Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Eight tips for beans without gas

Here are a few tips for cooking dried beans that are easier to digest (=less gas!).

1. Soak beans overnight or 8+ hours. Yes, you'll have to plan ahead for this one. Cook extras and freeze the rest, so next time all you have to do is thaw! :)

2. Soak beans in plenty of water. At least 10 cups of water per pound of beans is recommended. If it's not too much bother, you can also change the soaking water during the soak. I wouldn't set my alarm clock to do this in the middle of the night though. ;)

3. Cook beans in plenty of water. Use a large pot, and try to keep the water level at least double the level of the soaked beans.

Cooked pinto beans with sour cream and cheese on top... yum!!
Cooked pinto beans topped with mozzarella and sour cream

4. Cook beans slowly. Resist the temptation to turn the heat on HIGH! I usually bring my beans to a boil at medium heat and then cook on low (just enough heat to simmer) until tender.

5. Cook beans long enough. I find that a lot of the estimates aren't long enough for my climate/beans. Throw out the book -- just cook until tender!

If the skins start falling off, that's okay. Keep going. Your tender, easily digested beans might not look picture perfect. Mine are usually falling apart a little by the time they're completely soft. You can keep the stirring to a minimum, though, to avoid unnecessary mush. ;)

6. Wait until beans are fully cooked before adding sweet or acidic ingredients to them. Tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, molasses, and lemon juice will prevent your beans from cooking and becoming soft and tender and easy to digest. :)

Cooked pinto beans... so yummy!!
Gradually include more beans in your diet,
so your system can adjust

7. Don't use old beans, or beans that haven't been stored properly (away from heat and light and air). They won't cook up right no matter how long you cook them!

8. I don't usually do this one since it seems rather wasteful (in energy) to me, but another way to de-gas your dried beans is to discard the cooking water half-way through and start again with fresh water for the rest of the cooking.

More reading on the topic of beans:

Cost break-down for my favorite baked beans recipe

My mom's chili, our staple all-purpose chili recipe :)

Crystal has a week-long bean-focused menu on her blog :)

Beans in a pot!
"Beans in a pot": Yummy Pintos! :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog (no recipes please; come back tomorrow for the In-Season Recipe Swap of recipes featuring milk!). Link to this post, and then add your page's link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed at my discretion. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Comments

Ive always heard put just a pinch of baking soda in them while they cook also.

I start soaking my beans early in the morning (6 or 7) and change the water several times during the day. Since I'm awake, it's easier than changing water in the middle of the night. Beans usually only take 2 hours to cook if they've been soaked, so I can still get them finished by dinner.

We never have gas issues with dried beans prepared this way. Once in a while I'll use a can of beans and totally regret it and remember why dried is worth the effort!

Great post. I do however think it is a matter of adjusting your body to eating beans. Here in Brazil beans is served with every meal and I never hear anyone complain about gases. I personally don't eat them but when I did I never had any problems.

Linda in Brazil - A Mommy in Brazil

I have a post about using beans with a few other ways to cook dried beans, if you're interested. www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/04/06/monday-mission-legume-recommend-some-beans/

Since Mr. Linky seems to be down, here's my link for today's kitchen tips: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/05/05/a-successful-edible-experiment-turkey-pot-pie/ I'll check back later to link up properly.

Your bean post is great! Thanks for sharing the link. :)

The other link goes to a 404-not found page! Just wanted to let you know so you could fix it. :)

Thank you! The post mysteriously disappeared overnight. It's back up. The link may be slightly different: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/05/05/a-successful-experiment-turkey-pot-pie/

Mr. Linky is down all across the blogosphere -- old ones too! They're all gone... :(

Mr. Linky has been temperamental in the past... I think the links usually come back eventually... :) Links in comments might just be the way to go though. My site is refusing to load, so I disabled the Linky for now... :P

We put a teaspoon or so of baking soda in the beans while they are cooking. It helps get the gas out.

Ok do you not have a Mr Linky anymore? I'm not seeing any participants.

Also, in the future can you give us more of a heads-up when changing the rules please? I write many of my posts in advance and while I do write actual Kitchen tips, this week's was a recipe :) (go figure) so I have nothing to share this week.

I do have Mr Linky up, but it seems there has been an issue with it not appearing in the last hour or so (I'm not sure since I wasn't at the computer that whole time; it was fine last I checked!). :)

It should come back, and in the mean time people can leave their links in a comment. :)

I mentioned the change in rules three times over the past 8 days. I thought that would be sufficient notice! What would you recommend? :)

Weird I only caught it once.

well the linky is still off so here is my link for the week. It's about baby feeding made easy! http://cookingwithlittles.blogspot.com/2009/05/simplified-baby-feediing.html

Tereza

What a CUTE picture! :) Neat idea! Less dishes! :D

Where's Mr Linky?
I'm also having a tough time getting your page to load!
:-)

I'm hoping it resolves itself soon... and I might just do comment-links in the future if the Mr Linky issues continue. :|

Great tips, Tammy! The only time I switch the water on my beans, is when I dump out the soaking water. Then I cook them in new water.

Mr. Linky still seems to be down at the moment. I'll try to check back later.

I put up my list of tips today for Getting More Fruits/Veggies: http://frugalgranola.blogspot.com/2009/05/kitchen-tip-tuesday-getting-your-fruits.html

(One part of the tip, I had to explain with a "recipe" (throw everything in the blender)- I hope that's ok for today!) Sorry! I did want to make sure to not have my whole post be "just a recipe" though, hoping that's what you meant. :)

Blessings, Michele

Your post looks great. :) Thanks for participating!

I don't understand.

It said after I posted the link to my kitchen tip I was supposed to leave a comment, but I didn't have anything to say.

However, I am leaving my comment nonetheless! I hope it's long enough. ;D

That's just the automated Mr Linky's idea. I don't care if you don't leave a comment. :) Not that you're usually short on things to say! ;)

ha HA! =D

Hi ladies,
I wanted to post a tip that I cam across when I was working at a bagel shop: When you make dough in your mixer, or even by hand in a bowl, you know how there is usually build-up along the edges of the bowl, that are just horrible to get off (while washing)? my suggestion/tip is to fill the bowl up half way with really hot water (tap is fine) and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, in a matter of minutes you can clean the bowl as if there was never dough in it, the steam from the hot water helped to break up the crud on the outside...this saves water, and elbow grease!
Okay, so it wasn't a *huge* tip, but since I have known this tip for well over 10 years, I just *know* it and don't think anything of it...but thought that maybe someone might find it helpful.

hope this helps someone,
Jamie

I know this has nothing really to do with tips,thus you can delete it after reading... but I have to say, Tammy I am very impressed with how well you respond to criticism!! What a godly attitude you have when dealing with issues that are beyond your means (like the linking issue) and issues with others.

Maybe it is a tip: when disagreeing show love! :)

-Amanda

I have tried to make beans in the past and failed, and just gave up. I love how you did this step by step. I am feeling encouraged to try again!

I love the new tips set up too. I can always use more tips in the kitchen!

How funny, my post was about beans too!

Great information. I had heard that the actual enzyme that is in beans that cause gas leaches out into the water while being soaked. If, after soaking overnight, pour out that water and rinse the beans a couple of times, that you will not have a gassy reaction to the beans. I did this and made chili. Even people that usually won't eat anything with beans, tried it and said they were not bothered. Great post!!

Plants LOVE this sort of thing--- just cool it off first.

There is a Japanese seaweed called kombu, that you can buy dried from health food shops and the like. If you throw a piece of it into your pot of beans, it gradually just melts away, adds a lovely flavour to your beans, and seems to prevent the effect of beans on the digestion of some people!

Someone once told me that the secret of digesting beans was to serve them as a "complete carbohydrate" which is supposed to be the reason why so many people serve beans with rice. Supposedly beans served with rice will not cause "gas", or as we call it over here in the UK, "wind".

Smiles

KarlaG

The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make his face shine upon thee; and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:22-26)

My question is this: I read where you can bring the beans to a boil with the cover off for five minutes. Remove the beans from the heat and cover; let them soak for 12 to 24 hours which brings me to my question. It seems to me that leaving them out for the period of time would cause them to spoil? I have done this twice; once (the first time) the beans were great and no gas. The second time I got quite sick after eating just a small amount of time.

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