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Bean Truths for Vegetarians and More

June 9, 2008

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Beans have a bad rap. “Beans. Beans. The more you eat. The more you…” You get my drift. But for many vegetarians and vegans looking for protein, beans are it. They are an affordable source of protein and provide fiber, helping to stabalize blood sugar. At the same time, they can be very hard to digest. If you prepare and cook them the right way you can the maximum nutritional benefit and reduce gas and indigestion problems. Beans are a great food to have in your diet regardless of what diet you follow. If you know you are highly sensitive to beans, try smaller ones like aduki or lentils and try cooking them longer than you think is necessary. Try some of our very own bean dish recipes.  

Basic Bean Cooking Guide

  • Wash and clean beans.
  • Soak them either overnight or boil them for 5 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let them soak for 2 to 4 hours.
  • Remove them from the soaking water before cooking them.
  • Place beans in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. See package for water amount.
  • Skim off the foam.
  • Cook beans with a 1- to 3-inch strip of kombu to help with digestion You can also add bay leaf, cumin, anise or fennel.
  • Cover, reduce heat and simmer for suggested time.
  • Add salt when they are done cooking (about 10 minutes before beans are done).

About the author

Joshua Rosenthal is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He has worked in the nutrition field for more than 25 years, teaching at the school alongside health leaders including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra and Barry Sears. At Integrative Nutrition students are trained as Health Coaches, receiving the holistic nutrition education necessary for them go out into the world and help others improve their health and happiness.