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Preparing Legumes - without those nasty stomach aches!

Preparing Legumes - without those nasty stomach aches! | Mr Vitamins
Raw legumes often contain phytic acid which is difficult to digest and may cause bloating and flatulence. Phytic acid is destroyed by heat.  Many legumes also require soaking to soften them and reduce their cooking time. Soaking also reduces the levels of substances that cause flatulence. Soaking is important to help with the digestion of legumes so that the nutrients they provide can be utilised by the body and to reduce those substances that cause bloating and flatulence.

What you need to know about soaking legumes

If the legumes you are preparing just need a quick soak then put them in a saucepan with at least three cups of cold water for each cup of beans. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat, cover and stand for 1-2 hours. Beans will soften faster in hot water. When soaking beans for more than 4 hours or overnight, they should be covered in water and left in a cool place. It is important to discard the soaking water and thoroughly re-rinse.

How are legumes cooked?

Each cup of beans requires 3 to 4 cups of water. Each cup of dried beans will give approximately 2 cups of cooked beans. Always discard the cooking water and rinse well.

How long is needed to soak and cook the different types of legumes?

Check this handy soaking times and cooking chart for legumes...
SOAKING AND COOKING CHART FOR LEGUMES
Dried Legume Soaking Time Cooking Time What do they look like when cooked
Black Eyed Beans Overnight 1¼-1½ hours Stays whole when cooked
Borlotti Beans Overnight 1¼-1½ hours Stays whole but will split easily
Chickpeas Overnight 1-3 hours When cooked – can be flattened when pinched
Cannellini Overnight 1/¼-1½ hours Stays whole when cooked
Kidney Beans Overnight 1/¼-1½ hours Stays whole when cooked
Brown Lentils 1 hours 50-60 minutes May go mushy if overcooked
Green Lentils 1 hour 50-60 minutes May go mushy if overcooked
Red Lentils Wash only 15-20 minutes Splits open when cooked
Puy Lentils 15 minutes 40-50 minutes Stays whole when cooked
Lima Beans Overnight 1/¼-1½ hours Stays whole when cooked
Soy Beans Overnight 4 hours Stays whole when cooked
Split Peas Wash only 45-60 minutes Have a soft texture when cooked

What are the benefits of eating dried legumes?

Legumes are a low-fat source of protein and are high in fibre. They contain no cholesterol and are typically high in folate, iron, folate, potassium   and magnesium.

How do I store legumes?

Dried legumes are best stored in a air-tight glass or plastic container at room temperature.  Once the packet is opened they will last for 6-9 months.  Make sure you also check the use-by-date.  Older legumes often need extra soaking time.

Some tips for cooking legumes:

  • Cooking legumes with the lid off allows the substance that causes wind to escape and can help to reduce flatulence.
  • Adding a 5cm piece of kombu can also help to reduce wind.

Bon Appetit from Naturopath Janne Ramsay!

 

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