how do you deal with that "bean problem"? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 04-14-2003, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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... So I've been cooking more beans lately. But dh says the gas pains are keeping him up at night.

Poor guy! But he's a sport... hasn't boycotted my cooking yet.

Any ideas to make things easier on the digestive system?

Wife and Mama who homeschools-- mostly in the kitchen!
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#2 of 10 Old 04-14-2003, 02:24 AM
 
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This is what I read in Cooking the Whole Foods Way about reducing gas from beans:

Rinse the beans.

Soak in water. Drain that water. Use fresh water to cook in.

Add a piece of kombu (a seaweed - can be found at Whole Foods or the like) to the bottom of the pot when you cook the beans.

I do this, and I can't say I've done a side by side comparison, but my dh doesn't seem to complain about beans as much as he used to.
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#3 of 10 Old 04-14-2003, 02:53 AM
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Don't quick-soak, as is directed on some packages. Beans should be soaked 12-24 hours, preferrably in warm water with 1 tbsp lemon juice or whey per cup of bean stirred in, leave in a warm place (I put the bowl in the oven, turned off). Pour off water, and add fresh. If using chick-peas, peel off skin. Bring to boil and let boil 10 minutes. When foam develops, skim off! Reduce heat, cover and cook 4-8 hours.
This may seem like a lot of time and effort, but it is the only way to break down complex sugars (which contribute to gas), neutralize phytic acid (left unneutralized it combines with minerals in the digestive tract, making them unavailable for proper absorption, thus causing mineral deficiencies and osteoporosis-this is why many macrobiotic followers who rely heavily on grains, of which most is unsoaked, develop this condition), and enzyme-inhibitors. At first, digesting beans that have not been prepared for this long, may not seem too difficult, but there are many people, including me, who find that after a couple of years of eating a more wholesome diet with whole grains and legumes (which have not been properly prepared) digestion becomes weakened. So, it's very important to follow these steps. All traditional cultures always prepared their grains, legumes, seeds and nuts by soaking, fermenting and sprouting to remove antinutrients that cause intestinal distress.

Of course, most of us don't have the time to do this every day, so cook in big batches and freeze.

BTW, lentils only need 7 hours of soaking, and is the most nutritious of legumes.

Adding seaweed my be a good idea for some, but for westerners who are not accustomed to seaweed, this maybe too difficult to digest since they are made up of very long complex sugar chains.

Josefina.
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#4 of 10 Old 04-14-2003, 03:05 AM
 
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You might also just try changing the kinds of beans you're cooking. Lentils, for example, tend to rattle the rafters around here (ahem) but pinto beans seem a bit more benign. (beanign?)

See if there's a type of bean you all tolerate a little better. Also, the fresher the beans are the less gassy they tend to be so try to figure out which store in town has the hottest bulk section and buy there.
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#5 of 10 Old 04-14-2003, 03:10 AM
 
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You get used to eating beans and the "problem" disappears. I am Puerto-Rican by the way, and have been eating beans since before I can remember.
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#6 of 10 Old 04-14-2003, 03:18 AM
 
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You get used to eating beans and the "problem" disappears. I am Puerto-Rican by the way, and have been eating beans since before I can remember.
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#7 of 10 Old 04-14-2003, 11:27 AM
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You can also mash or puree the beans until you're more used to digesting them.
Also, unless you're vegan, a small amount of meat along with legumes and grains aids in nutrient absorption.

Josefina.
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#8 of 10 Old 04-14-2003, 12:00 PM
 
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drink pineapple juice
then you and the family can play hawaiian music!
(JOKE...I couldn't resist my dear FIL favorite fart joke!)
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#9 of 10 Old 04-14-2003, 02:23 PM
 
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A few ways to improve digestion of beans that I use:

1 - cook beans with a strip of kombu as mentioned above. You don't need to eat the kombu but it tenderizes the beans and makes it more digestible. (Kombu is a good source of minerals though so I always eat it).

2 - Season with ginger - ginger aids the digestive system

3 - Season bean dish with miso. Miso contains lactobacilius and other beneficial bacteria and enzymes that aid digestion. It also adds a delicious sweet/salty taste. Add miso after soup or beans are cooked as boiling will destroy the bacteria.

4 - I second the long soaking method and discarding the soak water.

Good luck . . . .

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#10 of 10 Old 04-14-2003, 02:24 PM
 
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I'll second the kombu suggestion.
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