I have heard before that if you soak dry beans overnight, then rinse & drain, cooking in fresh water, it will help with the, um… gassy after-effect. I have never tried it before,just tossed them in a pot and cooked them, like my mother did. Last night, I decided to try it, and did the soak, I now have a pot of beans with a smoked hamhock tossed in. It smells HEAVENLY.
I am just wondering if this really works. Any experience? I guess I’ll have my own experience to report later tonight…
Soaking removes a lot of starches, and that helps some people. I’ve heard that if you eat beans more frequently the intestinal bacteria will adjust for more ‘efficient’ digestion. Or just take those pills.
• Bring water that is three times the volume of the dry beans to a boil (roughly 6 cups per pound of beans)
• Don’t forget that the beans will expand, so use a large enough pot!
• Add beans and continue boil for 2 minutes then let stand in the water for 1 hour and then drain.
• Add to fresh boiling water to finish the cooking.
That’s a basic quick-soak (or no-soak) recipe. I don’t think it will affect the gassiness of the finished dish, either way, but it does tend to produce poor results in the consistency of the beans.
I don’t know of anything that produces firm but tender and creamy beans except a full overnight soak before any heat is applied. Besides the baking soda suggestion, there are other “de-gassing” tricks that can be applied during the soak. A full soak, with or without baking soda, and a drain and rinse before cooking has always produced mininal “musical” aftereffects for me. As well as tasty beans.
I’ve read that putting a piece of kombu(dried seaweed, available in Japanese section of larger markets, gourmet and natural foods markets) will help with the gassiness. The kombu is tasteless and does not affect the flavor of the beans in any way.
You’re not thinking sam. Where is the additional volume of the beans coming from? As the volume of the beans increases, the volume of the water decreases. No net change; the water level in the pot stays the same.
Fear Itself…think about it again. Water is liquid, and fills all space in the pot between the beans. Cooked beans are solids, and don’t. Extra air space between the beans adds to the volume. If it’s too close to the brim when it’s small beans and water, it will push the lid off, overboil and burn beans on your cooktop.
Now, it’s true that if you keep cooking them, the beans will break down and then be more or less liquid in property, and you won’t have those air spaces. But there’s a dicey hour or two in there where you could make a huge mess. Just use the bigger pot.
Quick soak always works for me, with the method noted above. Not for the farts, as I don’t think there’s much of anything that will work for that, but fine for cooking. Epazote is supposed to have some anti-gassing properties and is used in Mexican cooking.