Black beans are a staple in our diet. There are many reasons for this. They are, among other things, good for:
- our kidneys
- our hair
- our skin
- our livers
- our digestive systems
- our environment
- our wallets
When I tell people this I often get the response: "Oh yeah, well then why all the gas???". One compound: phytic acid. This acid, prevalent in all grains and legumes, is responsible for preventing proper protein digestion, therefor resulting in fermentation and gas, bloating, cramps, etc.
The secret to beans is one beautiful weed. It dances beneath turbulent waves along the coastline, it is home to many beautiful creatures, and it holds the power to heal and beautify by supplying every single mineral that your blood needs in the perfect amount. What is this mystery panacea? Kelp!
Kelp grows like a beautiful forest under the sea and contains a specific enzyme that breaks down phytic acid from beans, allowing them to be better digested AND taste sweeter. Kelp also adds every mineral you need to the beans, along with a huge dose of iodine which can protect the sexual organs from cancer, the body from radiation, and regulate the thyroid gland.
So how do we use these two ingredients? It's so simple. All you do is soak your beans overnight, then boil them in water with the seaweed the next day. That's it! This will remove the phytic acid, make the beans more digestible, and infuse them with healing minerals.
Here's my recipe:
1 Cup of black beans
1 palm-full of kelp/kombu (torn or in one whole sheet)
1) Soak beans overnight, then strain and rinse in the morning.
2) Add kelp/kombu to the bottom of a pot, then top with soaked beans.
3) Fill water until the beans are submerged 1 - 2 inches beneath the water.
4) Bring to a boil, then skim off the foam that is created. **This is the phytic acid leaving**
5) Once foam stops accumulating, lower to a simmer and cover the beans for 45 minutes to 2 hours - or until desired tenderness.
*Once tender, the beans can be seasoned with cumin powder to increase digestibility or celtic grey salt can be added to improve flavor and warmth in the Winter.
The beans can be strained through a colander if you want them separated, or the cover can be removed as they cool - this will allow most water to steam off, leaving you with a more refried texture and higher mineral content.
Add beans to your pasta meals, brown rice, soups, and steamed vegetables. Eating a serving of these every day will give you tons of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and very little fat - making it extremely healthy for your heart, cholesterol levels, liver, and colon.
Enjoy these humble, healing gems and reap the benefits!