Tag Archives: beans

Beans, beans! Good For Your Heart! The More You Eat, The More You….

Beans have been all the rage in my kitchen this winter. Mash ’em, slow cook ’em, open a can of ’em.

Beans are a powerful food – full of heart-healthy soluble fiber, folic acid, cholesterol-free protein, and beneficial phytochemicals. However, they have a nasty reputation for making themselves known as they pass through the entire digestive process.

If farts have you phobic, I’d encourage you to try some of the following tried and true methods for reducing the gas-producing probablility of this wonder food:

  • Beans contain a difficult to digest oligosaccharide called raffinose that causes some distress if consumed. Pre-soaking the beans, discarding the soaking water, and scooping off the foam that rises to the surface reduces ingesting this carbohydrate greatly. Soaking helps breaks down the raffinose, and the foamy stuff on top is some of the remaining indigestible starch.
  • If using canned, rinse thoroughly! Beans are cooked in the can, so all those indigestible carbohydrates remain behind. I recommend draining the can in a colander and rinsing thoroughly.
  • Many cultures have figured out ways to increase the ease of eating beans.  For Mexican food, you can add epazote, add kombu to beans for both flavor, powerful nutrition and gas-reduction, and Mango powder (Amchoor), fennel seeds, fresh peppermint, fresh cilantro and fresh ginger is often used in Indian cooking for the same purpose.
  • Add beans to your diet a bit at a time to introduce them to your system. This is especially helpful if you have been consuming a low fiber diet for some time.
  • When all else fails, Beano has been known to be helpful! I have not personally needed it, but have heard others swear by it.

Ready to try some recipes?

Click here for a great source of many bean recipes! Also, my recipe archive has some of my personal favorites posted!

Recipe: Hoppin’ John

Traditionally, Hoppin’ John uses ham hocks or bacon to add a smoky flavor to nutrient-rich beans. In lieu of this, I’ve used chipotle powder to add spiciness and smokiness to this traditional Southern New Year dish. Eaten annually on the first day of the New Year, Hoppin’ John is supposed to ensure good luck. It certainly worked for me last year!

  • 6 scallions
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1 small bunch collard greens or kale, chopped
  • 1.5 cup dried black eyed peas, cooked (or 2 x 10 oz package frozen black eyed peas, thawed and rinsed or 2-15 oz can, thoroughly rinsed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 12 fl oz vegetarian broth or bean liquid

To cook dried peas, place in a small soup pot and cover with water – about 2″ over bean line. Soak overnight, drain, rinse, and cover with water again. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering until tender, about 2 hours. Drain.

Trim scallions. Remove the dark green tops and set aside. Cut the white and light green sections into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the carrot and stir well to coat with oil. Add the white and light green sections of the scallions and the celery, reduce heat to low and saute for 2 minutes. Add the kale and bell peppers and saute for about 3 minutes or until the carrot begins to brown. Add the black-eyed peas and stir well. Saute for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, salt, black pepper, chipotle, garlic and broth. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is almost completely absorbed – there should still be about 1/3 cup sauce.

Thinly slice the dark green scallion tops while the mixture simmers. Then stir in half the scallion greens. Ladle the hoppin’ john over a bed of cooked rice and sprinkle with remaining scallion greens.