Two Heads of Lettuce

Simple recipes for vegetarian potlucks. Would you like to join the Two Heads of Lettuce team? Contact twoheadsoflettuce at gmail dot com.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gas-free Beans

Before I dive into my inaugural post, I would like to thank the creators of this blog for a) creating this blog b) accepting my request to blog on this site (though they may come to regret it in the future).

Though I am not currently a vegetarian (I hope to be one someday), I frequent many a Shabbat vegetarian potluck around Beantown (no pun intended). The food is generally delicious and nourishing, but the barrage of legumes amounts to torture on my digestive system. I recently came across an article in Delicious Living November 2006 p.20 that just might help cure my ills and thought that it was worthy of sharing on this blog...

(N.B. I'm not that hip; I don't actually subscribe to this magazine. I think it belongs to one of my girlfriend's roommates.)

"...Venezuelan researchers report that the key to making gas-free beans is fermenting the beans before cooking them (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 2006, vol. 86, no. 8). The secret lies in two strains of bacteria, Lacto bacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum. You can encourage these helpful bacteria to grow either by adding them to a batch of beans before cooking, or (as savvy cooks will tell you) by cooking beans in the juices from a previous batch. Bonus: Once these fermented beans are cooked, the amount of nutrients that can be digested and absorbed increases significantly."

I guess there's hope for those of us with legumaphobic digestive systems. On a related note, can someone please let me know which aisle in the grocery store generally stocks bacteria?


At 11:08 AM, December 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another gas-reducing technique is to cook your beans with some kombu (a kind of seaweed). It's slowly making its way into mainstream groceries, but can usually be found in natural foods stores and asian markets.


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