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I have been using kombu in my beans for a couple of years and I love it: the beans are more tender and easier to digest, and the pot liquor is richer. I've noticed that there are kelp granules and powder for sale in a lot of health food stores. Two questions:

  1. Do all varieties of kelp help beans the way that kombu does in particular?
  2. Can kelp granules or powder be used in place of whole kombu when cooking beans?

Thanks!

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Curious, I've never heard of using kombu. I usually use a small amount of hing/asafoetida to reduce discomfort and baking soda to soften. –  Matthew Jan 13 at 18:35
    
Interesting about hing -- I'll have to investigate! According to Miss Vickie, baking soda degrades vitamin content, though she doesn't cite her sources: missvickie.com/howto/beans/bakingsoda.htm –  user22524 Jan 13 at 23:19

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I don't know that there are studies on using different kinds of kelp with beans, but I have used both kombu strips and kelp granules interchangeably when cooking beans. The results seem to be the same either way.

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