How to De-Gas Beans

Do you love beans, but they don't--er--love you? Find out how to de-gas beans easily to benefit not only your digestion, but also your friendships!

Dried Beans in a Pot

So yes, today I'm sharing with you all a very important post--how to de-gas beans. And this is about more than just stopping bad smells--this is about health.

Of course good gut health is key to your body getting the nutrition you need. If you don't digest your food well, then you can't use the nutrients from it.  Probiotics are key to having good gut health, but so is getting rid of things like candida, heavy metals, and taking care to improve liver health so your body can function optimally.

However, preparing your foods the right way to encourage proper digestion is also important--and that including things like knowing how to soak grains, how to soak nuts, and this post on how to de-gas beans.

Beans, beans, the magical fruit....

It's a funny little ditty, but a not so funny reality.

Some people try to just eat fewer beans, and some avoid them completely, while others buy things like Bean-o and dump it on their food while eating.

Well, here is a better, and I must say, more effective (and much less expensive) solution to your bean-eating problems.

Digestion and Beans

Having good digestion is key to having good health, whether you or a loved one has chronic health conditions or not.

We have been, for the past number of years, working on our whole family's digestion by learning more about digestive enzymes, probiotics, fermentation of foods and soaking beans, nuts and seeds, and even soaking grains.

It's all part of the walk towards better health.

There are so many great things about beans, that it is a good idea to try to add more of them to your diet. However, most people find that when they add too many of them to their diet that they can't digest them well.

four columns of dried beans - black beans, navy beans, cherry trout beans, and white kidney beans

 

Rinsed Beans in a Colander
Beans in a colander after being rinsed.

Benefits of Beans

Just in case you wondered why adding more beans to your diet is a good thing to consider, here are some great reasons.

Beans are nutrition powerhouses.

Beans are very high in fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates.

Beans are cheap, cheap cheap.

Even the price of heirloom organic beans pales in comparison to that of meat.  Now, I am not saying that you shouldn't eat meat, but beans sure can help you stretch your food budget.

And who doesn't need a bit of stretch these days?

Beans have a super-long shelf life.

In these days of concern about inflationary food prices with folks storing up food for leaner days ahead, beans are a logical choice.  They may take longer to cook as they age, but they do not spoil.

Why Do Beans Cause Gas?

Beans cause gas because the have sugars in them, called oligosaccharides, that the body can't break down completely. Oligosaccharides are larger molecules than other sugars but the human body doesn't have enzymes to break them down in the small intestine.

The oligosaccharides travel to the large intestines undigested and they are then digested there, which causes intestinal gas. For the same reason, if other foods end up in the large intestine without being digested, they can cause gas as well.

To prevent gas when you are eating beans, you can eat beans as they are and take some of the enzyme that digests oligosaccharides with your meals. The enzyme is derived from the fungus Aspergillus niger and is sold under the name of Beano as well as under other names.

If you don't want to spend a huge amount on Beano, you need these tips on how to de-gas beans.

Beans, Digestion, and Our Family

In our house this was a huge problem.  I used to be vegan, and my husband basically was as well.  He will not eat egg dishes (anything where you can really tell that there is egg in it like this Dairy-free Quiche, or this Sweet Potato Frittata--those are just a total no go with him). He also didn't like meat much, and it really made me feel pretty queasy to prepare meat.

Add to that our son's life-threatening allergies to dairy and eggs, and a VERY tight budget, and you end up with a diet heavily fortified with beans.

We used to eat beans literally at almost every meal.

This Sesame-free Hummus was a real fave, and ground beef in any recipe would quickly be replaced with beans.

One of our favorite snacks was Roasted Chickpeas, and my Bean Fudge was often found on our table as a healthy dessert.

Gradually we have moved away from our "leaning vegan days", though we still don't have a kitchen laden with eggs and dairy. However, even though we have been moving lower carb and aren't eating as many beans these days, we do still love them, meaning that knowing how to de-gas beans is still something that is crucial for us.

Time Saving Tips for Beans

1.  Cook beans in bulk

One easy way to save time cooking beans is to cook some ahead and store for future use.  Read my tips on How to Store Cooked Beans.

2.  Cook for two meals at once

It is a bit of extra work to cook beans rather than just opening up a bunch of cans, but

Make up a super-duper large batch of beans and store them for future use.

3.  Some beans do not need to be pre-soaked

These varieties are, of course, great for busy days (or days when you just plum forgot to plan for dinner!)

Bean varieties that do not need soaking:

lentils - red, green, French (they take a bit more cooking time)
black-eyed peas
mung
split peas (green or yellow)
soldier
and also snow cap.

I've tried all of the above except for snow cap and soldier.  Hmmm..gotta get working on that!

Pinterest collage for How To De-Gas Beans post
four columns of dried beans - black beans, navy beans, cherry trout beans, and white kidney beans

How To De-Gas Beans

Print Pin Rate

Instructions

  • Soak (over night) or for at least 8 hours.  Just cover the beans in filtered water, covering them with at least enough water so you can touch the beans with your middle finger's tip and have the water cover your second knuckle.  If you are planning to have beans for dinner, you can always start soaking them in the morning when you wake up and then cook them starting 8 hours later.
  • Alternatively, speed soak in a pressure cooker (you can soak beans in only 2 minutes (yes, that's right, I said 2 minutes!!) in one of these amazing kitchen tools.  You just cover the beans with filtered water (as instructed above) and cook on high for 2 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse the beans
  • Cook beans with any of the following:
    ajwain or epazote (See my post on Ajwain and Epazote).
    ginger
    cumin
    fennel
    asafoetida (an Indian spice that is a good substitute for onion or garlic). There aren't any real measurements that I could find for any of the other seasonings besides ajwain and epazote, but we typically cook 6 cups of dried beans at a time and use 1 teaspoon fennel and 1 teaspoon ginger powder and our beans are pretty "tootless" 🙂
    For ajwain, you use 1/2 teaspoon for every 2 cups of cooked beans (or 2/3 cup dried)
    For epazote, use 1 tablespoon for every 1 cup dried beans.
    For the spices, generally we use about 1 heaping teaspoon of spices for every 3 cups of dried beans.
    For best results, boil the beans first, then skim off the scum/foam that builds up on top and then add the spice(s) in the correct proportions.
    If you do all of the above, you will find that any tooting will for sure be down to a minimum.  And there just may be no toots at all.

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

Can You De-gas Canned Beans?

To reduce the effects of gassy components from canned beans, rinse the beans twice before using them in a recipe. It's likely not as effective as de-gassing dried beans, but it should help.

Bean Recipes

Here are some of our favorite bean recipes (surely there will be more in the future!)

More Digestion-Boosting Tips

I've mentioned a few of these already, but these are some other topics regarding digestion that might be of interest.

Good for you, good for your budget, and good for your family (and friends)--get it? Like maybe you can keep all of your friends and not get disowned--even if you eat a lot of beans.

Do Beans Give You Gas?
Got another de-Gassing tip to share?

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




 

182 Comments

  1. I like to mix one can each of navy, pinto, black & white kidney beans.
    I add Mrs Dash, chicken stock & other seasonings. How can I “degas” these ???

    1. Hi there. If you do canned beans, really the only thing you can do it rinse them before using in a recipe--twice is best. I am going to add this to the post - thanks for asking this!

  2. Thanks for the tip! One other thing I've heard is to use a 1/4 tsp.of baking soda per cup of beans. So in your case 6 C.would equal using 1.5 tsp.soda. the rumor here was to add that to whatever u prefer amount of water to cover beans,, bring to boil,, and then let soak overnight as we all do normally. Of course ya know toss that water, rinse,, and cook as u do. I use 2 qts of chicken broth for mine. I'm doing a pot of beans w/Earl Campbell hot links cut up in them tomorrow for the superbowl. I hope this helps to save my living room from smelling like a methane infused dairy farm! I always use cumin,( being a Texan),so I'm good there, along with rotel, and chunks of onion and jalapeño. Add cooked Hot breakfast sausage and black pepper and yall too may find it doesn't matter what ya back end does, as long as the mouth enjoyed eating it! Lmao jk there but hey it is beans we speak of ,so just enjoy and hopefully no gas.

  3. Hello Adrienne,
    Would you please tell me how much ginger,cumin, or fennel I should use in relation to the portion of dry beans? In addition is it best to use all three or only one?
    Thank you, Claudine

    1. Hi there. Good question! I need to revisit that post and redo some things. I just added more info there--hopefully that helps. I don't know about using a variety of spices but we typically use ginger and fennel now. Enjoy and hope to see you around again!

  4. I've heard about ajwain and epazote before, but haven't tried either one yet. I have, however, tried putting a little strip of dried kombu seaweed in the water with the beans and that seemed to help, as well.

  5. My grandmother and mother and I have cooked beans and also at the endof cooking added baking soda it will foam up..sometimes real bad and sometimes not much at all ...a small pot 1 to 2 teaspoons or large pot up to were the fizz is down and you keep stirring until it almost stops foaming..sometimes you still get a little gas and other times you don't...they say gas is good and means your healthy women are healthier than men..

    1. Hi there - thanks for this! So having gas in your stomach means you are healthy? My understanding is that it means your digestion isn't working well. Please tell me where you heard this - thanks!

  6. I read your article, and I thought that I finally found an answer to fixing ham and beans for my family. I soaked overnight, drained and rinsed this morning, boiled until they foamed and drained and rinsed again. Then I cooked with ginger and cumin until done. We ate with cornbread. Within two hours we both had gas. I'm looking for another solution!

    1. Very funny.

      But truthfully, yes, I have, but not about gas in beans ;). Assuming you won't get this email response since your name is most likely fake and your email address is odd, but thought I'd play along with the joke.

  7. I learned from my mom and grandma long ago to peel and slice a potato in half, then quarter the two halves and put them in the beans at the beginning of cooking. Once the beans are done, remove and discard the potato pieces. Voila, no gas! I don't even change the soak water before cooking. Only negative I have found is two fold: A) reheating leftovers brings back the gas by the third day, and B) my natural disdain for throwing away what appears to be perfectly good potatoes, however, I don't even feed them to my dogs, as that gives them a bad case of gas.

  8. I tried soaking lentils with a small teaspoon bicarb. Then I threw the water off and cooked them. They foamed a bit and became much browner but tasted fine and no gas.

          1. Its a more positive step than guessing even though I am not a big bean eater (yet). It may open a wider menu variety for me knowing I won't be worried about the side (or back) effects of consuming something so healthy and nutritious.

            1. Sorry but I don't follow your comment "it's a more positive step than guessing." What did you mean by that?

    1. Sorry again for not being clear. I’ve been guessing what was happening and now I know that soaking beans in water with bicarbonate something soda before cooking will, appreciate apparently, eliminate the gas.

      Unless i manage to ingest something else along with the degassed beans...

  9. I can't seem to find anything definitive on this but I have recently started freezing extra beans to keep them longer. What I have noticed since doing this is that almost instantly there has been less gas from eating them. These are cooked beans like navy beans in tomato sauce or others that are canned but not cooked.

    I recently tested this by taking a few spoonfuls of canned beans before freezing them and was rewarded within a short time with more gas than I'm tankful for. Anyway...just putting this out to see if anyone else noticed it. I will continue freezing extras regardless because I don't end up throwing out food that I don't use up before it spoils.

    1. Hi there! I wonder if it has something to do w/ the resistant starch. I know that cooling beans will increase this. You are reheating them, correct?

      1. Hi,

        Thank you for the fast reply. Yes, I usually do reheat them before eating them. Especially when they are in pasta sauce, chili, or stews.

        The Navy beans are more warmed by something like fried eggs on top but I have reheated them in a saucepan.

        1. My understanding about resistant starch and digestibility is that cooking, cooking and then eating cold or warm helps with digestion. I'm not an expert but this would make sense to me. You are so welcome!

  10. Hi!
    I do an extra step and with that added, the procedure has worked quite well for me. I stopped eating legumes a while ago because they give me really bad gas. But as it's a tradition here, I made lentilst for New Year's just the normal way, without these steps, and they were, as usual, "killing me" the day after... So I was apprehensive about eating them again but wanted give this process a go and to my great surprise and delight, I didn',t even notice more gas than usual. So after soaking (I soaked plain brown lentils for about 24 hours) I cook them for 10 mins, then I drain them and throw away the first cooking water. For beans it should be after cooking them for 30mins. After that I cook them with ajwain and ginger until soft; then proceed to make whatever dish with them (I made curry with coconut milk and tomato paste). I recommend throwing away the first cooking water, even if u might lose a little bit of the nutrition of the stuff, for me it's definitely worth it because otherwise I don't / can't it legumes at all 🙂

  11. This is a fantastic website, might you be involved in doing an interview regarding just how you created it? If so e-mail me!

  12. I tried the method above using ajwain. It didn't work for us, and I didn't like the flavor the spice. With any of the spices it would be good to put them in a small spice bag while cooking or you end up with them in your final product...which is fine if you don't mind. Think I'll try the ACV since I know it helps with soaking of grains...maybe beans too? Thanks Adrianne et al!

    1. Sorry about that--we found that the ajwain was fine but the epazote left more of a flavor. Maybe try the others? Hope you find a solution that works well for you!