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.
- 2 cups dried legal SCD legumes (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
- Prepare Legumes. Wash the legumes under water in a colander or mesh strainer.
- Soak Legumes. Place legumes in a medium to large stock pot and cover with 8 cups of cold water. Soak for 10 – 12 hours at room temperature to remove undigestible sugars. 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.
- 3A) Stovetop Rapid Boil. Discard soaking water by pouring contents through a strainer. Rinse the legumes thoroughly under running water. 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.
3B) Instant Pot Rapid Boil Saute. Discard soaking water by pouring contents through a strainer. Rinse the legumes thoroughly under running water. 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.
- 4A) Stovetop Simmer. Reduce heat and add 2 more cups of water to the pot. Simmer on low heat with the lid tilted for 15 – 75 minutes, depending on the chart time for the specific bean.
4B) 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, 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.
- 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.
- Store Legumes. If you made extra for meal prep, cool legumes, place them in lidded containers and store them in the refrigerator or 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.
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 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.
Cooked, drained, and pureed Navy beans make a good thickener for gravy and an extender for baked goods using nut flours.
- 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, Specific Carbohydrate Diet. SCD