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Old 10-29-2006, 05:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb
I always cook my beans/peas/lentils in hot water; no salt, just a bay leaf of a stick of cinnamon , but no salt.
When the beans are just cooked, I drain them. Then I proceed to make the (bean) dish I have chosen. So fry up a little onion, some bell peppers, garlic etc, depending on what recipe you're making.... and once they've started cooking, add the epazote.
I'm sorry that awfully imprecise, but that's what I do. a tbsp of leaves, perhaps. You're making beans, remember, not epazote with bean flavouring!
Thianks for the advise cliveb, I often make garlic with various flavorings.
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:17 PM   #12
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does epazote have any negative side effects, or can it cause any issues with peoples stomachs... thanks.
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:20 AM   #13
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Like Michael said, the saccharides that cause gas are partially dissolved in the soaking water so never cook with the soaking water if gas is an issue.

I quick soak and change the water twice, rinsing the beans, before cooking.

A pressure cooker won't help you with the gas problem (as far as I know) but it's a great way to cook beans faster.

I have used dried epazote (from Penzey's) as fresh is hard to find around here and have not found it to work that well. Possibly fresh works better.

Beano works pretty well, too.
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:15 PM   #14
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I think this is worth mentioning. It is not essential to pre-soak beans at all. Half the time, I just put a cup of dried pintos, that have been cleaned and rinsed, in a small pot with 3 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt. Simmer a couple hours until tender. In the last 30 minutes I might add one or two cloves of minced garlic and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. For me this is a simple, healthful, and delicious staple item.

If gas is a concern, all the things discussed earlier are helpful but, a pot of beans does not have to be a major project.
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:40 AM   #15
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I once "worked" for exercise instructors. A new woman was getting ready to be qualified. She'd just lost a lot of weight, and she came to me for advice. Her problem was that she was ..... well, you know ..... had a lot of gas and no way could she get on stage with this problem (she'd never had it before because she'd never eaten healthy food before). As some have already said, I recommended she hit a health food store and get Beano or some other enzyme-based pill. She did and lived happily ever after.
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Old 11-05-2006, 06:39 AM   #16
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I'm fortunate in that beans and legumes don't seem to cause me problems but I remember old cookbooks saying to add baking soda while they are cooking to (allegedly) eliminate the problem.

Fraidy
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:56 AM   #17
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There are lots of sites that say yes and some that say no to FraidKnot's idea. BUT in searching for that here is a pretty nice site that "supposedly" tells all about a lot of "myths" and "truths". I have seen it before but could never find it again.
Scroll down for "beans". It just talks about using soda as a softener but not whether it prevents flatulence.
http://www.pgacon.com/KitchenMyths.htm
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:34 AM   #18
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Epazote

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb
And here's a vegetarian who can vouch for that. I eat lots of beans, split peas, lentils, etc. and never have a problem.

However, I use one of two things to "eliminate" the gas effect.
Asafoetida, a resin used in Indian food, is highly effective. It has a pungent odour, but a little pinch would probably not be noticed in Mexican beans.
Epazote is the other item - a herb used by the Mexicans . Add to the beans and you'll notice the difference.

If you have to cook your beans for 5 hours, however, they're probably old. I rarely cook mine for more than 1 1/2 - 2 hrs. Pressure cooking reduces that even more.
I also rinse the beans after soaking and add a pinch of Epazote during the last 5 minutesof cooking. My grand mother used to add a pinch of baking soda at the begining of cooking. I'm not sure if that was to tone down the after effects or to help soften the beans.
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGDean
...My grand mother used to add a pinch of baking soda at the begining of cooking. I'm not sure if that was to tone down the after effects or to help soften the beans.
Acidic ingredients added to uncooked beans will prevent the beans from softening. Your grandmother's addition of the baking soda ensured properly cooked beans. The baking soda does not help with the gas crisis.
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGDean
I also rinse the beans after soaking and add a pinch of Epazote during the last 5 minutesof cooking. My grand mother used to add a pinch of baking soda at the begining of cooking. I'm not sure if that was to tone down the after effects or to help soften the beans.
I understand that the baking soda helps retain the original colour of the beans.
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