What if I only eat beans

NO tones for every bean - cook beans better

The bean doesn't want to be eaten by you. The goal of a bean plant is not that someone like us fills his stomach with it, but that at least one or the other seed (nothing else is a bean) make it to the end of the digestive tract - or at all if not eaten on a fertile piece Lands and a new plant emerges. It's the same with lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes.

That would just be the plan. This is why the bean has built in some “anti-nutrients” such as phytic acid, tannins, lectins or protein inhibitors to make digestion more difficult. These antinutrients make digestion more difficult and prevent, for example, that we can absorb certain minerals.

But they are not the cause of the “tones” that one likes to get from the “beans” ... They come from actually quite useful fiber - that is, carbohydrates that we cannot digest - which are food for our intestinal bacteria. And these bacteria eat that fiber with gusto and then produce the pesky gases. The good news: it can be trained and will get better!

So if you do not tolerate legumes well and they produce a lot of "tones" in you, then start very slowly and "train" your intestines. I then find lentils the easiest to get started with, then maybe chickpeas (mmmmm, hummus! Yummy!) And only then dare to try the “right” beans, such as kidney beans, white beans or kidney beans. Kidney beans (i.e. red beans) are the most difficult to digest for many. Maybe leave them out completely at the beginning. Eat a small portion of legumes every few days and slowly increase the amount - you will see your bowels get used to it!

Humans have been living in close symbiosis with legumes for several thousand years - that is, all beans, lentils and of course chickpeas, and they are among the most important cultivated plants for humans. In this case, symbiosis means that we offer the beans a nice home, a bed with good soil, where they are protected from predators such as deer and without competition (“weeds”) from other plants etc. to “raise their children” and ensure that it can reproduce (so there will be a bean bed again next year) - but it provides us with edible seeds that contain very valuable nutrients for us. Because of this, it has adapted to humans over the course of time and has broken down anti-nutrients and contains much less of them than its “wild relatives”. This is good for the bean because it becomes more useful for humans.

If it provides us with valuable nutrients and does not affect our digestion (too much) we continue to cultivate it - a wonderful example of how evolution works.

Beans not only provide fiber, but are above all a very good source of protein - in combination with other foods, protein from legumes can be equivalent to animal protein.

To break down the antinutrients and increase the digestibility of the legumes, there are a few simple tricks:

  1. Soak well. By the way, the beans become softer if you soak them in very salty water (I know! You learn exactly the other way around! But try it, it works great) for at least 12, but better 24 hours (longer if you use chickpeas). Lentils do not have to be soaked for so long and you can cook some types directly without soaking - but if your intestines are sensitive, it is worth soaking them for at least a few hours. I think they taste better then too! Lentils also like a splash of lemon juice, whey or a tablespoon of yogurt in the water.
  2. Bring to the boil in plenty of (lightly salted!) Water for at least 10 minutes. If you like, you can change the water again after 10 minutes - that makes it even easier to digest.
  3. A pinch of baking soda in the water increases the pH value (= makes the water softer) and also makes the beans much softer. I don't know if this is more digestible, but it shortens the cooking time and the beans taste better and become creamier.
  4. Spices such as bay leaves, cloves, caraway seeds or fennel in the cooking water - they can help to “defoliate” the legumes. I especially like a combination of 1-2 bay leaves and a small onion, in which I stick 2-3 cloves.
  5. To finish cooking the beans, I put them in the oven! Simply put the lid on and put it in the oven at around 120 degrees - for 45-60 minutes. Ingenious trick and you won't burn!
  6. By the way, they taste even better if you let them cool down in the cooking liquid.

Cooking legumes yourself is time-consuming - but it's worth it!

  1. First, it's much cheaper than canned beans or chickpeas (lentils cook so quickly that you never really need to buy them canned).
  2. You avoid the xenoestrogens from the plasticizers, which can be in the can (they are all covered with plastic on the inside) - so legumes in glasses are the better choice here. Xenoestrogens are substances that occur in plastic but also in cosmetics, etc., which look something like our endogenous hormone and can therefore disrupt our hormone balance in our body.
  3. You have a lot more choice! There are so many great types of beans, but you usually only get 2-3 different types in cans or glasses.

The trick: cook a lot at once! Then drain and freeze in portions. So you always have beans ready and can cook with them spontaneously and quickly at any time - e.g. our bean spread.

But if that's too much for you, then it's not a must. In addition to fish and tomatoes, beans are some of the very few things that I often buy from a can (or better, from a jar). So don't stress yourself if that is not much too time-consuming for you and you - healthy nutrition consists of many aspects, not everyone has to prepare everything themselves, you can also take a little “shortcut” from time to time.

But if you want to bring in more variety, save money or just want to try something new - then try making beans yourself (I LOVE beetle beans this way!).

Would you like to have a video that shows you how to do it and would like to ask me questions? No problem! Tonight there is another live session (i.e. a live webinar from our kitchen) in the rule of thumb club, in which I show the various tips and tricks in detail and we will cook one or the other. Be sure to be there - or watch the recording later!

All live sessions are part of the rule of thumb club. Not a member yet? The time has come! For only EUR 1 you can get a taste of the club for a month and see if this is something for you. The club has lots of tips on how to incorporate healthy eating into everyday life - because eating right doesn't have to be complicated! So, try it out, if this is something for you!