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Soybeans are very versatile and there are many ways to culture them to improve their digestibility. One of the first steps to being able to use soybeans is hulling them. Some specialty markets and online retailers sell soybean halves or pre-hulled soybeans. If you don’t have access to those, or don’t want to pay the premium price, there are several ways to hull your beans.
This method requires the use of a meat mill, or a grain mill with a very coarse setting. Measure out the amount of dry beans called for in your recipe.
Grain mill: Set your mill to the coarsest setting. Run a small amount of beans through to test the results. The beans should come out just split, with a few beans split into quarters. If you are getting a lot of small particles, your mill may not work for this job.
Meat mill: Place the largest plate in your mill and run a small batch of beans through to test. Like the grain mill, your beans should come out just split. If you are getting a lot of smaller pieces, this method will not work with your mill.
To finish removing the hulls, put the beans in a large bowl or cooking pot. Fill with water and swirl. Give the beans a brief moment to settle and drain off the water and hulls into a colander in your sink. Repeat the process, occasionally massaging the beans until you have most of the hulls removed. It may take 5 or more rinses to get most of the hulls. Then soak and cook the beans according to your recipe.
Food processor: Soak the dry beans for 10 to 15 minutes in fresh water. Fit the dough (blunt) blade into the food processor. Fill halfway to the “liquid fill” line and add water up to the liquid line. Turn on the food processor and let it run for a few minutes. Turn off and check the beans. The majority should be split and the hulls should be floating to the surface. If you still have a lot of un-split beans, run the machine again. Follow the instructions above for rinsing away the hulls.
Overnight soaking: Measure out the amount of beans called for in your recipe. Soak them in fresh water overnight or 10 to 12 hours. Make sure you have enough water and a large enough pot as the beans can triple in size. When they have soaked, use a potato masher or your hands to work the beans. The hulls will start to float to the top. Keep working the beans for at least 5 minutes. Swirl the water and drain into a colander in the sink. Refill the bowl or pot and repeat the process until the majority of the beans are split and hulls removed. You can then continue on with your recipe.