Cooking Dried Legumes for Gut Friendly Meal Prep

Beans are infamous for causing flatulence and bloating, even in the healthiest guts. Try this process for cooking dried legumes for meal prep. It makes them easier on the digestive system so everyone can enjoy the nutritional benefits without clearing the room.

October 13, 2022

Dried Beans for Specific Carbohydrate Diet

How to Make Beans Gut Friendly

There is a process to make beans and legumes easier on the digestive system and helpful for followers of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).

  1. Soak beans for 10 – 12 hours at room temperature. DIscard and change the water a few times.
  2. Hard boil with skimming to remove undigestible compounds and starches; boiling is the key to their removal – not simmering or slow cooking.
  3. Slow simmer to complete the cooking process and get them to the preferred texture.
  4. Store the legumes for future use.

Cheers, to toot-free beans!

Meal prepping dried beans for fridge or freezer storage in lidded glas jars

What is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet?

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet, SCD, provides intestinal health by eliminating grain, gluten, refined sugar, and some dairy. Followers can thrive on a varied diet that often reduces symptoms and allows the healing of an inflamed intestinal tract. The diet follows the research of Elaine Gottschall, author of  Breaking the Vicious Cycle Intestinal Health Through Diet.

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

If you’ve been on a Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) as a beginner or semi-pro, you are familiar with researching ingredients before eating them. Even with all your diligence in following the diet, your gut may tell you something went array. There are many nuances to following the diet correctly, and beans are no exception. I recently made soup with Navy beans that did not agree with me. I gave a bowl to my hubby, and he had the same experience. So, I knew it wasn’t just my troubled digestive system.

• Did I buy the correct beans?

• Did I eat them too soon in the healing process

• Did I soak them too long or not long enough

• Did I not cook them long enough

Know Your Beans

I soaked them for 12 hours, drained and rinsed them, and added them to a soup that simmered for 90 minutes. I researched comments on SCD  Communities and found some additional tips: a) changing the soaking water several times, b) hard boiling the legumes, and c) skimming the foam that forms to remove the indigestible starches. These steps are added to the recipe below.

It's All in the Details

I scoured through the comments and suggestions and created a quick reference chart and recipe to keep handy for future meals. This is one of those processes where details are important. Beans go by many names and have various soaking requirements and cooking methods. It is gut-wrenching to keep it all straight. Beans take time to cook properly, so making extra for handy meal prepping is another crucial step.

When Can you Introduce Beans into the SCD Diet?

Legumes can be eaten on the SCD after three months without symptoms. If you are ready to introduce beans into the diet, congratulations. Adding legumes to your diet is a great strategy to improve your health and budget.

Legumes - Nutritional Powerhouses

Legumes (dried peas, lentils, and beans) add protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. They can help us feel fuller, balance blood sugar, and reduce constipation. Cooking dried beans for meal prep provides the following:

  • control of ingredients like salt & spices
  •  ensure they are soaked and appropriately cooked for SCD 
  •  make extra servings to store in the fridge or freezer to help with meal planning
  •  saves money

What Beans are Allowed on the SCD?

Try any of these legumes after three months and no symptoms, and check the legal illegal list on the Breaking the Vicious Cycle website before eating. 

  •  Whole Lentils
  •  Split Peas
  •  Dried Beans: Lima, Navy, Red Kidney. 
  •  Black beans – try after the gut has healed.

Which Dried Legumes are Illegal on the SCD?

Illegal dried beans include cannellini, chic peas, great northern, faba, fava, fazolia, garbanzo, mung beans, soybeans, white kidney, broad bean, Windsor, horse, English, fool, foul, feve, faba, haba, black azuki, black adzuki, aduki, asuki, pinto. This is not an extensive list since they go by many names in different regions and counties; check the legal and illegal list on the Breaking the Vicious Cycle website before purchasing, cooking, and eating. 

Various dried beans on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

How to Cook Dried Legumes for Gut Friendly Meal Prep

Stovetop Cooking

The following times are a guide. Beans are better under soaked than oversoaked and better overcooked than undercooked. If the beans are too soft or firm, adjust the simmer time during the 2nd boil. Do not reduce the initial rapid boil time, however. 

2 Cups Dried Beans, Rinsed  16-0z or 454 grams

Overnight soaking in 8 cups of water

1st Cook: Rapid Boil (Minutes)

Do not reduce time

2nd Cook: Simmer (Minutes)

Can adjust for texture preference

Split Peas

10 – 12 hours

10 – 15

30 – 35

Whole Green & Brown Lentils

10 – 12 hours

15 – 20

15 – 30

Whole Green Peas

10 – 12 hours

15 – 20

45 – 75

Lima Beans

10 – 12 hours

15 – 20

45 – 75

Navy Beans, aka white haricot, Yankee bean, white pea bean, pearl haricot, Boston bean, pea bean, small white bean, fagioli

10 – 12 hours

15 – 20

35 – 45

Red Kidney Beans

15 – 20

15 – 20

30 – 35

Black Beans aka turtle, black turtle, Mexican black, Spanish black, frijole negro*

10 – 12 hours

15 – 20

35 – 45

 Introduce black beans after the gut is healed

 

Pressure or Instant Pot Cooking

The following times are a guide. Beans are better under soaked than oversoaked and better overcooked than undercooked. If you find the beans are too soft or firm, adjust the simmer time during the pressure cook time. Do not reduce the initial rapid boil time, however. 

2 Cups Dried Beans, Rinsed 16 oz or 454 grams

Overnight Soaking

Rapid Boil Lid Off (Minutes)

Pressure Lid On (Minutes)

Split Green Peas**

Stovetop recommended

Stovetop recommended

Stovetop recommended

Whole Green & Brown Lentils

10 – 12 hours

15

7 – 10

Whole Green Peas

10 – 12 hours

15

20 – 25 high pressure & natural release

Lima Beans

10 – 12 hours

15

20 – 25 high pressure & natural release

Navy/White Haricot

10 – 12 hours

15

15 high pressure & natural release

Red Kidney Beans

10 – 12 hours

15

10 – 15 high pressure & natural release

Black Beans, aka turtle, black turtle, Mexican

10 – 12 hours

15

15 high pressure & natural release

  *Cooking without a lid during the first cook reduces the frothing, which is helpful in the 2nd cook using the pressure lid.

 

** The cooking times for these products are short and do not benefit from pressure cooking

Cooking Dried Legumes for Meal Prep

Rinse beans in a strianer
1

Rinse legumes under running water in a colander or mesh strainer.

soak beans in a stockpot
2

Place in a stockpot or removable Instant Pot and cover with 8 cups of water; Soak for 8 - 10 hours.

Bring beans to a rapid boil
3

Discard soaking water. Refill the cooking pot and begin rapid boil

Skim foam off the surface of the boiling beans
4

Skim foam that comes to the surface several times throughout the boiling process.

Pressure cook beans
5

Reduce heat to simmer on the stovetop or apply lid on the Instant pot and pressure cook.

Meal prepping dried beans for fridge or freezer storage in lidded glas jars
6

Cool beans and store them in lidded containers or zip-lock bags—place in refrigerator or freezer.

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Dried Beans for Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Cooking Dried Legumes for Gut Friendly Meal Prep


  • Author: Karen
  • Total Time: 11 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Beans are infamous for causing flatulence and bloating, even in the healthiest guts. Try this process for cooking dried legumes for meal prep. It makes them easier on the digestive system so everyone can enjoy the nutritional benefits without clearing the room. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups dried legal SCD legumes (whole lentils, split peas, lima beans, Navy beans. red kidney beans, black beans)
  • 8 cups water for soaking
  • 12 cups of water for boiling
  • 2 cups additional water for simmering

Instructions

1. Prepare Legumes. Wash the legumes under running water in a colander or mesh strainer.

2. Soak Legumes. Place legumes in a medium to large stock pot and cover with 8 cups of water. Soak for 10 hours at room temperature. DONT oversoak! More is NOT better. Once the enzyme inhibitors are deactivated sufficiently, oversoaking can cause changes in the legumes’ molecular structure which makes legumes harder to digest.

3. A) Stovetop Rapid Boil. Discard soaking water by pouring contents through a strainer. Place legumes back into the stock pot and cover with 10 – 12 cups of water. Place on medium/high heat and boil uncovered for 10 – 20 minutes – see chart for the specific legume time of 1st cook rapid boil. Skim and discard the foam on the surface while boiling. Boil for longer if foam continues to form. Do not reduce the time on the rapid boil.

3. B) Instant Pot Rapid Boil Saute. Discard soaking water by pouring contents through a strainer. Place legumes back into the pot and cover with 10 – 12 cups of water. Do not go past the halfway mark inside the pot. Place on saute and boil uncovered for 15 minutes. Skim and discard the foam on the surface. Boil for longer if foam continues to form. Do not reduce the time on the rapid boil.

4. A) Stovetop Simmer. Reduce heat and add 2 more cups of water to the pot. Simmer on low heat with the lid tilted for 5 – 75 minutes, depending on the chart time for the specific bean.

4. B) Instant Pot Pressure Cook. Hit cancel to stop the rapid boil, lock the pressure cooker lid, and set the valve to pressure mode. Pressure cook for 7 – 25 minutes, depending on the chart direction for the specific legume. After pressure cooking is complete, turn off the cooker and wait 10 minutes to allow the steam to release naturally. Carefully remove the lid allowing the steam to escape from you.

5. Add legumes to recipes. The legumes are ready to be eaten or added to recipes. Some recipes will simmer beans with other ingredients. This will make the beans very soft, which is your preference. I generally adjust recipes to add the beans at the end of the cooking to warm them through.

6. Store Beans. If you made extra, cool beans and place them in lidded containers, and store them in the refrigerator for the freezer. Measure 1.5 cups of beans into lidded containers or freezer storage bags. This quantity will substitute for one 15-oz can, which is perfect for recipes. Remove the container from the freezer the night before or defrost it on the day of by soaking it in hot water. Beans are fresh for four days in the refrigerator or three months in the freezer. Another freezer option is to lay cooked beans flat on a baking tray with sides and place them flat in the freezer. Then after a few hours, take the tray out and scoop the beans into a lidded freezer container or zip-lock bag. This makes them “loose” like frozen peas/sweetcorn rather than stuck together in a big chunk.

 

Notes

Nutritional information is based on Navy beans.

Beans should collapse under gentle pressure between the finger and thumb. Do not add salt while cooking. Salt makes the skin tough and consequently harder to digest.

 The chart times are a guide. Beans are better under soaked than oversoaked and better overcooked than undercooked. If you find the beans are too soft or firm, adjust the simmer time during the 2nd boil. Do not reduce the initial rapid boil time, however.

 Instant Pot – If the beans are too firm after pressure cooking, saute for a few more minutes and add water as necessary.

 Instant pot: Cooking without a lid and skimming the foam during the first cook on the pressure cooker reduces the frothing, which is helpful in the 2nd cook using the pressure lid.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Soaking: 10 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Legumes
  • Method: cooktop + pressure
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Navy beans, lentils, split peas, lima beans. red kidney beans, black beans, gut friendly beans, gut friendly legumes

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