Pulses are a term that encompasses dry peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils. They’re a gluten-free source of protein and fibre, and are rich in important nutrients like iron, potassium and folate. Pulses can help you keep full longer and will help you with brain function – perfect for breakfast!
How can we make pulses more digestible?
Although you may love them, eating pulses can cause digestive issues such as gas and bloating.
Here are a few tricks for preparing pulses so they’re more digestible:
Choose dried beans, soak overnight, then rinse well before pre-cooking them.
Pre-cook twice: place soaked pulses in a pot-full of water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water begins to boil, you will notice the foam appearing – these are the proteins pulses release when cooked. Immediately strain in a sink, rinse well with water, and repeat. Only after boiling and straining twice, you may go ahead and cook them up!
An alternative is to sprout beans first, by soaking them for two to three days before cooking (read more in our article about "sprouting pulses").
Use cumin powder each and every time you cook beans. Cumin will dissipate the foamy gas that pulses release upon digestion.
If using canned pulses, it’s unavoidable to suffer more from digestive issues as the pulses have been soaking in water with preservatives, inside the can, for an unlimited amount of time.
Never add salt to pulses when cooking, as this may prevent many varieties from softening, and thus breaking up their proteins inside. Always add salt once they’ve softened.
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Article originally appeared in our Silver and Gold magazine Winter 2017 issue. Click for more articles! www.silvergoldmagazine.ca
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