Beans can take time to prepare, but they are worth it. I personally LOVE eating beans; chili, burritos, rice and beans, bean soup, hummus with pita or vegetable crudités – yum!
Beans often get a bad rap because folks can have difficulty digesting them, and there are a couple of good reasons for that.
First and foremost, the digestive system in modern humans has been compromised from eating way too many refined grains and sugars, plus over-use of antibiotics that destroys intestinal flora. With our intestinal bacteria compromised, digestion of beans, as well as many other foods, becomes difficult.
Secondly, beans need to be properly prepared. This includes soaking them eight to twenty-four hours to release acids, anti-nutrients, gas-causing enzymes, and trisaccharides (sugars).
I also highly recommend cooking beans with a small piece of kelp sea vegetable. Kelp contains glutamic acid that helps soften tough fibers, making beans more digestible and producing less gas. This will make your friends and family happy, for sure!
The beauty of cooking beans is you don’t have to baby sit them. Put them on the stove with the appropriate amount of water and bring to a boil. Skim the foam that rises to the top and discard. Adjust the temperature to simmer and cover. No need to stir or sauté… they practically cook themselves.
What I like to do is make a big pot of beans, and then use them in various recipes throughout the week.
Here’s one I think you’ll enjoy. It’s simple, easy and delicious!
- ¾ cup mixed dried mix beans (black, pinto, kidney, cranberry)
- 2 & ½ cups water
- 3 inches kelp sea vegetable
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 stalks celery, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 3 & ½ cups beef stock (or other stock)
- 1 large red potato, chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 & ½ tsp. Real sea salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2 kale leaves, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- Soak the beans overnight (or 8-12 hours) in water.
- Pour off the soaking water and discard.
- Put beans into a pot with 3 cups fresh water and kelp.
- Skim off excess foam and discard.
- Cover the beans, and lower the heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add 1 tsp. sea salt and cook additional 20 minutes.
- After the beans cook pour off excess water.
- In a soup pot saute onion in olive oil 2-3 minutes.
- Add garlic, tomato paste, carrots and celery and cook 3-5 minutes.
- Add beef stock, potato, rosemary, oregano, thyme and bay leaves.
- Add the cooked beans and remaining sea salt and black pepper.
- Cover and cook 15-20 minutes.
- Add kale and cook additional 2-3 minutes.
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.