I’ve talked a little about the benefits of eating beans in my Super Quick Veggie Chili recipe. But I didn’t talk much about the side effects of eating beans. Or to be more precise the only uncomfortable sideeffect. Gas.
Many people try to eat very small amount of beans to avoid gas and bloating while some people completely avoid them. As much beans as we eat I had to come up with a solution for this problem. I did a lot of research and luckily came across this sea vegetable called kombu a couple of months ago. In the beginning I was afraid it would make my beans taste like seaweed. I personally don’t like the taste or flavor of seaweed. But I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try and surprisingly it did nothing to the flavor or smell of the beans! I bought mine online but you can also get it at Whole Foods Market, Asian grocery stores and I’m pretty sure other local grocery stores will carry it. When you make your own homemade beans using kombu, it kind of turns the bean water into a stock. It makes the water thicker and adds a little saltiness which makes an amazing broth to any soups, stews and more. I actually used the kombu “broth” in my chili recipe and it gave it such an amazing texture. This is for going to be a staple in my pantry from now on.
Kombu is used for many different things such as vegetable stock, in rice, soups and more. I haven’t experienced with it that much other than just using it to degas my beans with. Once I found out how kombu make beans more digestive friendly I’ve never cooked my beans without it since. Kombu contains enzymes that break down the gas producing sugars in beans meaning we are able to absorb more nutrients and our body won’t have to complain to us later on with gas.
So let me tell you how simple it is to degas your dried beans:
- Soak your beans overnight or at least 8 hours (for each cup of beans add 4 cups of water)
- Rinse your beans very well with cold water
- Add the beans and water into a pot with a lid and bring to a boil (at least 3 cups of water for each cup of soaked beans)
- Add half a strip of kombu into the pot and reduce heat to simmer for about an hour.
- Discard the kombu strip and enjoy your beans. (Keep the bean water/stock for other recipes)
Now you have beans and “stock” to make my Super Quick Veggie Chili
It’s suggested to use half a strip of kombu to each pound of beans. Kombu also tenderizes and enhances in cooking. That is why I much more prefer to make my own beans. You already reduce the gas just by soaking them and washing them a couple times before the cooking process. And you’re avoiding all the sodium and BPA that the cans contain.
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