container of natto you bought from an Asian store. Put the lid on and put the jar in your yogurt maker and let it do it's thing for 24 hours. Then refrigerate it overnight and the next morning you will have natto for breakfast.
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Lacto-fermenting legumes in brine

Postby FermentMyGirlfriend on Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:56 am

So I CAN lacto-ferment legumes in the brine with little bit of vegetables?

What is better order and why?

1) Soak -> Cook -> Ferment
2) Soak -> Cook -> Ferment -> Cook
3) Soak -> Ferment -> Cook

I would start with 3), because ferment will be I think more crunchy and less watery, and than i can eat this legumes warm. Without bacteria but still more nutritius than usual.

Or should i do 1) or 2)?
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Re: Is it possible to ferment "regular" beans?

Postby Christopher Weeks on Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:09 am

I would do #1 in order to maximize flavor and probiotics.
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