Questions & Answers - How To Degas Beans

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Article by Linda Stradley of What's Cooking America.


I enjoy making soups with dried peas or beans and was wondering if there was any way to "degas" them prior to cooking soup. I thought I had read somewhere years ago that if you soaked them overnight in water that this would help? Any suggestions? - Edward Toro (2/20/01)  


Gas and Beans - Beans are gassy - oligosaccharides seem to be the culprit. Our bodies lack the enzyme to digest them. Instead they are broken own by the friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract that give off the gas.

Following are different techniques that are suppose to help degas beans (I can't vouch for any of these techniques):

Use the quick soak method- Boil beans in water for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and let it sit for 2-4 hours with the cover on. Or traditionally- soak overnight or 12 hours. Next drain and discard the rinse water, rinse again then cover with fresh cold water.

Be sure to thoroughly cook the beans -one to four hours depending on the texture and legume.

Drink adequate fluids.

Try Beano (this is an over-the-counter product that contains the enzyme to break down the oligosaccharides).

Build up tolerance slowly. The more often you eat beans, the less likely you are to have gas.

Cooking tip: Tomatoes should be added only after the beans are thoroughly cooked, the acid toughens beans.

Canned Beans - Drain off the liquid and rinse canned beans.

I read once in a book, don't remember the source, that to further remove the noxious after-effects of beans, after you have boiled them - Freeze them. Freezing them seems to help with the leftover sugars that we cannot assimilate.


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