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Dec 22, 2011 07:15 AM

Stretching money with beans without stretching my pants with flatulence

I've been doing some research on how to cook dried beans to minimize flatulence. Among the schools of thought that I've come across say to soak for 24 hours, to soak for 24 hours with baking soda, to cook to boiling and break the skin, and then soak for 24 hours, to do all of the above with the addition of caraway seeds, cardamon, and cumin, to purchase Alpha-galacticose (beano) and just use that with the first bite of beans, several folk remedies that don't seem scientific in nature (buttermilk, boiling for extra extra extra long times) and many other ideas.

My objective is to make bean/turkey/bacon soup with a high acid base using tomato paste as the base in a pressure canner. The pressure canner will reach 240 degrees for 90 minutes, so I'm not worried about cooking time. The spices I've mentioned are all palatable to me. Keeping a high acid concentration is fine with me, and I'm willing to take an Alpha-galacticose tablet before eating to keep my pantstink to the lowest possible degree.

That's as far as I've gotten with my research. I have stored a lot of dried beans and legumes, and it's time for me to go into survival mode to make the best use of these materials. I have seven months to stretch my resources as much as I can.

I can add any foods I want in the jar as long as they can survive 90 minutes at 240 degrees. However, I want to take a quart of soup with me to work and eat from that for an eight hour day, get home, and hopefully shunt the money I would spend on feeding myself to feeding my children and my wife.

Ultimately, I want to make a jar of bean/bacon/turkey (or chicken) for about $3 for a 32oz jar and not fart all day at work.

If that means I need to make a somewhat concentrated version of the soup and dilute it at work, nuke it for a couple of minutes, and season to taste I can do that. I just want to make sure the base is going to do the job.

Thank you for any feedback

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  1. Epazote is meant to reduce flatulence, it's a mexican herb often used with beans. It has a somewhat strong taste so it may not fit in with your recipes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: absurdnerdbird

      The Indian spice ajwain is supposed to do the same, as is fenugreek (methi). Taste them both first though, ajwain in particular is pretty distinctive. The gas is caused by a few kinds of sugars that your body just can't digest, so breaking them down will lessen the fart factor. I'm told long cooking helps with that; it's possible your high-heat method may have the same effect.

      1. re: Emmmily

        Faetida seems to have the same effect.

    2. Eating more beans gradually allows the body to accustom itself to beans.

      3 Replies
      1. re: magiesmom

        Agree. And not just beans, and if you eat a high fiber diet in general you can tolerate more beans. And drink LOTS of water.

        1. re: magiesmom

          I was going to say the same thing. Just start eating them regularly and the "fart phase" will pass quickly.

          I soak sometimes, don't soak others; put the cooking water in soup; use salt during cooking; and never experience gastro issues.

          1. My mil swears that adding a bay leaf or two to the beans while they are cooking reduces the flatulence causing effects.

            1. When using chickpeas, First I rinse them, then I cook them and as soon as I can handle them I remove their skins. It helps greatly digesting them.

              1. I've heard that epazote and caraway seeds are supposed to help, but you've probably found in your research that the problem is very large protein (not sugar) molecules that the human digestive track has a hard time processing. Beano is an enzyme that breaks those proteins into smaller, easy to digest pieces, and that's probably the only reliable method. Another thing, the bean variety seems to make a big difference. As for me, I tolerate lentils and chick peas the best, but scarlet runner beans create a major gas attack.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Zeldog

                  No, the culprit is most definitly not protein. The flatulence inducing compounds in legumes are complex oligosacharrides. Specifically they are oligosacharrides with alpha-galactosidic linkages between monosacharrides. Humans (and other mammals) lack the enzyme necessary to break down these carbohydrates. The anti-gas product Beano is an enzyme, alpha-galactosidase, which helps to digest these oligo-sacharrides before they reach our large intestines and make mischief.