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Old 10-27-2006, 10:44 PM   #1
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ISO black bean help

I am continually trying to make black beans for my mexican dishes and keep running into gas issues :) I soak my beans for 8-12 hours then cook them on medium high heat for 4.5 hours until soft. afterwards I pull the beans off and wash them very thuroughly and then add sazon goya to the beans and cook for another 45 minutes. sometimes after eating them I feel like I am going to explode and so do some of my guests, what could I be doing wronge or what can I do differently. Thanks in advance for any help.

Tommy Two Tone

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Old 10-27-2006, 11:11 PM   #2
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The problem is that beans (legumes) contain indigestiable carbohydrates (especially short-chain sugars) that are not broken down and digested in the stomach because we do not have enzymes to do that - they are broken down by bacteria in the lower intestines and a byproduct is "gas" - kind of like the byproduct of yeast breaking down sugars is alcohol and CO2 gas.

You're on the right track with the soaking and long-slow cooking. One way to help reduce this is to add your picked over and rinsed beans to a large pot of water, bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then let set covered for an hour or two ... then discard the water and start with fresh water to cook the beans. Apparently the hot-water soaking leaches out more than the cold water soak which just rehydates the dried beans. The down side is that this also leaches out a lot of the water soluable nutients and flavors.

About the only other alternative I know of is a bottle of Beano on the table ... which apperently provides an enzyme to allow digestion of the offending sugars in the stomach before they reach the lower intestinal tract.

Of course - if you have a dog make sure he is in the room so everyone can point and say, "I can't believe he did that!"

If you have grandchildren ... it's the perfect time for a game of "Pull Grandpa's Finger"
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:15 PM   #3
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after many different urban myths about beans, i have read in cooks illustrated and in several other publications that the best way to reduce the compounds that cause flatulence is by using th quick soak method. instead of soaking overnight, just put a pot of beans with cold water, bring to boil, simmer for one minute, turn off, cover and remove from heat source. leave undisturbed for one hour. then drain the beans, and proceed to cook with a fresh change of water with spices and stuff approximately from 1 to 2.5 hours depending on the type of bean
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Old 10-28-2006, 09:33 AM   #4
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Old 10-28-2006, 09:45 AM   #5
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Like Seven and Michael said, use the quick soak method, drain, and rinse the beans. The best defense, in my opinion, is to eat beans more often.
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Old 10-28-2006, 09:51 AM   #6
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The only REAL way is to either use Beano, or adjust your overall diet to include beans more. It is the fiber in them, as others have said, and your body becomes acclimated to them. That is why vegetarians do not have the same issues usually.
Quick soak doesn't really do anything more than other ways. May help a little if you discard the liquid.
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Old 10-28-2006, 09:58 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 10-28-2006, 10:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb

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.
cliveb, I discovered espazote in one of the local markets. I'm interested in it for flavor more than gas reduction.
  • How much would you add to a pot with a pound of beans?
  • When in the cooking process would you add it?
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Old 10-28-2006, 09:11 PM   #9
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I generally use luke warm water and soak uncovered... they ussually soak for 8-12 hours, maybe I should soak them less. also does a slower cook help with the gas issue? I am also interested in the pressure cooker idea. does this eliminate if not reduce the effects?and lastly when do I add espazote to my beans and does this have any potential side effects, also how much should I add. thanks.
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Old 10-29-2006, 03:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
cliveb, I discovered espazote in one of the local markets. I'm interested in it for flavor more than gas reduction.
  • How much would you add to a pot with a pound of beans?
  • When in the cooking process would you add it?
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!
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