Tips for Cooking Beans

August 13, 2010 in Cooking Tips by Joyce Bunderson

Beans always seem to evoke little poems; if you don’t know the poems you can ask your 7-year-old child or the neighbor’s; they’ll be more than glad to tell you their poem. If you’re worried about that issue try beano, or use canned beans, which seem to cause much less flatulence. If you’re using canned beans, you can purchase low salt versions, but if you don’t find the version that you’re looking for in your market, drain and rinse the beans, it will reduce quite a bit of the sodium. So now that we’ve covered the two common ‘bean issues’, gas and salt, let’s discover why we want to be reintroduced to beans.

My son-in-law, Sergio, makes cooked black beans at our family gatherings. His method never causes the ‘poem problem.’ I have no clue why. I called and got his directions and this is his recipe.

  • Sergio doesn’t soak the beans. I was taught that you have to soak the beans and pour off the water to reduce the raffinose and stachyose that cause the poem problem. Raffinose and stachyose are polysaccharides that are not digested by humans and animals with one stomach. The bacteria in the lower intestine, however, do a fine job digesting raffinose and stachyose; and in the process, produce carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen (the makings of flatulence). Beano to the rescue, if you do have a serious problem. But I have always wondered if the canning companies are soaking their beans overnight – I think not. No guarantee on the ‘poem problem’, but it is amazing that his recipe causes us no problems.

Sergio’s Black Beans

  • Put a one-pound package of rinsed and inspected for pebbles dry black beans in a pot.
  • Cover with water, with about an inch to spare.
  • Add about ½ cup yellow onion and salt to taste.
  • Sometimes he adds some garlic.
  • Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a high simmer.
  • Cover the pot.
  • Check on the pot periodically, to be sure that the pot is not dry (without water).
  • Cook until the beans are tender.
  • The cooking time is different at different altitudes. He and his family live at sea level; we live near mile high drive in the Rocky Mountains. The time is approximately 2 – 3 hours.