Prepare Beans and Legumes Properly

The naturally-occurring plant proteins, known as lectins, are found in high levels in dried beans and other types of legumes, but excess amounts can leave you with an upset stomach. Dried beans and other legumes are also high in phytates. This plant compound can interfere with the absorption of zinc, iron and some other essential minerals. Luckily, avoiding lectins and phytates is possible by sticking to a specific cooking method: applying moist heat and a high temperature will render lectins and phytates inactive.*

You can avoid lectins and phytates in your beans and legumes by submerging them completely in water and allowing them to soak for at least five hours. Drain and then boil the pre-soaked beans for 10 minutes, then simmer until tender (usually taking between 45-90 minutes).

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Photo | “Black beans” | ¬©Lisa Risager | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license


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