Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you wonder what goes on inside our pipes! Beans carry a nice little freight of oligosaccharides. These nifty carbs move through our small intestine totally intact where most food is broken down. The oligosaccharides then make their merry way to our microflora in the large intestine who snack on them and toot with happiness! I’m somewhat mutilating the scientific language here, but you get the picture. (You might like to read more on gut health with Tim Spector or Giulia Enders).
Other foods that contain oligosaccharides include onions, garlic, asparagus, cabbage, (f)artichokes and leeks. So there’s no point in keeping beans out of your diet for fear of bottom burps. Chances are you’re already mainlining oligosaccharides into your diet anyway! Besides, it strikes me as a very good idea to keep our pipes on speaking terms with us. Let me help you do exactly that.
Try serving these harissa beans on toast with Parmesan or a fried egg. Simple, easy, cheap and quick.
Let me know how you get on!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
1 fat clove garlic, sliced
1 tin white beans (eg butterbeans)
Fresh crack of salt and black pepper
2-4 tablespoons harissa paste (depending on heat, some can be wild and others deliciously tame)
Good squeeze of lemon
Gently warm some olive oil in a frying pan. Sautee your onion and garlic for 8-10 minutes or until soft and glassy.
Drain the tinned beans, and add the beans to the pan with a little of the tinned juice. Cook for 5 minutes with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. (You can reserve the bean juice to use in a myriad of aqua faba recipes such as zero waste orange cake and my brownies).
Stir through the harrisa, and cook for a further 5-10 minutes to over-ride the tinned bean taste. The amount of harrisa paste you add will entirely depend on the brand you have – some are fragrant and mild, others bold and fiery. Feel free to adjust as you go along.
Plate up as is, or maybe with a good squeeze of lemon and shavings of pecorino. If you’re feeling fancy, a dollop of plain yoghurt and lashings of parsley and lemon zest will take it up a stratosphere.