March 5 is National Farting Day aka – eat more Pulses Day!
#CanFart16 and/or #EatMorePulses are the hashtags for this year on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter @MairlynSmith for tips on pulses & links to more recipes using pulses.
There’s a National Zucchini Bread Day, National Cream Puff Day, and National Vinegar Day, just to name three of the ever burgeoning list of National food days– so I say – why not give a shout out to your GI tract and celebrate National Farting Day with one of my favourite healthy foods – pulses!
We all know that wonderful childhood ditty, “Beans, beans the musical fruit the more you eat the more you toot!” Well here’s a news flash – the lyrics are wrong. First of all they aren’t a fruit, they’re a vegetable and secondly the more you eat the less you’ll toot.
Yes, more is better. I’ll explain.
All of our gastrointestinal tracts are unique to what we eat on a regular basis. Your flora, as it’s called in the gastro biz, produces an environment that helps digest what you just ate. So if you eat a lot of meat, you can digest that with no problem. If you haven’t had a bean since your Grade 6 field trip then Houston we have a problem.
We humans don’t have a lot of the enzyme needed to breakdown the sugars that beans produce, our personal flora helps digest what we just ate. Big bean eaters are relatively unscathed when they eat beans. Now give them a steak, maybe twice a year, and all I can say is, “Wow, scary!”
Basically your body gets used to what you eat and becomes more efficient at digesting it. It takes about two weeks of eating beans every day to start to see the reduction of toots so hang in there, your heart will thank you, even though you neighbours won’t.
If you’re in your fifties or a Mel Brooks fan you’ve probably seen the movie Blazing Saddles and the famous tooting campfire scene that every guy I met, dated, or was married to, loved. My date that evening actually fell out of his seat into the aisle in the theater. Most men think farts are funny, women – not so much.
We all have flatulence episodes every day; each and every one of us has on average about fourteen episodes per day. You probably had one while you were reading this. I know most of my female friends claim to have never passed wind but let’s face it, they’re fibbing. Everyone has the toots at some time or other. It is one of the main reasons why I exercise. All that moving around helps gas exit my body, usually outside while I’m walking my dog.
“Better out than in”, to quote Shriek! Have fun!
Check out My Favourite Big F-Word
Two kinds of fibre, two kinds of actions:
Pulses keep your colon and your heart happy with two types of fibre – insoluble and soluble. The first one keeps everything moving through your intestines and the other one helps absorb cholesterol and toxins in your blood stream and then escorts out to the emergency exit.
Still scared to toot? Try Beano – the toot reducer
Beano contains the enzyme that is needed to digest the gas-producing sugars. If you are concerned about gas then take some Beano. Read the package for directions.
Canned or from scratch?
For convenience I use canned beans. I drain and rinse them under cold running water till the water runs clear reducing the sodium levels by about 40%. Or buy low or no sodium canned beans.
Cooking from scratch
Dried pulses can be stored in a cool dark place for up to one year. After that, they don’t go bad, but will be very dry and will require a longer cooking time. Tip: use within one year of purchasing.
Before you cook dried beans, whole peas, or chickpeas, they need an overnight soak. Dried lentils and split peas are the exception. After rinsing them, just pop them into your recipe.
Measure out the pulse, and place them in a strainer, rinse well under cold running water and pick through to remove any stones or shriveled beans. Soak every one cup (250 mL) of dried beans with three cups (750 mL) cold water. Pulse Canada recommends soaking the beans for at least 12 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Rinse and drain under cold running water – this helps in the tooting department. They are now ready to be cooked in a recipe.
My tip: seriously I don’t think soaking really helps in the tooting department, but it does help with the cooking process, although there are some that believe that soaking them reduces the flavour. I haven’t experimented enough with non soaking versus soaking, but I will keep you posted.
In a hurry? For a quick soak combine every one cup (250 mL) of dried beans with three cups (750 mL) cold water in a large pot, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and gently boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour. Rinse well, they are now ready to be cooked in a recipe.
Professional home economist tip: never add salt to beans until after they are cooked, Adding salt too soon increases their cooking time and can make them extremely tough. Rule of thumb, soak, cook, salt.
Place pre-soaked rinsed beans in a large heavy bottomed saucepan (most pulses double or even triple) with enough water to cover them by 2-inches. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook gently just until the pulse is tender. Don’t go for mushy. The beans are done when they are tender to the bite.