Beans - Reducing gas
As long as we are talking about beans, does anybody have any advice on how to reduce the inevitable gas? I have heard many theories, such as throwing away their soaking liquid, throwing away their cooking liquid (impossible in a soup!), cooking them with epazote, cooking them until very soft, using baking soda, and (admitting defeat) just using Beano.
Does anything really work?
Eating them more often helps. Back when I was in my late 30's, I started eating vegetarian after being raised on a pretty standard American diet. (During my childhood 30 - 40 years ago, that did not include the vast quantities of junk and processed foods now so prevalent). My gut simply wasn't accustomed to the starches and sugars in the legumes I was eating so much of, and it was very uncomfortable at first. After a month or so, I had adjusted to the change in diet and beans and lentils had virtually no gaseous side effects. I've long since given up vegetarianism, but legumes are still a common enough feature, and I've maintained my resistance to the dreaded Flatus. Would that my husband had the same resistance.
JMHO, regarding using epazote, I think it's the vilest-tasting thing on earth. Buy the smallest amount possible, just so you don't end up with something you hate. I like almost everything, but I have to say I really hate epazote. Take a triple dose of Beano instead, because the recommended dose doesn't work, at least not in our house.
eating them more frequently decreases it significantly. i believe there are certain herbs/spices that aid in the digestion (savory, sage, and maybe tumeric). ive also heard olive oil helps. change the soaking liquid more than once and rinse the beans well. skim the scum off the top when boiling.
but mostly, just eat them often.
I've read that beans have a complex sugar (oligosaccharide) that causes the gas in digestive tracts that are not used to frequent bean consumption. If you soak dried beans overnight, yes, throw out the soaking water and start fresh. If you use the quick soak method of bringing dried beans to a boil, letting sit for an hour or so, then, yes, throw out that cooking water and start fresh. If you use canned beans, rinse them well. That should help some.
I've also used a chunk of kombu seaweed in the last cooking but not sure how much that truly helped. Then, as posters have said, just let the microorganisms in your intestinal tract get gradually used to increased bean consumption.
Also, I've noticed no problem with lentils or chickpeas, but that could be a totally separate post on if there's a difference between legumes, beans, dals.
Beans, beans, the magical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot
The more you toot, the better you feel
So let's eat beans at every meal!
And a variation:
Beans, beans, they're good for your heart
The more you eat, the more you (fill in the blank)