Thursday, September 29, 2011

Baking Soda

Many of us (even our mothers, grandmothers) swear by Baking soda for preserving colour of vegetables and for shortening cooking time of beans.
Ever wondered how cooking time comes down just by adding a pinch of it?
Actually, Baking soda increases absorption of water in beans and softens beans further, thus reducing time taken for cooking.
One more reason for using soda in cooking beans is, many people believe, it prevents flatulence caused by beans.
We also use it as leavening agent in cakes, breads to raise their dough. Soda reacts with liquid and produces carbon dioxide bubbles which gets trapped by dough.
These all are good reasons for using soda but there is a negative side. Baking soda reacts with nutrients present in food and destroys (almost) vitamin B (mainly thiamin). So when you are cooking with soda in beans, we sure you are not getting any of its vitamin B which is vital for our body.
Though goods are outnumbering bad, losing Vitamins is a big deal. Goods can be achieved using other methods but vitamin loss can not be reversed.
Colour of vegetables can be preserved by proper cooking time and proper ways (like cooking on low flame) while flatulence can be managed by not eating beans in dinner and combining them with lighter foods.

Image taken from Internet.

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  1. Thanks for sharing Shalini. I try to avoid baking soda while boiling beans as much as I can but I had no idea about it's side effects. I am glad I read this.


  2. @Tanya: Thanks Tanya.
    Without adding Baking soda, its take longer to cook but this is better than loosing all vitamins.


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