Four Bean Salad Done Right

I’ve been having a pretty good time with beans done right. I’m pretty amazed at the satiation aspect. Paleo? Well, Shmaleo. It’s in the real food category for me. But I also prepare them right. I do the 24-hr soak, changing out the water about halfway through. I also add some of my sauerkraut juice just in case the little buggers help with anything in terms of the “anti-nutrients,” or whatever. In terms of gas or fartage, no issues. Also, no issues with bloating or discomfort.

Here’s a standard three bean salad with the addition of black beans, so four bean. I began with dried beans from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. Kidneys, Garbanzos, Blacks and some organic green beans. Soaked, drained and rinsed the dried ones a full 24-hrs. Then cooked in the crockpot on high for 2 hours in chicken stock. Drained and put in the fridge to cool. Steamed the green beans for 5 minutes and put them to cool as well.

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There’s any number of dressing recipes. I used this one, but just enough for two helpings. I keep the beans at the ready in the fridge and make up dressing as needed. I also chopped up some fresh onion.

Then I grilled a flat iron steak.

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And then you have a meal.

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So, you can be afraid, very afraid, or give ‘er a try and see what you think for yourself. …Oh, I almost forgot. I mixed in about a tablespoon of resistant starch in the form of potato starch to thicken the dressing. So, it’s an RS bomb, considering what’s in the beans.

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  1. tatertot on July 29, 2013 at 13:16

    Good title! You nailed it. Those look delish.

    I learned a bit about RS in beans from this paper: which shows you can nearly double the RS in cooked beans by freezing them for 30 days. Not sure if that’s worth the trouble, but maybe if you made a big batch and wanted to store for later.

    I also learned from here: that soaking the beans causes them to ferment with lactic acid, and not only should you not drain them half-way through, but you should put some of this water into your next batch of beans to hasten the fermentation process–just like you did with the saurkraut juice. The eloquently refer to this process as ‘back-slopping’. I was always a believer you were supposed to drain half-way through or more, maybe just an old wives tale.

    Here’s where it really gets interesting. Most fartage from beans is from raffinose, a trisaccharide that we do not have proper enzymes to digest. Well, it turns out that a long ferment can decrease the raffinose by 88% and increase the RS by 13%. (Table 2 from 2nd link)

    If you took those freshly fermented beans and measured the RS, they would be nearly 143g per kg (14%) but when cooked, it drops to 3.5g/kg (.3%) a 97% decrease! Also, the remaining raffinose decreases by another 36%. However, the insoluble plant fiber (which is all a good prebiotic) increases by 97% when fermented beans are cooked. (Table 4)

    This was all done on black beans. Not sure how it translates to other beans, but if it holds similar, you can see that fermenting the beans is a useful step, and then if you wanted to store them frozen until eaten, you could gain back some RS.

    • Jo on May 9, 2014 at 23:33

      From the chart at it looks like 100g black beans could deliver more than 10g RS. But from the reference you give here it seems like the RS content would be very much less. I get the feeling that the available information on beans and their vicissitudes is too thin on the ground for us to glean useful, reliable information on their RS value. Any comments?

      I eagerly await the book.

  2. Bill on July 29, 2013 at 13:13

    You make decisions based on how you act on received information. When I read about lectins in legumes I made a decision to eliminate, based on what I deduced from the information. I always loved peas, green beans, broad beans, kidney beans etc. I made a choice.
    Your presentation makes me nostalgic but I won’t change my conclusions from 7 years ago. I also miss freshly baked bread, pasta and black forest gateau.
    Having eliminated alopecia areata and some arthritis I’ll stick with being nostalgic.

  3. Richard Nikoley on July 29, 2013 at 13:22

    Bill, The difference for me is that when I indulge in bread, pasta, desserts, I feel like crap. With properly prepared beans, I don’t and quite the contrary.

  4. Richard Nikoley on July 29, 2013 at 13:38


    Really good info. My strategy here is for the fiber and satiation and it’s so easy to dump in a T or two to up the RS content–or even plantain flour to mix things up. However, learning not to dump the water both makes things easier and looks like better. I’ll still use the bit of kraut juice, but then save some water in the fridge for next round. And, this makes sense, since before I recycled the water, I had little bacteria fart bubbles all over the place. Then, none after the water change.

  5. john on July 29, 2013 at 14:01

    thank you for the great info TT – Raffi(nose) is today’s lesson for me. At the current state of sensor development, I have to use my nose to give a take on likely oxygen potential in my hind gut. Too much of a “nutrient” flooding from a particular food type and the emitted sulfurous odors from an out of balance ecosystem give good feedback! Have to identify and fix the issue before the fury of the jury in the household turns sulfurous. The trisaccharide story will get my attention this week!

  6. john on July 29, 2013 at 14:15

    Apologies TT, Forgot to mention that some of the the retrograde starch in Table 4 of MGranito,Ǵ Alvarez might also be classified as RS 4 cf the RS starch levels in the tables of the Chinese diet paper that you looked at some time ago.
    “Table 4 shows the effect of cooking on carbohy-
    drates of previously induced lactic acid fermented
    beans. The insoluble fibre increased by 97.5%, prob-
    ably due to the formation of complex molecules and
    retrograded starch, which are quantified as insoluble
    fibre when the methodology of Prosky et al is used”

  7. Bill on July 29, 2013 at 16:53

    I went through all the Art De Vany, Mark Sisson et al back then. The point I concluded is that if you are gluten intolerant, and I believe to greater or lesser degrees, human beings are, all of us. Then you don’t consume if you want to thrive. Lectin intolerance seems to be on the same track.
    I could go on a bread binge now, but my hair doesn’t fall out for 3 months. I can take a binge, like a hangover if that’s all it is. I follow Kurt Harris’s guidelines. I was there already except for saturated fat. I now eat so much pastured butter it’s obscene….
    Right or wrong, only time will tell for both of us. You are a bigger foodie than me. You love your food and miss things you’ve eliminated more than I do.
    Meanwhile the Muslim Brotherhood establishes more and more in The Whitehouse.
    I’m comfortable where I am diet wise, I wish I could say the same about politics and religion and freedom of speech.
    I miss Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins is sort of doing his bit, but I don’t see any heroes out there apart from Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders and Tommy Robinson and the EDL. RIP Lee Rigby. Fuck your muslim president.
    Sorry got distracted there. I’m sure you’ll understand. Times are a changing.

  8. Joseph on July 29, 2013 at 16:56

    Sometimes it seems that all I really needed to know about health I learner from Clarence Bass.

  9. moorerulz on July 29, 2013 at 21:06

    Richard may be like baby Jesus but Clarence Bass is God to me.

  10. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on July 29, 2013 at 22:49

    1. this sounds very WAP

    2. i never care for bean salad. actually i don’t care for salad (rabbit food). but i may try this one since the dressing looks good. XD

    3. i do “back-slopping” but i don’t change water half way. is it needed?

    i just rinse @ the end then cook. it does not seem to cause me any digestive problem. but then beans is not a staple of my diet.


  11. tatertot on July 30, 2013 at 13:00

    I have been reading a bit on beans in the paleosphere. Sisson seems to think they are OK, but only if properly soaked, and then not really worth the trouble…an occasional food. Jaminet lists them in the ‘Never Eat’ category. Robb Wolf says ‘avoid’, but I can’t find anything specific–the words ‘goiterogenic’ and ‘antinutrients’ are bandied about quite often in his blog when discussing legumes.

    Strangely, all of these guys made these recommendations early on in their paleo career. After a flurry of gut-health/gut microbe blogs, you’d think they might have changed their tune on beans.

    I think beans are easy to villify–they make you FART, they can’t be good. Only poor peasants in Mexico eat beans…do you want to be a poor, mexican peasant? Grok didn’t eat beans!

    I think the real reason we are supposed to hate legumes is because vegans LOVE them.

    I think that beans deserve a closer look. RS,Fiber, protein, and starch all in one tasty little package.

  12. rose fryer on August 8, 2013 at 10:35

    I recently posted a link to a science journalist’s article on resistant starch on the fb page of International Paleo Movement Group, within 15 minutes it was removed. Paleo people against science? wtf?

  13. Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2013 at 11:21


    Dismiss them. You can search the blog for my own experience with their psychodouche.

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