miladycarol: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2009 03:40 pm)
The yard is coming alive. I’ve plenty of daffodils blooming, I’ve seen a few wild iris, my crocus have come and mostly gone, and my wood hyacinth are exuding lovely floral scents as I walk about the deck. I’ve noticed the slow return of the black-capped chickadees and I had a woodpecker last week. I also have a pair of mating scrub jays that are busy collecting twigs from the yard to build their nest.
I promised a friend that I'd post how I make beans from scratch. My
method doesn't seem to cause gas in myself, nor in my husband. I've
also not heard any intestinal issues from friends that have eaten of
this recipe. If you do, please let me know.

The flatulence we experience from beans is due to sugars the beans possess that stay with
the food until they reach our large intestine where they cannot be
digested. The way I process the beans seems to help nullify these
sugars in my system. If you experience problems, try messing with the
amount of sugar and baking soda or the cooking time. I haven’t the
science to defend this, it’s all trial and error experience for me.

I use this procedure for all kinds of hard beans (black, pinto, kidney,
red, etc.). I've found that split peas, mung beans and lentils soften
too quickly for a 12 hour soak. Instead, I rinse them in cold water,
then let them sit in the colander in warm water for an hour or so
before adding them to the pot and making soup.

2 cups beans
6 cups warm water
1 pinch sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Wash the beans and pick out any hulls, shells, etc., until the water runs clear.

I boil water in my electric kettle (about 3 cups), pour it into a soup
cauldron, add another 3 cups of room temperature water, then add the
beans. This sits overnight with the lid on fully.

After 12 hours or so (I usually set the beans to soak either before I make, or when I'm
cleaning up from, supper), I use a medium heat to draw the intestinally
challenging part out of the beans.

Stay with the pot. What happens is the nasty gas bubbles up in the form of a scum. I take a spoon and
begin skimming this from the top of the beans and chucking it in the
sink. Usually, this process only takes a few minutes before there is
very little bubbling at the top. Just don't leave the pot. Any time
I've been distracted and walked away, within moments, it tends to
bubble over the lid. I just stand there, spoon at the ready, lift the
lid every few moments and look. If there's scum, I eradicate it.

Once all the scum is removed, I lower the heat to simmer with the lid on for
a couple of hours. I prefer to slow cook them to make sure every last
bit of the gas is gone.

I usually strain the beans from this liquid once they are cooked, yet it depends upon how I intend to use them. If I’ve used up most of the liquid, I might just leave them in the
thickened sauce and start adding herbs and spices. If I intend to make
soup, I drain them and start with fresh water for my base.

I’d love to hear your experiences and suggestions!
Cooking Up Art website
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