Beans make you fart? Read on…


While I’m not a vegetarian, and that’s of course fine if you are, I definitely believe in the power of the legume – all the beans, chickpeas & lentils are powerhouses of protein, texture and substance in stews, soups, curries, quick snacks, salads and dips. BUT – While it’s super handy to have a tin or two on standby for emergencies, it’s not the best option as a staple. Tinned food is depleted, heat treated, pasteurised food, that doesn’t give us as much nourishment as the original ingredient, properly prepared.

A NOTE ON TIN LINING: Is there a whitish plastic type lining inside the can? BPA alert pronto and ditch that puppy, never to buy that brand again! Eden Organic, Global Organics and Bio Natura are all BPA free.

AND NOW TO THE FARTS: The problem with legumes, is that while they are super nutritious and packed with B vitamins, Omega 3’s and 6’s and lots of minerals, it’s rather tricky for us to get to these nutrients by simply opening a packet and cooking them, or flipping the lid of a can! Some seriously complex sugars found in most legumes, are not possible for our tummies to break down. They ferment inside us and make us fart like crazy. Also surrounding most legumes are phytates and other enzyme inhibitors, that can mean if legumes aren’t prepared properly, you are actually creating deficiencies instead of feeding yourself.  By soaking your dried beans like kidney, adzuki or cannelini overnight or up to 24 hours in a bowl of water with a tablespoon of whey or yoghurt in the bowl, you get: Fart free beans and a fantastic array of easily absorbed nutrients! Fuller for longer and lots of goodness going through your body instead of embarrassing noises!

Now, I know what you’re thinking “i don’t have time”. To that I say, it’s about finding those little pockets of time like when a kettle is boiling or veggies are steaming, so it’s not technically extra time you’re taking. It’s just more efficient time – that’s when you could quickly chuck some beans or chickpeas in a bowl with filtered water and a splash of yoghurt or lemon juice. Once that layer has broken down the next morning – or evening if you want to go the full 24hrs – they are ready to chuck in a pan with plenty of water on medium heat for an hour or so – stir once or twice and remove any scum on the surface if you see it. Once they’re ready, strain, refrigerate and /or freeze if you’re not serving them for that meal time.

Never just make enough for one sitting if it’s something that will keep. Efficiency and batch cooking are key to eating Real Food, easily and economically! Soak and cook enough for a couple of add ins to school lunches, stews, soups and salads over the course of the week.  My near 3yr old will snack on a few cold beans and cherry tomatoes with a little olive oil and celtic sea salt if he’s hungry between meals & I’d safely say that that is a little more nourishing than a packet of chips or seasoned rice cakes! Easy to take to the park too!

I thought a legume low down was in order because a lot of people don’t know this stuff – I certainly didn’t until a short while ago and now a good bowl of beans, rocket and feta in vinaigrette keeps me energetic all afternoon, where once I would have been looking to snack by 2pm after a lunch like that, but with tinned beans! An amazing difference 🙂

If you’re after more inspiration on how to crank your nutrient density levels up with soaked legumes and other things… pop over to see how you can get your salad to fill you up here.

Real Food, prepared properly, that our bodies understand? Genius.

Comments 9

  1. Hi Alex, wondering if lentils have the same 24 hour soaking time If I was using say a red split lentil? Going to introduce to my baby, and an hour cooking time for these too? Thank you!

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      red lentils don’t need 24 hours. Set them to soak in the morning and rinse in the arvo for making bub’s dins and that would be perfect. Just remember to soak with filtered water, preferably fluoride free. The cook time is super quick after soaking too. About 10 minutes! Enjoy 🙂

  2. Hi Alexx,
    chickpeas – my daughter eats them non-stop (from a can, so realise I need to stop this part). If I follow the above process and then fridge them (as literally she eats them every day), would I keep them in a container in some water or no water? Until now I have been rinsing the canned ones then keeping in fresh water in fridge but maybe they don’t need to be in the water?? Thanks.

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      I would try longer soak (24 hours) with double the acidity helper (yoghurt / lemon juice / ACV) and then cook… if you still have that icky farty vibe I would look at some possible gut healing work needed around tolerating FODMAPS better. Naturopaths are great for this.

  3. Hi Alex – Thank you for this wonderful article and great work in general.

    I recently made my first pot of brown lentil soup and the gas has been VERY disturbing due to the fact I have gastritis and have to monitor my diet. I really what to make lentils work in my diet.

    My question in soaking for 24 hours is this: How much ACV and Lemon Juice to soak 2 cups of lentils? ( I want to double up) I make a batch in a 5 quart pot for the week

    My question in cooking is: Should I cook the lentils separately for an hour to remove the scum while cooking all the other soup ingredients separately ( veggies + brown rice), then add the lentils after an hour of cooking?

    I am also interested in red lentils and you said to Morgan above that they don’t take 24 hour but the morning. How many hours…4, 5? You also said “rinse in the arvo” What is an arvo?

    Thanks again, 🙂


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      Sometimes it takes a while to heal the gut before being able to do lentils. Slow cooked meats, veggie, soups… this seems to be the fastest way to heal the tummy. I would do a 1/4 cup acv for 2 cups lentils and a generous cover of water by a good 2-3 inches above lentil level. Yes cook lentils separately. Adding a strip or two of kombu sea weed can increase digestibility too. An arvo is afternoon in ‘Australian’. hehe. That made me laugh at my writing! And red lentils 4-5 hours is plenty, yes. Enjoy! x

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