How to cook beans from dry

March 14, 2013

Chickpea_salad

Beans are rich in protein, and fiber and are an inexpensive way to feel satisfied. They are a great alternative to meat for "Meatless Mondays", but the drawback for many people is that beans give them gas. 

The reason for the gas is that beans contain a sugar called Rhabinose. Our bodies lack the enzyme to breakdown this sugar, so when it arrives in your intestines, the good bacteria there have a field day and ferment the sugar causing gas buildup and the inevitable "music" that goes along with beans. 

The remedy: remove the sugar. Canned beans sit in that sugar infused liquid for their entire shelf-life. So if you are in a rush, or forget to soak your dried beans ahead of time, open up a can of beans, drain it into a colander and rinse them until the water runs clear before using them in your favourite recipe. This usually helps to minimize or eliminate the gas-causing sugar from canned beans, some people will still respond.

Cooking beans from dry doesn't have to be a disaster. If you are organized enough to know that you are making a recipe with beans in it for dinner tomorrow, than you are organized enough to cook your own beans. Here's how:

Dried_beans

Place 1 cup of dried beans into a big bowl or measuring cup. Sprinkle 1 tsp baking soda over top, or place a 2-inch piece of wakame or kombu seaweed in the bowl. Cover the beans with enough filtered water that it is 1-2 inches above t

he beans. Swish through so baking soda is mixed in. Soak overnight. This allows the rhabinose to leach out of the beans.

In the morning, place beans into colander and rinse thoroughly until water runs clear. Place beans into a pot and cover with filtered water. Bring to a boil. turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Then turn off heat, cover and loow beans to stay on the warm element until cool. When you are preparing lunch or dinner, drain and rinse the beans once more and use in your favourite recipe. 

This works for beans, chickpeas, lentils (though lentils usually don't need as much cooking time).

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