how to cook legumes

how to cook legumes


The Proper Cooking Method for Dried Beans to Reduce the Gas

Dry beans are an excellent source of plant protein, contain no saturated fat or cholesterol, and provide nutrients such as iron, potassium, folate and zinc. Despite being tasty and nutritious, some people avoid eating beans because they cause gas. Bacteria in your large intestine break down the molecular components of beans and release a gassy byproduct composed of carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and sometimes methane. Reduce the severity and frequency of flatulence associated with consuming beans by using proper preparation and cooking methods.


Before preparing dried beans for consumption, spread the beans out on a towel or pour them into a colander. Pick through the beans, removing any stones, stems or other debris. Rinse the beans under cold water to rinse away any dirt or chemicals.


Water is the key to reducing the gas associated with eating dried beans. Soaking dried beans in water initiates the breakdown of the starches that cause intestinal discomfort. Soak beans in three times their volume of water. In other words, soak one cup of beans in three cups of water. Use a large soaking container, as these beans will swell about threefold.

Some people prefer soaking dried beans in cold water for six hours before cooking to reduce gas associated with legume consumption. Recipes often call for soaking beans overnight. We suggest soaking the beans in warmed water. Pour the appropriate amount of cold water in a large metal pan and add the beans. Heat the beans and water on the stove just until they come to a gentle boil. Cover the pan and remove from heat. Soak the beans in warm water for one to two hours, until the beans have swollen to about three times their original size. Cook the beans immediately after soaking to prevent fermentation, which compounds gas.


Strain the soaked beans through a colander and discard the soaking water, which contains some of the compounds that cause gas. Add fresh water and return the beans to the pan. Bring the water and beans to a boil, and then immediately reduce heat and let simmer for 60 to 90 minutes, or until tender.


Adding spices to cooking beans reduces gas. you can add to Beans, adding anise, bay leaf, cilantro or dill decreases flatulence associated with beans. Cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, rosemary, ginger, lemongrass, oregano and turmeric also diminish intestinal distress from eating beans.

Check the beans frequently, as soaked beans sometimes cook faster than expected. Pinch a bean between your fingers or mash with a fork to test -- you can easily smash a properly cooked bean. Test a few beans to ensure even cooking.