Legumes includes all varieties of beans, lentils and peas. They are a healthy, high fibre food with many nutritional benefits, however, many people often complain of digestive upset after eating them. The way you prepare and cook legumes can make a big difference to their digestibility, making it easier on your tummy (and your friends and family around you!)
- Excellent source of protein
- High in fibre
- Healthy substitute to meat for vegetarians
- Many varieties provide a great source of folate
- They contain a variety of minerals including, phosphorus, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and selenium
- Contain Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), B5 and B6
- Rich in Antioxidants
- Low Glycemic Index
Dried beans, peas and lentils (except split peas) need to be soaked in water to re-hydrate them in order to decrease the cooking time and to ensure they cook through completely. Soaking legumes helps to preserve the nutrients as well as minimise their gas-producing properties by removing the indigestible complex sugars.
To soak legumes, pop them into a large bowl and completely cover with room temperature water for 6-8 hours. I usually just soak overnight. Alternatively, if you are in a hurry, you can try the quick soak method, by boiling a pot of water, adding the legumes and then return to the boil for 2-3 minutes. Cover and then set aside for an hour.
After you have soaked the legumes, you need to rinse them thoroughly. Then, put them in a pot and cover with plenty of water. Bring them to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently until they are tender. You may need to occasionally stir the legumes and add a little more water to ensure they are always well covered. The cooking time depends on the variety.
Adding seaweed, such as a piece of kombu, can be added when soaking and cooking your legumes to further decrease the gas effect!
Our Favourite Way...
Our favourite way to use legumes is definitely in a dhal! So hearty and warming!
What's your favouite way?
Check out our range of dried beans, lentils and peas here.