Beans, beans, the musical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot
The more you toot, the better you feel
So let’s have beans at every meal!
Before I say anything else I will say this, and then repeat it below; beans are legumes and contain galactooligosaccharides (GOS) – which is why they’re the musical fruit. GOS, however, are not fructans. If you are following a complete FODMAPs diet then this dish won’t be suitable but those who can tolerate GOS (galactans) in moderate amounts can give this a go. Okay, now on with the show.
I know I’ve said many times before that it’s Autumn and cold and that I want comfort food but I’ll say it again… and this time I needed it.
I normally have a great immune system but since I had gastritis in July this year and then we went vegetarian for two months, since scaled back to pescetarian, I have had three whopping, terrible colds and bacterial sinusitis as well. The sinusitis was inevitable, considering my family history but I have never felt so drained in my life – I went to the gym today for the first time in two weeks, a week ago I got dizzy walking the dogs for 2 km. Completely abnormal. Aside from finally visiting our doctor, I’ve actually brought red meat back into my diet a couple of times a week to try and increase my iron levels (fatigue can indicate low iron) even though they’ve always been perfect before. Iron supplements can be a little hard on the GI tract, so be careful if you’re looking into taking them.
As I’ve mentioned before, Ev and I are attempting to eat through as much of our food as possible before we buy more to both prevent wastage and to get rid of things that we bought and didn’t use. It’s going pretty well; after this meal we only have a can of refried beans, three cans of peas and 3 cans of raspberries in syrup left – and a hell of a lot of cheese. I think dinners are going to become ever more basic until we’re done from here on in.
- Beans are legumes, which are high in the FODMAP galactans. They are not high in fructans or fructose, so I can tolerate them.
- Many people have increased tolerance of beans if they are the dry variety and have been soaked for a day or two in water before use. This might be worth a try if you cannot tolerate the canned variety.
- Tomatoes are high in salicylates and can be an irritant to IBS, though they are not naturally high in fructose, the more processing and condensing that they have gone through, the more concentrated the sugars, and thus the fructose, will be. This recipe uses canned diced tomatoes, which are minimally processed. This is a good guide as to how to recognise safe or potentially unsafe tomato products.
- The onion and garlic with which you infuse the oil to begin with should not impart too many fructans to the meal, as fructans are water soluble, so should not dissolve in a lipid such as olive oil.
Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 cloves of garlic, slightly crushed if you can tolerate it
- 3 x 425 g/15 oz cans of Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 x 425 g cans of plain diced tomatoes
- 1 cup FF vegetable stock or 1 FF stock cube in 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 lug olive oil
- OPTIONAL – 1 cup diced mixed veggies like carrot and zucchini
Preheat the oven to 150 C/300 F and make sure you use a dish with an oven proof lid.
Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil until fragrant and then remove them from the pot and discard. You can skip this step if you can’t tolerate even infused oils and add in a pinch of asafoetida powder instead, if you have it. Of course, if you can tolerate onion and garlic then go ahead and leave them in the pot. If you are adding in the optional veggies, you will need to cook them until they are soft enough to puree.
Add in the herbs, FF stock and the diced tomatoes and let it simmer for 5 minutes then use a hand blender to puree the lot; it shouldn’t take too long. Now you can add the beans, salt and pepper and combine everything thoroughly. Bring the pot to the boil, let it simmer for 10 minutes and then put the lid on and place it in the oven. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so. They’re not baked beans without being baked, right?
You can enjoy these as is, with some grated cheese on top, or as “beans on toast.” We like them any way we can get them.