Secret Ingredient to Cooking Beans- Kombu!

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips

Kombu cooked with beans renders them more digestible, and reduces the “fragrant side effects” from eating beans.

Kombu- Sea vegetables have a “soften hardness” quality and they make the beans much more digestible for folks with sensitive digestive systems. It also adds minerals and nutrients into the

food. Best beans to digest are adzuki, mung and lentil.

Kombu can also be cooked into brown rice for similar reasons.

Three Secrets to Cooking Beans:

1. Soak – Nature programs all seeds to lie dormant and hard until warm spring rains soak and soften them. A good soak hydrates and “awakens” the beans and they start to sprout. This sprouting process consumes the phytates (anti-nutrients) and makes the beans easier for us to digest. Additionally, the beans hard to digest sugars (oligosaccharides) leach out into the soaking water and are discarded.

2. Simmer – Don’t Boil, Simmer! Boiling toughens (coagulates) the bean’s protein whereas cooking at a slow simmer softens it. Simmering is when there are a few, small bubbles on the cooking surface. Boiling means lots of big bubbles as the hot fluid vaporizes.

3. Kombu – Lastly, cook beans with a strip of kombu sea weed. Mineral-rich kombu imparts a delicious meaty flavor to the beans plus it’s enzymes are a natural and healthful tenderizer. Before serving the beans you may stir kombu into the beans or remove it as you would a bay leaf. With long cooking, however, the kombu dissolves into the beans and helps thicken the broth. Kombu is available at quality food stores, natural food stores and on the Internet.

A slow cooker is ideal for bean cooking as it simmers them to melting perfection. Add soaked beans to the cooker before work turn on and be welcomed home to great pot of beans. Pressure cooking saves energy and reduces cooking time by 2/3, however the high temperature destroys the beans heat sensitive B vitamins.

Yield: 1 cup of dry beans makes 2 to 3 cups cooked beans.