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How to Cook Pinto Beans That Don't Cause Gas

by
author image Kim Joyce
Kim Joyce has been a journalist for more than 20 years, specializing in healthy foods and environmental health. She also served as communications director for the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges and production editor for Scholars Press. Joyce holds a B.A. in environmental studies and analysis, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from California State University, Chico.
How to Cook Pinto Beans That Don't Cause Gas
How to Cook Pinto Beans That Don't Cause Gas Photo Credit Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Beans are a non-meat protein that are low in fat and high in fiber. You’d think by now someone would have resolved that one little thing that’s not so lovable -- those embarrassing gaseous emissions. High fiber and complex sugars called oligosaccharides are to blame for this problem. Enzymes that encounter these sugars in the digestive tract work overtime to make sure they get digested and, as a result, gas is the side effect. Incorporating a special hot soak, a presoaking method to help break down the complex sugars in dry pinto beans, can prevent gas.

Step 1

How to Cook Pinto Beans That Don't Cause Gas
Photo Credit Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Pour or scoop pinto beans into a large colander. Carefully pick through the beans, removing small stone, sticks, broken beans and any other impurities.

Step 2

How to Cook Pinto Beans That Don't Cause Gas
Photo Credit Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Rinse and clean the beans while they are still in the colander by using cold running water. Stir or swish the beans constantly, so they all get washed.

Step 3

How to Cook Pinto Beans That Don't Cause Gas
Photo Credit Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Place the beans in the pan, pot or slow cooker. Add 10 cups of hot water for each pound of pinto beans. Beans will hydrate two or more times their dry size, so use a pot that is large enough to accommodate them. Ideally, your cooking vessel should never be more than half full.

Step 4

How to Cook Pinto Beans That Don't Cause Gas
Photo Credit Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Slowly bring the beans and hot liquid to a simmering boil and let them boil for two or three minutes. Remove the pot from heat -- or turn off the slow cooker -- and cover the container, allowing the beans to soak for at least one hour, but ideally for four hours. During this hot soak, you are drawing out indigestible, gas-causing carbohydrates.

Step 5

How to Cook Pinto Beans That Don't Cause Gas
Photo Credit Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Discard the soak water by pouring it down the sink. Cover the beans with fresh water and bring them to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until beans are tender but not mushy, which usually takes two to three hours on your stove top and four to six hours in a slow cooker. Prevent bean skins from bursting by simmering gently and stirring very little.

Step 6

How to Cook Pinto Beans That Don't Cause Gas
Photo Credit Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Drain and discard all cooking water when beans are fully cooked and follow your recipe -- adding either fresh water or vegetable or chicken broth, spices, herbs and other ingredients. For plain pinto beans, add a sprinkle of sugar and chopped garlic to greatly enhance flavor. Heat beans to serving temperature.

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