HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF LEGUMES OR PULSES – BY DANIELLE O’DONOGHUE

News

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF LEGUMES OR PULSES – BY DANIELLE O’DONOGHUE
15th April, 2016

Danielle O’Donoghue, the Yummi Yogi, is qualified in nutrition, iridology and herbal medicine. Formerly a cook and founding partner of Manly’s One Earth Organic Café, Danielle now teaches yoga to kids and adults, works as an holistic health and wellness coach and runs a wholefood consulting business.
She holds monthly sessions at the Co-op where you can chat with her about your health and nutritional concerns (second Wednesday of the month 10 am–12 pm) and runs monthly food demos (third Wednesday of the month 10 am–12 pm).
On 20 April, her food demo will focus on legumes and she is making delicious Sprouted lentil patties.

Lovely Legumes

As the weather starts to cool down, the big pots come out of the cupboards and soups and long-cooked casseroles and stews start to sound more attractive. Legumes or pulses (think beans, chickpeas and lentils) have nourished humankind for centuries and are a great nutrient-rich addition to cool – and cold – weather meals. Traditional societies which base their cuisines on legumes take great care with their preparation. In order to reap the nutritional benefits encased in these little parcels, we need to take heed of the following preparation principles, otherwise their rich mineral content, B vitamins, and omega fatty acids will remain locked away and the only gifts we receive will be an uncomfortable, gassy belly.

soaking lentils

Legumes require long periods of soaking; at least 12 hours. Change the water a couple of times during the soaking period and don’t worry if they start to ferment a little – they will only be even more digestible. Discard the soaking water and rinse the legumes. In some cases (e.g. chickpeas), you can now pick off the outer skins if you wish. Cover the soaked legumes with plenty of water and bring to a boil. As they are cooking, foam will rise to the top of the pot and this needs to be carefully skimmed away. Add more water as needed to keep the legumes covered till they are cooked. Sometimes the cooking water is even replaced part-way through cooking to further dilute the anti-nutrients. When legumes are properly cooked, you should be able to squish them easily by pushing them to the roof of your mouth with your tongue. They shouldn’t be at all crunchy or al dente. These essential steps ensure the legumes will be digestible, and the nutrients they provide absorbable, because the phytic acid (a compound that binds to important minerals and inhibits digestive enzymes) and enzyme inhibitors will be neutralised and the complex (difficult to digest) sugars will begin to break down to more easily digested forms.

 

lentils

Other tips for cooking legumes or pulses properly:
• Add kombu seaweed (if you can find it – it’s now banned for sale in Oz but available in some Asian shops, if you can read the labels) or wakame (available at the Co-op), both of which help to further reduce phytates, increasing digestibility and absorption.
• Adding ¼  tsp bicarb per 500 g of pulses in the soak water or at the beginning of cooking will help the pulses to soften more quickly, dramatically reducing cooking time, but will also destroy B vitamins, and affect the flavour of your beans, so this is only recommended for occasions when you have a short preparation time or are using old, very dry beans.
• Add a handful of green weed leaves such as dandelion, chickweed or nettle can improve mineral assimilation in legumes.
• Metal pots can create an acidic environment that hardens the skins of pulses. Terracotta is best, or ceramic, but if metal is all you have it is fine.
• Never add salt at the beginning of cooking as this, too, hardens the skins. Season your pulses after they have cooked.

Legumes

 

Danielle will be at the Co-op on Wednesday 20th April 10–12 am, answering questions about how to cook pulses and demo-ing a quick and easy sprouted lentil patty recipe.

She is also running a cooking class on pulses where we’ll discover how to use pulses for everything from bread to soups, to cakes!! Leura Mall – 30th April, 11.30am – 3.30pm. For bookings or more information contact Danielle.

black eyed beans

 

Browse Categories

Browse Newsletters

address

Ha'Penny Lane, Katoomba View Map

opening hours

  • day
  • open
  • close
  • Monday
  • 9am
  • 6pm
  • Tuesday
  • 9am
  • 6pm
  • Wednesday
  • 9am
  • 6pm
  • Thursday
  • 9am
  • 6pm
  • Friday
  • 9am
  • 6pm
  • Saturday
  • 8.30am
  • 5pm
  • Sunday
  • 10am
  • 4.30pm

Stock deliveries

  • day
  • Delivery
  • Monday
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Tuesday
  • Bread
  • Wednesday
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Thursday
  • Fridge Goods, Sol Bread
  • Friday
  • Fruit & Vegetables

Become a member

subscribe to
newsletter

Facebook

Browse Archive