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Quick Tips: Make Your Beans Less Musical

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/24/2009 2:20 PM   :  93 comments

"Beans, beans, the musical fruit.
The more you eat, the more you toot."


We've all heard that tune, and most of us have unfortunately experienced the reality of it.
Beans are an excellent source of fiber, and they are a great source of protein, especially for vegetarians. So many people are scared to eat them because of the digestive ditties that their bodies play later.

Fear no bean.

TreeHugger recently shared some tips on how to make your beans less musical.
I make a big pot of dried beans once a week and rarely have much "trouble" eating them.

Now that you know how to quiet your beans, how do you cook them?


Here's how I cook dried beans:

Rinse 4 cups of beans in a colander.

Place in pot (or usually in my rice cooker) and cover with two inches of water. Add a strip of kombu (It's a seaweed that helps reduce the gassy effects. It costs less than $5, and it lasts a long time.) or a pinch of baking soda (which has the same effect).

Bring to a boil, cover and cook about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and rinse beans several times.

Rinse pot, then return beans to pot, covering with water to about an inch above the beans. I add another strip of kombu (about an inch wide), plus seasonings. I add a onion, two bay leaves, two cloves of garlic, a hefty tablespoon of cumin and a couple of teaspoons of ground coriander seed. Boil until tender, another 30-45 minutes. Add more water if beans dry out or if you like yours soupy.

When the beans are as tender as you'd like them to be, remove from heat and take out the bay leaves. They're ready to eat. I usually make 4 cups of dry beans and 2 cups of dry rice (made separately then mixed) a week, and that's about a dozen one-cup servings (about 205 calories and less than one gram of fat).

For canned beans, just give them a rinse. That will help remove some of the sugar that causes the uncomfortable and embarrassing gas that accompanies eating beans.

Find more bean recipes.

Black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney, anasaziÖ So many beans, so little time!
Read more about bean varieties, and start cooking some beans!

What kind of beans do you like to eat?


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Comments

  • GRANDMAROSE65
    93
    Something I tried and it works for me is, in addition to rinsing the beans, add a bit of baking soda to them prior to starting your cooking process. This seems to help me and I hope it helps you. - 9/13/2013   5:11:49 PM
  • KAREENE
    92
    I really love beans, especially Great Northern, kidney, and red beans, but I read that using baking soda takes out the vitamins, but it does help with the gas. I read on one of the recipe sites to put in some raw potato, and when the beans are done, remove the potato. Haven't tried it yet-you probably should put the potato in large pieces so you can see it to remove it. I have had trouble cooking black beans-don't have a rice cooker. Also didn't know about rinsing the canned beans-will try that. Thanks for all the tips. - 6/5/2012   1:01:16 PM
  • 91
    Tonight I cooked my third batch of black beans. My first lot was inedible. My second lot ditto, stayed really hard, fed to dog!
    This time I used our rice cooker, like Stepfanie suggested- after rinsing beans I put them back in with some more water, cummin & onion. I searched around my kitchen & found some seaweed sheets used for sushi (nori), threw it in!
    Later I transferred that to a pan with cooked brown rice, a few frozen tomatos & some freshly picked & chopped silverbeet- it was so delicious!
    Forgot the garlic & bay leaves but did chop up fresh coriander and squeezed lemon in also.
    Served with heated chapati (Indian flat bread). - 6/9/2011   10:37:55 AM
  • 90
    My family only eats pinto beans. Love them! We like it soupy. I especially love it with lots of homemade salsa, chopped onions, cilantro, *yum*
    I've never had the gassy problem, my DH & daughter do. I don't get it. - 11/16/2009   3:39:42 PM
  • 89
    I love chili, I'm going to try this! - 7/27/2009   4:08:09 PM
  • 88
    This is a great idea! Can't wait to try it out ! - 3/31/2009   2:12:48 PM
  • 87
    In Polish beans are called FA SO LA.
    Funny, yes?
    I'm eating the apple, like jennimadison suggested.
    - 3/31/2009   4:01:43 AM
  • 86
    I've cooked beans overnight in a crock pot. I was told to put in a teaspoon of baking soda
    a little before beans are done. It helps with the "music". - 3/2/2009   4:11:33 PM
  • 85
    Eat an apple after eating beans. You won't have any "music." - 3/1/2009   2:09:54 PM
  • 84
    This article was right on time. I have Great Northern beans (a favorite) soaking in the kitchen right now! I'm going to try the baking soda method and hope for the best! - 2/28/2009   8:20:36 PM
  • 83
    One question, I remember reading some concerns about using the bakind soda method. First, it supposedly toughens the bean, which isn't really a big deal, but something, too, about it not being good for you. Something to do with a chemical reaction...so I stopped using that trick years ago. I can't recall it, though, does anyone else know?
    I'm very curious about the Kombu...can you usually find that at Asian markets?

    I love beans, all kinds of beans. I attribute it to having spent a few summers in a kind of youth peace corps program as a kid, living in developing nations and pretty much living on the indigenous local 'beans and rice' dish while there. Swore off them until somewhere in my mid-20's I found myself craving beans.
    Now I cook them often on a weekly basis, a big pot. I love to add chopped veggies like carrots, onions, sweet potatoes and skip the rice or grain, just have a big bowl...yum. Very filling, too. Great over a bed of spring greens, btw, so the crisp freshness of baby lettuces with spicy (mine are always spicy) beans. YUM. - 2/28/2009   7:13:11 AM
  • 82
    I love beans, my favorites are Great northern, baby Limas , black beans, chili beans. The list could go on and on, but the reason I need to comments is that the days when people cooked beans were gone. Now we are rutuning to the things that many poor people grew up on and love.

    Hoorah for the Beans, long live the beans, thanks for the ideas to reduce the flatuence. It is surely needed in my house. - 2/27/2009   6:54:11 PM
  • WOHLWEND
    81
    I love beans! We eat them several times a week at my house and we don't really have any gas problems. One of my favorite legume dishes is lentils with brown rice. They can cook together in about 45 minutes, you don't have to soak the lentils and you can vary the taste with different spices. My favorite is curried lentils and rice! - 2/27/2009   2:42:18 PM
  • 80
    MOOKBALL asked about the difference between cumin and coriander, as they are the same name in Spanish. I was curious, so I looked it up and found an article in the Washington Post that explained it:

    "In this country, coriander (coriandrum sativium) refers to the fruit seeds of the green leafy plant known as cilantro,but in many other parts of the word, coriander is used to refer to both the fresh and dried versions. The green leaves are pungent in a citrusy sort of way; they've been described as soapy. You either love it or hate it, but you might like it when its seeds are ground and mixed with other spices, as it's lighter and brighter without the intensity of cumin.

    Pickling is one of the few applications when whole seeds are used; otherwise, they're ground and incorporated into curries, spice pastes, stews, even desserts. It figures into the cuisines of the Middle East, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and in some countries, the whole plant is used, even the root.

    Unlike its multifaceted cousin, cumin (cuminum cyminum) is used in seed (or ground) form only. Bigger and darker than the fennel seed, but difficult to pick out in a lineup with the caraway seed (another relative), the cumin seed packs a major flavor punch and plays well with others, such as cinnamon, cayenne and ground herbs such as oregano and thyme. " - 2/27/2009   10:31:08 AM
  • 79
    I think I was born with musical talent! Reading all the posts have made me hungry for a nice bean meal, think I'll try some lentils with turkey sausage this weekend. Yum..........I'll give the baking soda a try, otherwise I usually use simethicone tablets - not sure on that spelling. They work well. - 2/27/2009   8:36:32 AM
  • 78
    I love beans and I cook them spicy, my fav are Light red kidney beans, I put some grated carrots in there too - 2/26/2009   12:38:50 PM
  • 77
    I am not a fan of beans i had to eat a lot of chili growing up and my sister would make it so hot and spicy that i still do not like it to this day.. I hate peppers all of them and she would put them in there also.. so i have a hard time with eating beans.. i do like split peas.. but not beans.. I do not think anyone is going to change my mind with this.. My husband will say lets make a pot of chili i want some home made.. i will make it and it smells good but i still can not eat it.. - 2/26/2009   11:16:55 AM
  • CHRISTINEEGAN73
    76
    I love all beans. (I love all food!) I never used to have gas until all this fiber. I tried this last night. So far so good!!! - 2/26/2009   11:02:09 AM
  • 75
    black beans are my absolute favorite. i cook them with onions and garlic and then put them over brown rice with a dab of sour cream :) - 2/26/2009   9:46:28 AM
  • 74
    Spices are the key to reducing gassy results! My two favorties are cumin and caraway (if you think about it these are paired with beans and cabbage two of the biggest offenders). Other than can help are coriander and fennel - this along with cinnamon settle the stomach. My favorite are black beans, but I've just learned about kidney beans being slightly higher in protein so that may be my new love. - 2/26/2009   1:18:41 AM
  • 73
    I love beans - and they're a great source of fiber. Some favorites are: Great northern beans, Campbells' Bean w/ Bacon soup, and butter beans. - 2/25/2009   11:32:21 PM
  • 72
    Hi Stepfanie:) We love all kinds of beans, chick peas, lentils, whole and split; split peas of all color, pigeon peas whole and split but, never heard of this idea! Most home made beans, we have no music problem perhaps because I do soak the dry beans overnight. However, no matter what we do. the rinsed, canned beans tend to play the music.......

    I wonder if there is another tip that works for the canned beans.

    Thank You! - 2/25/2009   11:23:51 PM
  • 71
    I love beans. If you are substituting beans for meat, you might want to research how to combine them with grains such as rice or corn to make complete amino acids.

    Also, please be aware that anyone with kidney failure should not eat dried beans because they contain too much potassium. Please check with your dietician, especially if you are on hemodialysis. - 2/25/2009   10:28:52 PM
  • 70
    We enjoy cooking up a big batch of "Cajun Style 15-Bean Soup" - - - but we do NOT use the seasoning packet that comes with the mixed bean bag!! Sure don't need all that Sodium!
    Overnight soaking works best & then start cooking 'em the next morning, either oven-backed in our enamel-clad cast iron pot OR in our slow cooker. Either way works nicely. We don't seem to ever suffer with any "bean music" probably because of the overnight soakings & the fact that we've been eating beans pretty regularly for several years now. LOVE THEM so much especially with Brown Rice.
    - 2/25/2009   9:42:11 PM
  • LOSE4HEALTH
    69
    I looooove my black bean chili from Dr. Phil's diet book. It is delicious. I'm now adding them to salads, too. Healthy, healthy. - 2/25/2009   8:29:42 PM
  • 68
    sounds great!! - 2/25/2009   8:12:43 PM
  • 67
    I love Camellia Brand Red Kidney beans .I have them shipped from Louisiana. - 2/25/2009   6:59:23 PM
  • 66
    I love beans. I've always rinsed the ones in the can when I'm using them on a salad, but I had no idea I was rinsing the gas away:)

    Thanks for sharing this article. - 2/25/2009   6:03:48 PM
  • JUST-AMY
    65
    I will try the baking soda trick. How very interesting! - 2/25/2009   3:38:09 PM
  • 64
    Unfortunately, all things being Southern here- Brown or White Beans cooked to a thick Soup, & they only seem good with corn bread, fried 'tatters' & a possible mess of okra or squash! LOL* NOT to mention the musical part doesn't go well with IBS. Hope I haven't lead any astray with that menu. - 2/25/2009   3:04:31 PM
  • 63
    Great article, I love beans! I have never thought about putting them in the rice cooker, what a time saver. Thanks so much!! - 2/25/2009   2:11:16 PM
  • 62
    My entire extended family avoided beans because of the gross repercussions. Beano never worked for us.Thank you so much for this information. I'm going to try all of them (maybe all at once :). Also gives me a reason to get a slow cooker..... - 2/25/2009   1:02:22 PM
  • TITANIA111
    61
    I have never had an issue with beans being too musical for me. I do however take supplemental digestive enzymes. Works for me but as my uncle says, "better shame then pain!" :o) - 2/25/2009   12:16:50 PM
  • 60
    My fire department cooks up about 500-600lbs of baked beans for a Memorial Day BBQ run by the town baseball association. I'm part of the crew that does the beans.

    We start on Saturday morning by sorting (sometimes the bags have stones or bad beans in them) and rinsing the beans and then putting them in pots and covering them with water to soak overnight. Check the water Saturday night and again Sunday morning, then come in around 11pm Sunday night to start cooking. We finish them around 6-7am Monday morning. It's quite the trip, but I've been doing it for years and have a blast every time!

    As part of the cooking process, we dump in about a quarter cup of baking soda in each 60lb batch (yes, sixty pounds each, no typo; we have 2 HUGE steam cookers) and it lets out a little green cloud! It's so neat to see. We forgot the baking soda a couple years ago (no 24-hr grocery store and none in the closet) and heard complaints of the beans being extraordinarily gassy. We'd always done the baking soda trick, so people were not accustomed to getting too gassy from our beans!! - 2/25/2009   11:59:46 AM
  • 59
    Beans, lentils, & split peas, all cooked from scratch starting with dried, are huge parts of my diet these days--for example:
    1. baked beans (a favorite, cooked great navy beans or small white beans baked for 4-8 hours with molasses, onion, a bit of ketchup & mustard, chili powder)
    2. dhal (split peas &/or mung beans with cumin, peppercorns, & whole cloves)
    3. Colombian-style beans (pinto or kidney beans, onion & garlic, cumin & turmeric, cooked with chopped plantain or potato for thickening)
    4. vegetarian chili (kidney beans + tomatoes, green pepper, onion, garlic, spices)
    5. curried chickpeas

    And so on! These are major comfort foods--so satisfying as well as nutritious.

    Over time the musical effects have stopped. If beans are a staple in your diet, your body learns to manage them just fine. - 2/25/2009   11:47:14 AM
  • 58
    I had always heard that soaking the beans overnight will help alleviate the musical factor as well. Based on experience when making black bean soup, it has seemed to make a noticeable difference! - 2/25/2009   11:35:22 AM
  • LOVEBEAM
    57
    I need recipes - 2/25/2009   11:22:48 AM
  • 56
    Sounds like a good idea but I have heard that adding baking soda lessens the nutritional value of beans. Does the seaweed? - 2/25/2009   11:20:10 AM
  • 55
    add a litle BAKING SODA to your pot of beans while they are cooking!!!! No fuss...no muss!!! And you will laugh at all the bubbles that are created!! - 2/25/2009   11:02:14 AM
  • 54
    Thanks for the tip! My family eat lots of beans at least 5 times of week.
    Great tip!!! - 2/25/2009   10:47:37 AM
  • 53
    I love all kinds of beans. Pintos and black beans are my faves right now. I only like to buy the dry ones and cook them myself. I Don't like any can beans except Luck's Pinto Beans with onions and I only use those to make refried beans sometimes.
    As for the "music" that comes from eating beans, I cook beans at least once a week and eat on them all week, and once your body gets use to them you really don't have that much gas. - 2/25/2009   10:29:16 AM
  • 52
    Unfortunately, my husband is very proud of his musical talents. I'll have to tell him the baking soda will enhance his musicality. - 2/25/2009   9:42:06 AM
  • 51
    I've read all the posts and lots of good advice. However, I'm surprised no one mentioned "Beano". It's a natural dietary supplement enzyme that helps break down sugar. I think the directions say to put a drop or two in your first spoonful of beans but I generally add just 3-4 drops in a whole bowl of beans. It doesn't affect the taste and it SURE HELPS the gas. You can buy it at nearly any store that sells dietary supplements or you can order it online at beanogas.com. My Mom turned us on to this 20 years ago and it's still used in MY kitchen. Wouldn't fix beans without it. :) - 2/25/2009   9:37:58 AM
  • 50
    "I think the trick is to start eating them gradually, slowly increasing the amount and number of times a week you eat them. " Yes, I agree. No problems if you can just get your body used to them which takes a while. Also for canned beans, a good rinse is vital or you will have the gas problem. I find adding something acidic helps me, too. Like tomato or some recipes add a bit of vinegar. Beans are cheaper than meat and better for you. Good food for good people. - 2/25/2009   9:36:33 AM
  • 49
    Another tidbit....the more beans you eat (not quantity but how many times you eat them), the less digestive issues you'll have. The first couple times will be quite musical, but your body eventually adapts to having them in your diet, so the musicality of eating them diminishes with time. - 2/25/2009   9:31:37 AM
  • 48
    I like the music.
    hahaha jk
    :) - 2/25/2009   9:22:06 AM
  • 47
    I love beans! I don't worry too much about the "music." They don't seem to cause too many problems for me. - 2/25/2009   9:03:15 AM
  • ALADYFISH
    46
    Thank you all, I have learned so much. I love beans and now I will start eating more with less music. I drive a bus and the kids are always very musical. - 2/25/2009   8:53:48 AM
  • 45
    At least the title of the article was cute! But for those of us who live in rural areas, I seriously doubt we can find this seaweed to use----and not sure what your directions are for canned beans---that was confusing. - 2/25/2009   8:51:03 AM
  • 44
    I love all beans! I soak mine for 24-36 h at room temp, changing water occasionally. Then I drain, add to pot with lots of water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 1-2 h. I usually cook a few cups a week of a few different kinds so I have them on hand for burritos, chili, dips, soup, etc.I have no problems with them now and eat them at least 3 meals per week, but when I was younger I did - I think the trick is to start eating them gradually, slowly increasing the amount and number of times a week you eat them. - 2/25/2009   8:22:27 AM

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