On top of that, however, preparing your foods the right way to encourage proper digestion is key–and that brings me to 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.
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, but most people find that when they add too many of them to their diet that they can't digest them well.
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 and didn't like meat, and it really made me queasy to prepare meat.
Add that to my 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 at almost every meal.
Hummus was a real fave, and ground been in a recipe would quickly be replaced with beans.
One of our favorite snacks was Roasted Chick Peas. They're great, but not much fun to make in the summertime.
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. And even though we have been moving low carb and aren't eating as many beans these days, we do still love them.
Here are some of our favorites with more to come:
- Pizza Hummus
- Savory Hummus
- Fast and Yummy Bean Dip
- Bean Fudge
- Adzuki Bean Shepherd's Pie
- Buckwheat Lentil Crackers
- Lentil Recipes – from Breakfast to Dessert
- Indian Lentils
What is so great about beans?
They are nutrition powerhouses.
Beans are very high in fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates.
They 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?
They 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.
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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 and Why to Store Prepared Beans.
2. Cook for two meals at once (or for dinner and dessert at once!)
Make up a super-duper large batch of beans and make some of my great Bean Fudge. It's a great no-bake dessert, perfect for summer days (and busy winter ones too!)
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!)
Varieties that do not need soaking are: lentils (red, green, French (they take a bit more cooking time), black-eyed peas, mung, split peas (green or yellow), snow cap and soldier. I've tried all of the above except for snow cap and soldier. Hmmm..gotta get working on that!
How To De-Gas Beans
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Drain and rinse the beans
4. Cook the beans with ajwain or epazote (See my post on Ajwain and Epazote). I boil the beans first, then skim off the scum/foam that builds up on top and then add the ajwain or epazote 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 :-)!
Good for you, good for your budget and good for your family.
More Digestion-Boosting Tips:
- How to Increase Nutrition with a Dehydrator
- How to Soak Grains
- How to Soak Nuts and Seeds
- What is the Best Probiotic?
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cookbookman/5535638066/
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