Many people have relegated beans to the back of the pantry for a few reasons: they assume that beans, while good for vegetarians and ‘back to the land’ types, don’t have much to offer the average meat-eating diner. They also figure that beans take way too long to cook. There is also the wind issue.
The truth is that beans are a virtual wonder-food. A delicious source of vitamins-rich, low-fat, inexpensive, versatile protein. Beans deserve a place at the table for those reasons alone. The full power of beans to lower cholesterol; combat heart diseases; stabilize blood sugar; reduce obesity; relieve constipation, diverticular disease, hypertension and type II diabetes; and lessen the risk of cancer make this ancient food an extraordinary and important addition to any diet. Beans contain low-fat proteins, fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, potassium, magnesium and phytonuritents.
While it’s true that most beans take a while to cook, they don’t take up much active cooking time. In other words, beans simmer without your having to hover over a pot. An alternative to cooking beans is to use tinned beans. This actually is the most practical way to introduce beans to your diet. You can open a tin of chickpeas, cannellini beans (small white beans), or black beans and just toss them on top of a salad or add them to chili.
There is a negative to relying on tinned beans with many varieties and brands too high in sodium. Look for low-salt tinned beans in supermarkets and health-food stores. Always put tinned beans in a strainer and rinse then with cool water. This will eliminate about 40 percent of the salt.
It is true that beans can cause flatulence. This is because bacteria attack the indigestible matter that remains in the intestines.
Some people find that tinned beans as well as mashed beans are less wind-producing.
If you eat beans frequently in small amounts, your body will become accustomed to them and you will reduce any digestive problems.
Soak the beans before cooking: rinse and pick over the beans, then boil them for two or three minutes. Turn off the heat and let them soak for a few hours. Pour off the liquid, add fresh water and continue cooking. This boiling and soaking releases a large percentage of the indigestible carbohydrates in the beans, making them easier to digest. Even though some vitamins are lost to this method, if it allows you to enjoy beans, it’s to your benefit.
Some people find that pressure-cooking beans reduces their wind-producing qualities. It also speeds the cooking process.
Try to eat at least four ½-cup servings per week.
|Your name: *|
|Your email: *|
|Recepient's email: *|
|Enter code: *|