See Also: Beans
Beans Stuff to Know
From Dorothy McNett's recipes at www.dorothymcnett.com.
1. There are so many varieties of dried beans available. Try them to see which ones you favor, and your body favors. Generally the sweeter beans are easier to digest. Some of the sweeter bean varieties are Anasazi, Black Eyed Peas, and Lentils.
2. The sweeter beans such as Anasazi do not necessarily need to be soaked but they still require 3-4 hours of cooking time, unless using a pressure cooker. No matter which bean variety, they need to be cooked to the soft stage where they can be mashed with a fork. Otherwise, they will be hard to digest.
3. If you soak beans overnight in cold water, such as Limas or Navy Beans, it is best to discard the soaking water and start the cooking process with fresh water. Yes, you will be discarding some of the minerals from the beans that may have leached out, but you also are getting rid of about 80% of the oligosaccharides that may cause flatulence.
4. There are some herbs that are known to help with the digestion and thus reduce flatulence. Mexican epazote is the most effective. You can grow this herb in your own garden! You can also get it dried at some grocery stores. Generally, use 2 teaspoons of the dried leaves to one batch of beans during the cooking process. Bay leaf also helps, but is not as effective as epazote.
5. Eat beans more regularly so that your lower digestive tract will adjust and you will then reap the high nutritional benefits from this great food product. Refried beans are a natural as then they are actually cooked twice, softening the starches and fibers even more.
6. Pressure cooking beans is a great time saver, and seems to help cook the fibers and starches perfectly in a shorter time frame. I do not pre-soak the beans when pressure cooking, but if you wish a softer creamy texture to the beans, go ahead and presoak using either of the methods below. Follow your manufacturers directions or look at my recipes for Pressure Cooking Beans. Just as in standard stove-top cooking if the beans are of the sweeter varieties they will cook faster with less water. If using the large pintos and other such beans, add more water or broth and cook longer.
7. To presoak beans: Wash beans. Add water to cover completely and let soak overnight. Drain soaking liquid before cooking and add fresh water. Or, instead of long soaking, wash beans, add water to cover, bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand at least 1 hour. Drain and cook with fresh water.
8. Or, carefully shop for canned beans that are not full of salt and preservatives. Drain, rinse, and use.
Recipe created 2008-04-10.
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