how to fix the bean fart issue (and a recipe for blackeyed bean & veggie stew)

Oh boy have I heard some bean fart jokes in my time. The legumeous morsels can be relentless on the guts, no doubt. But they are damn good for your overall health. Regularly eating the little beady beauties is one of the tricks of the Mediterranean diet (along with copious volumes of extra virgin olive oil and vegetables at every meal). AND they’re super cheap*. Why I bought enough beans to make 12 meals for $6 just the other day. So, like, they’re worth eating. Here’s how to really eat them, so you don’t get the, um, bloats:

via theconsciencecollective

Soak. Always soak. Overnight is best.
Soaking overnight in a bowl of water and a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar neutralises phytic acid, a toxin found in pulses that can combine with calcium and zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This can cause all sorts of problems like mineral deficiencies and bone loss.

Sprouting largely fixes the farting issue because the complex sugars that cause the gutty gas build-up are converted to simple sugars. Sprouting also increases the amount of vitamins B and C and further neutralises phytic acid. Don’t know how to sprout? It’s easy, read here. 

Don’t go overboard
Even after soaking and sprouting they can bring on the farting issue if consumed in bulk. Best to cook them with plenty of vegetables, as per my easy recipe below:

blackeyed bean & vegetable stew

serves 4 - 6

1 cup dried blackeyed** beans, soaked overnight (preferably sprouted too) and boiled in water for 1 hour
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
2 tsp sweet paprika
4 handfuls chopped vegetables, whatever you have on hand (carrots, celery, eggplant, zucchini and pumpkin or sweet potato are great)
3 tbsp tomato passata (homemade is best) or 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful coriander, mint or parsley, roughly chopped

Heat olive oil over a low heat, add onion and garlic and sauté  until onion is soft. Add the spices and stir until fragrant. Add the chopped vegetables and the tomato, pour in enough water to just cover and slowly simmer (lid off) until vegetables are tender. Add the cooked beans and simmer for another 15 minutes. Season to taste. Add the handful of chopped fresh herbs, stir through and it’s ready to serve.

* which makes them perfect for Meat Free Week next week!

**you can of course use whichever beans you like or can find. But I do urge you to buy them dried and not in a can. Cans are not only bad for your health, they're a hideous waste of precious resources.


  1. i find that soaking them three times solves the problem AND gives me very useful stuff [the bean-flavoured water, i mean] for premordanting cellulose fibres [cotton, linen, hemp etc] for dyeing. winning on all counts !

  2. I have never soaked beans but I am seriousely thinking about it now. My local food co-op does them in big plastic containers to sell by the scoop which is much cheaper. Thanks for this.

    1. Definitely soak them and sprout them too if you can... makes all the difference! They cook much faster too :)

  3. A really cheap food that is really good for you.We make our own baked beans in the slow cooker after soaking over night - best baked beans ever!

  4. Because soaking takes time, I soak and cook up big pots of chickpeas (for hummus) and black beans (for brownies) and then freeze them. I use black beans in my brownie recipe....sounds strange...but really delicous and a great way to get beans in your diet! Here's a link to the recipe -



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