Looking to add more high-quality, plant-based protein into your diet? Try some beans! Beans are an excellent protein source and healthy substitute for meat, which is higher in fat and cholesterol. These tasty legumes are loaded with iron, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, and soluble fiber.
While canned beans are convenient and good to use when you’re in a pinch, dry beans are more cost efficient, fresh, natural, and environmentally friendly. If using canned beans, look for varieties with no chemical preservatives and be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any excess sodium.
How to Cook with Dried Beans
- Soak for six hours or overnight (with the exception of lentils and split peas which don’t require soaking).
- Drain and rinse the beans.
- Place the beans in a heavy pot and add 3 to 4 cups of water.
- Bring to a full boil and skim o the foam.
- Cover and let simmer.
- Check beans 30 minutes before the minimum cooking time.
- Add 1 teaspoon of unrefined sea salt 10 minutes before the end of cooking time.
- Beans should be tender and soft to squeeze when finished.
HOW TO MAKE DIGESTION EASIER
Gas and upset stomachs are a common side effect of bean consumption. To reduce your chances of these effects, try these suggestions:
- Soak beans for several days.
- Use a pressure cooker.
- Chew beans thoroughly.
- Avoid feeding legumes to children under 18 months.
- Experiment with different sizes of beans. Smaller beans like lentils and peas digest most easily. Soybeans and black soybeans are often most difficult to digest.
- Season cooked beans with sea salt.
- Add a large strip of dried kombu seaweed to the pot prior to boiling, and remove once finished.
- Add fennel, bay leaves, garlic, or cumin during cooking. (This also adds flavor!)
- Add a small amount of apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar during cooking.
- Take enzymes with your meal.