This is a nerdy post, get ready …..
Beans (i.e. lentils, kidney beans, peas, peanuts) are versatile, economical, and rich in B vitamins, minerals and omega fats. Unfortunately, they’re also high in anti-nutrients, including phytic acid* and lectins.**
These anti-nutrients can reduce our ability to absorb nutrients; steal nutrients from our bones/teeth (big factor in tooth decay); aggravate auto-immune diseases, and play a key role in digestive issues (i.e. leaky gut, IBS, bloating, gas). The following method eliminates a good portion of these anti-nutrients.
Traditional Bean Recipe
1) Sort beans and place in a heavy-bottomed pot.
2) Pour hot water, heated no more than 115 degrees to cover beans.
3) Acidify (make slightly acid) soaking water with one of these acids: buttermilk, milk kefir, coconut kefir, water kefir, yogurt, whey, lemon juice, or raw apple cider vinegar. Add a tablespoon of acid per cup of beans to soaking water; cover loosely with a lid.
4) Soak beans in a warm spot (80-85 degrees) for 12-24 hours.
5) Rinse, drain and discard soaking water.
6) Add fresh water/stock, 2 ½ cups per cup of beans.
Optional: Add 1-inch square of kombu per cup of beans. This sea veggie contains an enzyme to digest complex sugars found in legumes, acting as a natural tenderizer and digestion soothing gel. Kombu is mineral-rich; alkalizing; virtually no taste; and dissolves while cooking, leaving stem behind (discard or chop finely and add to legumes).
7) Parboil beans as a pre-treatment to cooking them, by bringing to a gentle boil and scooping off thick scum/foam that rises to top. Do this until no foam arises – this foam contains gas that disturbs gut.
8) Cook beans long and slow on low heat for 4-8 hrs, with exception of soybeans which cook for minimum of 10 hrs. Long and slow gives legumes time to break down anti-nutrients and hard-to-digest fibers. Can be done in a low-heated oven or on stove burner. Check pot occasionally, adding water as necessary.
9) Season with sea salt once beans are tender; continuing to cook until soft. If salt added before beans are tender, then it’s hard to get ’em soft.
*Phytic acid is a chelator in grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds that binds to minerals and removes them from digestive system before they are absorbed into your intestines. This means you don’t get those minerals. Ingesting phytic acid over period of time can lead to mineral deficiencies, osteoporosis, and thyroid dysfunction.
**Lectins are sugar-binding, sticky proteins that bind to the lining of intestinal tissue cells and disable the cells in your gut. This keeps them from repairing and rebuilding. Lectins are associated with food allergies, IBS, Crohn’s, arthritis, Celiac, ulcers, and other auto-immune and inflammatory conditions.
May all bellies be happy!