Posted by: CCT | March 14, 2010

Beans – Fast & Easy

This from the McDougall Cookbook (p.122):

Legumes include beans, peas and lentils.  They are easy to cook on a (1) stove-top or in a (2) slow cooker or (3) pressure cooker.  Before cooking, sort beans by hand to remove stones [for the dry ones].

  • Most beans cook in 1.5-3 hours; split peas and lentils take about 1-hour.  The longer you cook them, the softer they get, and the less trouble they cause with bowel gas.  Cooking times can be reduced by soaking overnightSee More At:  Dry Beans Vs. Canned Beans.
  • Slow cookers take 6-8 hours on high and 10-12 hours on low to cook legumes.  The best way to make your own home-cooked legumes fast and easy is to make large amounts and freeze them in meal-sized plastic containers.
  • Precooked legumes can be bought in bottles and cans.  Peas and black-eyed peas are available frozen in bags.  Packaged products are more expensive but save time and energy for cooking.  See More At:  Dry Beans Vs. Canned Beans.

Bowel gas is produced when carbohydrates not absorbed by your intestine are digested by gas-forming bacteria in your large intestine.  To avoid bothersome gas, either (1) don’t eat legumes or (2) cook them thoroughly to help break down the indigestible carbohydrates.

You can also cover them with water for 12-hours, then drain and spread on a moist towel, and let sprout for twelve hours before cooking.  Or take a packaged digestive enzyme product called Beano or activated charcoal after meals.


This recommendation from my own experience:

NOW Foods sells a super enzyme that I’ve used successfully to help stave off bowel gas.  Tablets don’t contain any sugar, salt, starch, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, soy, milk, egg or preservatives.  I’d say that pretty well covers most of the bases.




  1. the indigestible oligosaccharides are water soluble. I just soak beans in lots of water, drain and cook in fresh water… no problems! =)

  2. Have you ever heard anything about how rice interacts with beans? I don’t remember where I heard this, but supposedly rice with beans helps to moderate their gassiness.

  3. […] See also:  Beans – Fast & Easy, and Dry Beans vs. Canned Beans for more general information about beans. Crock pot size needed for […]

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