We all know the saying….”Beans. Beans. Good for your heart. The more you eat them the more you…..”
It's true. Legumes contain a special sugar our body is unable to break down which leads to gas. But with so many healthy benefits (folate, potassium, magnesium, fiber & protein to name a few), not to mention being a go-to source of protein for vegetarians, they are hard to resist. If you struggle with gas but want to try and keep legumes on your plate, here are a few tricks you can employ to help reduce their gas-causing properties. Yes, you will have to make them from scratch, but the extra effort can be worth it.
Remember, like grains, making legumes in large batches and pulling from them throughout the week is an incredible time saver. Try cooking them in a rice cooker and freezing any leftovers for a quick meal.
Here are the tips:
1.Soak your legumes. Start with dried versions which you can buy in the bulk section of most grocery stores (Buying dried legumes is also a great way to save some cash as they are much less expensive then the canned version and much better for you). Place the legumes in a container, cover them with 3-4 inches of water and put in the fridge to soak for 3-4 hours (I usually soak mine overnight). Drain the water completely before cooking to remove the harder to digest starches.
2. Help the cooking process along by placing a large piece of seaweed (Kombu or Wakame) in the pot while you cook the beans. This will help make the beans more digestible. Adding slices of fresh ginger or fennel seeds will also have a similar effect.
3. Skim off any foam that comes to the surface during the cooking process. Again, this will help remove some of the gas-causing particles.
4. When serving, mix your legumes with other grains/ pseudo-grains, like brown rice or quinoa. The combination will help with digestion.
Cooking your legumes using the steps above will not completely eliminate the gas-causing properties, but when you love nothing more than a delicious homemade hummus, it can certainly help.