Typically, you can buy pulses either canned or dried. If you buy canned pulses, try to choose ones that have no added salt or sugar. They have already been soaked and cooked, so you only need to heat them up before adding to soups, casseroles, sauces, curries, and many other dishes. You can also add them straight into salads or blend them into spreads, such as hummus, if you’re using them cold.
Most dried pulses need to be soaked before cooking. Cooking and soaking times vary depending on the type of pulse and how old they are (the older they are the longer you should cook them).
Don’t let flatulence put you off eating pulses
It’s a fact, pulses tend to induce flatulence. Indeed, all foods containing carbohydrates can encourage the production of gas in the large intestine. Carbohydrates include sugars, fibres and starch. When our own digestive tracts do not completely digest these carbohydrates, which can happen with pulses, the production of gas increases even further as bacteria in the large intestine break down these carbohydrates.
Here are some helpful tips to reduce pulses-related flatulence:
After soaking pulses, throw the used water away and replace it with fresh water before cooking.
Ensure you scoop out the foam that forms on the surface when the water reaches boiling point.
When using canned pulses, drain the liquid off and rinse them well.
The addition of ginger, fennel, cumin seeds, and Kombu seaweed to a recipe might help.
Avoid combining them with other gas producing foods, such as onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower (especially if these are raw).
Incorporate them gradually and consistently into your diet.
Cook pulses at length (slow cooker dishes or soups).
If they still cause you problems, it is possible to buy a natural enzyme to take before eating them, such as the brand Beano®.
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