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Knock The Wind Out Of Your Beans

November 1, 2011 by Kenton Delisle

Knock The Wind Out Of Your Beans

Beans are one of the most underrated ingredients. Very inexpensive, very versatile and very shelf-stable, beans can be made into delicious dishes from breakfast to dessert. They are no nutritional slouch either as they are packed with nutrition (protein, fibre and folate to name just a few nutrients). Whether it’s basic beans and rice, cheerful chili, complex curries, or top secret baked bean recipes, beans are a great way to increase your food creativity repertoire on the cheap. To extend a meal by making a side dish into an entrée, try adding beans to a salad.

Beans can also replace some or all of the meat you might use in a dish. This saves money and adds variety without sacrificing the heartiness of your meal.   Why wouldn’t you want to dive in and start creating a cornucopia of bean dishes? Oh, that. Beans, beans, the musical fruit, The more you eat, the more you… If your reluctance to embrace beans is their potential for a gaseous experience (which does not deter me from having beans), there is hope. Here are the two main reasons people may experience gas from beans and ways to reduce the ‘experience’:

 

Reason Solution
1) You are not used to that much fibre in one meal.
  • Eat more beans...really.  Just start slowly to minimize your symptoms.  Eating more fibre more regularly will help build up the number of good bacteria in the intestine that breakdown some of the fibre that can cause gas.  Fedd them and they will come.
2) You can't digest some of the carbohydrates (oligosaccharides) in beans
  • Rinse canned veans before cooking them.
  • Soak dry beans overnight (or for at least 6 hours) before cooking.  The bean actually starts to germinate and breakdown the stubborn starches for you.  I know, cool hey?
  • Not to mention, soaking also allows beans to slowly absorb the liquid they need to cook evenly and completely.  This also helps them to not lose their skins or split open.
  • Use a pressure cooker, if you have one.  You can have similar results to soaking them by using pressure.

So why not try them? An affordable, nutritious, delicious versatile food - bring on the beans! Have you “bean” there, done that?

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