Infamous for being the ‘The musical fruit – the more you eat, the more you toot’ pulses have a reputation for increasing bloating and gas. But by soaking and rinsing legumes before they’re cooked, these effects can be greatly reduced, plus it will also cut your cooking times in half.
Surveys show that only 35 per cent of Australians eat pulses regularly, despiterecommendations we should be eating at least 2 - 3serves per week. One reason for the lowintake is that many people avoid pulses in fear of experiencing an increase in gas andflatulence. But this isnt necessarily the case. Michelle Broom, Accredited Practicing Dieticianand Nutrition Program Manager of the Grain & Legumes Nutrition Council explains: Legumes contain galactooligosaccharides(GOS), a specific type of fibre that is actually verygood for you. Its a natural prebiotic because it feeds the healthy bacteria within your gut. Insome people this type of fibre can cause gas and flatulence, but studies show that after about 4weeks of eating legumes, gas and flatulence dissipates and reduces to the point that mostpeople no longer noticed it.
Soaking pulses before cooking can also reduce these gassy effects because when pulses aresoaked in water the indigestible complex sugars ( galactooligosaccharides) are broken down,making them easier to digest.
HOW TO SOAK 1. Wash pulses thoroughly in a colander under running water. 2. Soak according to diagram below. 3. Drain, discard water, and rinse again. 4. Place pulses in a pot with plenty of fresh water (around 5-8cm above the pulses) andcook until tender (see diagram). 5. NOTE: Do not add salt to the cooking water as the beans will become tough and wontcook. Salt can be added once cooked.
If you have no time to soak your pulses you can also use the quick method.