How To Cook Legumes To Make Them Easier To Digest

Legumes, including dried beans, peas and lentils are nutrient dense foods that contain complex carbohydrates, fibre, plant-based protein and essential vitamins and minerals. Cooking dried legumes from scratch is cost-effective with one cup of dried ingredients resulting in approximately three cups cooked.  They save me a fortune feeding my family of five.  However, because of their complex starches and high fibre content, legumes can be hard to digest.  Soaking and rinsing legumes does improve their digestibility.  Nutritionally as a freelance creative copywriter I love legumes, and I find it helpful to have a stash of them in my fridge ready to add to our salads during the summer and soups during winter.

Soaking

Rinse 1 cup of dried legumes in a sieve and place in a bowl. 

Cover with 3 cups of water and add one tablespoon apple cider vinegar.  The apple cider vinegar softens the legumes and releases indigestible anti-nutrients into the water. 

Cover and soak for 12 - 24 hours at room temperature. 

For larger legumes, a 24-hour soak is best. 

Changing the water after 12 hours also helps improve their digestibility.

Cooking

Tip the soaked legumes into a colander and rinse thoroughly in cold water. 

Pour them into a saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water. 

Bring to a rapid boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until soft. 

Never add salt when cooking legumes as it will toughen the skins.  

It is a great idea for taking your lunch to work.  

I like to add a salad dressing into the jar first, then combine all the salad ingredients on top.  

Cooking Times Vary

Lentils/Split Peas: 20 - 30 mins.

Beans (borlotti, haricot, black beans, kidney): 45 - 60 mins

Chickpeas: 60 - 90 mins.

My favourite legumes are chickpea and lentils.  They are so versatile to cook.  Do you and your family love them as much as we do?