walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Some Observations about Beans and Greens (no more Pollan, I promise!)

In my foray into Bean World over the last few weeks, I've been cooking a lot of beans. I've tried a variety of strategies: overnight soak, several hour soak, quick soak (boil and then let it sit), microwave soak (R.'s invention) (okay, I lied: Pollan says if you sign up for a CSA, there won't be anything microwaveable. Moron. Okay, moving on. Really!), no soak. Cook it with the lid on, the lid off, in the slow cooker, in the oven. We bought a pressure cooker, but then heard that Sally Fallon thing about pressure cooking is teh evil, and so haven't used it yet. When the day comes when it's pressure cooker or beans from a can, I'm informed enough to know that _all canned beans have been through a pressure cooker already_ and will use my own.

I've cooked beans with nothing, epazote, kombu. I don't tend to salt beans, but the baked beans did have molasses and etc. in them.

I've rinsed once, rinsed more than once, and cooked in the soak water. And here are my conclusions about beans and teh flatulence:

(1) Cook the heck out of those beans. If there is any al dente left, virtually nothing will save you from the fartage.

(2) Eat beans freqently.

Nothing else seems to matter as much as those two. Kombu and epazote seem to help somewhere, but those are what really matter.

I've been noticing that my usual affection for greens (fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley, etc., and Leafy Greens such as chard, kale, etc.) has increased -- especially for the herbs. It seems like every new bean dish I make, I find a way to incorporate more and more herbs, and it seems more and more important to serve greens as a side. I'd been wondering about this, and, in parallel, trying to figure out a reasonable fatty acids strategy as well, since there was a consensus that vegetarians often wind up with a more extreme omega-6/omega-3 ratio than Standard American diet. Lo and behold, Pollan offered up an in passing summary that perfectly captures what I had been laboriously cobbling together: the omega-6s are in the seeds and the omega-3s are in the leaves.

Gotta have both -- eat your greens with your beans (and grains).

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