Let me first of all make something clear before I start discussing about the topic of this post. We all call the common bean (Vigna unguiculata) that we eat beans, beans – but beans is a is a
common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae (alternately Leguminosae) which are used for human or animal food. The common one that we eat is called Cowpea. It has a number of common
name such as crowder pea, blackeyed pea, southern pea.
Beans generally are rich in protein, while many of them are high in fiber and antioxidants. Beans are good for reduction of our waistline as well aid in disease prevention. Despite all these
benefits, which many people are aware of, a lot people want to stay clear of Cowpea because they start farting or passing out gases after eating it. This does not have to be so because there are ways that you can cook your beans,
such that you won’t have to be clearing the room hours after.
Before I talk about the methods that you can use to cook beans to prevent farting after, let me. explain in clear and concise terms what causes this flatulence. Beans contain a class of
carbohydrates called Oligosaccharides (e.g. raffinose and stachyose), some of which cannot be processed by our digestive system.
When we eat beans and they get to our
intestine, the Oligosaccharides remain there as we do not have the enzymes or any other thing whatsoever to digest the. After the Oligosaccharides pass into our large intestine, the bacteria present there start to break them down. During the process, the bacteria release several different types of gases, mainly hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. About 33% of these bacteria also end up producing methane and this is the one that smells.
Methods for Cooking Beans To Prevent Passing Out Gas Having made it clear the difference and relation between beans and Cowpea, I am going to be using the word beans for the rest of this article. This is because what I am about to write about is applicable to all beans and not just Cowpea.
1. Soaking your Beans in Water
Scientists and even chefs have recommended soaking your beans in water for hours before cooking will remove most of these Oligosaccharides before you cook the. Many people said this works but I don’t think many people have the time to soak beans before
cooking. When I tried this with Cowpea myself, the taste of the cooked beans was just different—maybe the beans was starting to ferment in the water.
2. Adding Mould to the Beans
The reason why we have problems digesting beans is that we lack the alpha-galactosidase enzyme in our digestive tract. There is this mould called Aspergillus niger that contains the Alpha-Galactosidase enzyme I talked about. After sprinkling this on your food, it works by breaking down Oligosaccharides and preventing your large intestinal bacteria from creating gases. It is now being sold as a product and people that use it said they usually by from Amazon under the brand name Beano .
3. Soaking Beans with Baking Soda
This baking soda has many uses that I am going to write about soon. One of them is what it does to help reduce or eliminate flatulence after eating beans.
Adding baking soda to the soak water of dried beans before cooking (about 1/16 teaspoon per quart) significantly decreases the content of the raffinose and other Oligosaccharide family members.
4. Changing the boil water
I have used this with great success since 2009. What I usually do is to cook my beans in a lot of water for about 15 minutes, then throw away the water and add fresh boiling water. In this first
boiling, do not add any ingredients yet.
I have no scientific backing for this but I believe most of these saccharides must have been removed by the first boiling.
You should please give this a shot and let us know if you have any success with it. I’ll be glad to hear back from you.