Discovering legumes


If you choose dried legumes, you should first rinse them with cold water and remove the ones that are not intact. You will then have to soak them in at least three times their volumes of cold water. Lentils and split peas don’t necessarily need the soaking period, but you will have to increase the cooking time if you forego soaking.

There are three easy ways to soak legumes:

  • In cold water overnight
  • In a pot of boiling water, boil them for two minutes, then remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for one hour.
  • In the microwave, inside a covered container, cook on high for ten to fifteen minutes and let stand one hour.

To cook your legumes, you must use fresh water and boil on low heat for the recommended time, which will vary depending on the format you decided to use and if you have soaked them beforehand.

Quick chart for cooking legumes that have not soaked beforehand

Legumes Cooking time
Green lentils Small : 20 to 25 minutes
Regular : 40 to 45 minutes
Brown lentils 20 to 25 minutes
Red lentils 15 to 20 minutes
French lentils 20 to 25 minutes
Split peas 1 hour

From Passeport Santé – Les légumineuses

Quick chart for cooking pre-soaked legumes

Legumes Cooking time
Chickpeas 2 to 2 hours and a half
Yellow or green peas 3 hours
White beans Small: 1 to 2 hours, medium: 1 hour and a half to 2 hours
Black beans 1 to 1 hour and a half
Red beans 1 to 1 hour and a half

From Passeport Santé – Les légumineuses

You can also cook your legumes in the oven, in a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. If you choose to use your pressure cooker, refer to the advice given in the manual of your device so you can take the appropriate precautions.

How to prevent flatulence

Legumes, despite their great nutritional benefits, can cause a small side effect that turns off most people: flatulence. Don’t be put off, there are several things you do to reduce this annoying side effect.

  • Always rinse your legumes and don’t use the soaking water to cook them
  • Soak your beans in the refrigerator instead of at room temperature.
  • Add a few sprigs of fresh savory or some sage leaves to the cooking water.
  • Always chew properly.
  • Avoid eating other foods that can cause flatulence like broccoli, cabbage, etc.
  • Avoid adding sugar to your recipes or finishing your meal with a sweet dessert as sugar increases fermentation in the intestine which causes flatulence.
  • You can find drops or tablets at the pharmacy that prevent the formation of gas. Check with your pharmacist to see if those products could help you.
Recipe ideas using legumes
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