Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pantry Basics-Day Five and a Bonus section on beans and gas

Well yesterday was another pantry day.

Breakfast was crock pot porridge again.

Lunch was quinoa and lentils again. I mad ethem the night before so the Gh could tak ethem for lunch as well.

I was excited to find some ground beef in the freezer that I had overlooked. If memory serves I stocked up on ground sirloin when it was $1.99.lb. This was about 1 pound of meat. The kids wanted noodles so I cooked up about 1 pound of noodles I got at Big Lot's for $2.50 for 3 pounds.

I added two cans of Hunt's tomato sauce, also Big Lot's $.69.can, and the GH actually seasoned it because I had to feed the very cranky baby.

I defrosted a frozen loaf of the free cheese bread. (I wrap it in foil shiny side out and put it in a warm oven, 250F or so for at least half an hour. Be sure to flip it over in the middle. It comes out all warm and moist and has that fresh baked feel.)

And we had salad made from half, or less, of the red leaf lettuce I bought at the Farmer's Market last week, some organic cauliflower($.87/lb), and some sprouts. I estimate the cost of the salad to be around $1.20 or less.

We had more than half of the sauce left over and I plan to add some beans and turn it into sloppy joe's later this week.

Sauce $3.40 halved $1.70
Noddles $.83
Salad $1.20

Total cost for dinner $3.73

I was excited about the ground beef but after a week of eating vegetarian, well, and a stomach bug this weekend that kept me from eating much of anything courtesy of my sick baby, I felt distinctly uncomfortable with all that meat in my belly last night. I was getting used to the lighter cleaner feeling that comes without it.

Now onto a very serious question. One of you, and I won't say who because I'm nice like that, has indicated that you are concerned about the amount of beans I am eating because of gas issues. I thought that might be a question for more than one person so here goes.

If you find beans make you gassy, there are a few possibilities. The most likely is that the beans you are eating were not soaked first before cooking. All seeds, and beans are seeds, have in them enzyme inhibitors. These keep them from sprouting when conditions are too dry and unfavorable, they also make beans hard to digest and make it hard to absorb nutrients. Soaking changes all of this. It convinces the seed to wake up, thus removing the enzyme inhibitors turning the carbohydrate into protein and making the whole thing more digestible. For more detail go to this article that I wrote here. If you've not been soaking your beans over night before cooking them and you find you feel uncomfortably gassy after eating them, try soaking them. This may eliminate the problem.

I don't find that beans cause any extra gassiness, I get more from too much meat. But perhaps I don't notice that much because I also eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and spinach and those can cause gas too.

The second thing to consider is whether or not you are eating those beans with red meat. I find this combination often leads to excessive gas, but I don't usually blame the beans, I blame the steak or BBQ or hamburger personally. Try eating them without meat though and see if that makes a difference.

Last, for now, I know people who swear by Beano and other digestive enzymes. Beano you put on you first bite and it helps your stomach to break down the enzymes, and others you take before your meal, like papaya enzymes. Also, other things to try are drinking juice only before you eat, not after the meal as it's easier to digest on an empty stomach than full and helps the rest of the food along. Stick to water after you start eating. Wine on the other hand makes digestion easier. This is why I try to eat salad first as well. The vegetables digest better on an empty stomach and keep things moving for the other foods. There is something to be said for the whole European idea of single foods served in individual courses in an order that is meant to aid digestion.

I hope that some of those help y'all. Anyone else know something I missed? Add it to the comments.


tsjedi1 said...

You'll often get gas if you change your diet radically, too. If you usually schlump along eating 5g of fiber per day, and suddenly eat a meal with 10g in it - you'll probably get gas as your body adjusts to actual nutrition.

AnnMarie said...

Be sure to change the water and rinse the beans after soaking. One recipe I have even says to do the boil them for an hour (or something like that) and change the water AGAIN.

I was cooking them in the soaking water AND saving the cooking water afterwards to use in soups until I read that the water can retain the gas-causing enzymes then. We've definitely reduced gassiness with changing the water.

maplesugardesserts said...

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