Infographic: Tips for More Digestible Beans
September 21, 2015
Beans and legumes are a great inexpensive way to add lean protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet. One pound of dried beans (about 3 cups) will make about eight cups cooked, which is quite a savings considering a can of beans often costs more than dried and only provides about a cup and a half of beans. Beans can be added to soups, stews, salads, paired with rice and grain dishes, and are great for veggie burgers and dips. It’s important to note that beans alone do not have all the essential amino acids, but when paired with grains, nuts or seeds, this combination makes a complete protein source. And you don’t have to eat the combination at the same meal for them to be considered complementary proteins, just as long as they are eaten over the course of a day.
The trouble is beans in particular often get a bad rap because they can be difficult to digest which can cause bloating and abdominal discomfort. The reason for this is our body lacks an enzyme needed to break down the complex carbohydrate raffinose which is found in beans and other vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts. But fear not, we have compiled an easy to use “bean basics” guide with suggestions for soaking and preparing dried beans to help make them even more digestible!
And one last tip: once you’ve soaked and cooked your dried beans, save some of the cooking stock and pour about half a cup of the stock over the beans (to prevent freezer burn) and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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