Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit...

Dried Beans

…the more you eat the more you toot. I really dislike this saying and I think for two good reasons – one, are beans actually a fruit? And two I hate the word toot! Well, according to my sources legumes ARE in fact the dried fruit or seed of a leguminous plant in the leguminosae family and include: peas, beans, alfalfa, soybeans, and lentils. However, in the fresh form, they are used as vegetables. What do ya know – I learned something too!

People usually associate beans with farting and unfortunately will avoid them for that reason. Well, Food Yourself to the rescue – I have a solution! Dry legumes need to be re-hydrated before cooking, which usually means soaking them in water overnight. Most people will use that same water to cook the beans in since they will absorb more water and cook faster (plus that’s where a lot of nutrients are). But hidden in that water are carbohydrates that cannot be broken down by our digestive system and therefore are available for microorganisms to attack – farting! So, throw away that water and get fresh when cooking your beans.

I’m not sure how canned beans are prepared but if I had to bet on it I would assume the food industry uses the ‘same water’ method so to be on the safe side when eating canned beans make Beano your new best friend. Speaking of canned beans – please rinse them before using since they are preserved with a lot of salt and you’ll be able to rinse away most of that extra unnecessary salt.

Some more beany facts: with the exception of soybeans and peanuts, legumes are low in fat and all are moderately high in complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre and protein. Legumes are a good source of iron, phosphorus, and B vitamins especially thiamine. Check out Food Yourself’s last post regarding portion sizes for legumes.

This post is dedicated to my cousin who needs all the help she can get when it comes to farting – Happy Birthday!

Image courtesy of Global Crop Diversity Trust