Q. We are creating a Longevity Lifestyle and moving toward a more plant-based Mediterranean-style cuisine but I must say that dried "beans" are creating some undesirable side effects. Any idea of how to reduce them?

A. Reduce what, the beans or the undesirable side effects? (Smile) Beans and other legumes such as lentils can offer some pretty desirable quality nutrition to one’s meals such as plant-based protein and fiber. This is what I do.

Bring a pan of water to boil and then add the dried peas or lentils or beans and boil them for two-three minutes only. Turn off the heat and let them sit for one hour. Drain and rinse well, then start over again with fresh water and cook until desired softness is achieved. I’ve found it’s worth thinking ahead to do that bit of extra work. Someone told me the other day that doing this can reduce the undesirable side effects by something like eighty percent—I’m looking for that in writing.

Some have asked if they could do the first part in the evening and then rinse in the morning and finish the cooking—to save time. I haven’t personally tried doing this the night before, yet, but plan to do so in the near future. Just be sure to start with plenty of water as the beans really do plump up!