Fermented Bean Dip

  • 2 cups dried beans
  • 1 kombu strip
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups cooking liquid
  • ¼ of a red onion
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ cup fermenting liquid (see note below)

Soak 2 cups of dried beans in a large bowl covered with fresh water overnight. (I used cranberry beans but any bean would work.) In the morning, drain the beans. Put the beans in a large bowl or dish in which they have enough room. Allow the beans to sprout for 2 to 3 days. Each day, rinse and drain the beans.

When the beans are sprouted, cook them over low heat in pot of water with a kombu strip added until cooked through (they should be soft and tender).

When the beans are cooked, drain them, reserving the cooking liquid and kombu strip.  Add the beans and kombu strip to a high-powered blender along with 2 ½ cups of the cooking liquid. Puree until soft and beans are well blended (add more or less liquid as necessary). Then add in ¼ of a red onion, 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Blend again until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the pureed mixture into a large bowl. Wait until the pureed beans cool and then add your fermented liquid. I used sauerkraut juice from Bubbies Sauerkraut. Allow the mixture to sit out for 2 to 4 days. The end result should have a tangy taste, it’s hard to describe. Taste it each day so you can tell the difference as it becomes fermented.

The dip is great with fresh veggies (use it as you would hummus) or mixed with a grain of your choice. You can also spread some on top of a tortilla topped with veggies and roll it up for a healthy vegetarian sandwich.

Fermenting liquid: Any liquid that is fermented will work. I happened to have sauerkraut juice in my fridge that I used. Whey strained from yogurt or even just yogurt would work as well or a probiotic capsule should work. If you have any question, let me know.

Benefits of Fermenting

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Celiac Disease, Part 1

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  • Celiac disease affects roughly 3 million Americans, which averages out to be about 1 in 133 healthy people.
  • In individuals with a first degree relative with celiac disease, the prevalence drops to 1 in 22, and in those with a 2nd degree relative, it affects 1 in 39 people.
  • The number of people with celiac disease in the U.S. would fill 4,400 Boeing 747 airplanes.
  • The number of people with celiac disease in the U.S. is roughly equal to the number of people living in the state of Nevada.
  • U.S. fans with celiac disease could fill Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears, 37 times.

Did you know that May is Celiac Disease Awareness month? Although this is only recognized in a handful of states, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Maryland, Minnesota, Illinois, and California, awareness about celiac disease has spread. However, more knowledge is needed, as getting an accurate diagnosis is very difficult. It is commonly misdiagnosed as IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or many other various conditions. According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, 41% of adults and 60% of children diagnosed were asymptomatic and it takes an average of four years for a symptomatic individual to be correctly diagnosed with celiac disease. This makes me wonder how long it takes an asymptomatic individual to be correctly diagnosed or someone who does not have the “usual” symptoms associated with celiac disease such as gas, bloating, and/or diarrhea. During this time without a correct diagnosis, individuals are at increased risk of other autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, neurological disorders, and possibly cancer.

So what exactly is celiac disease…? Individuals with celiac disease are allergic to proteins (glutenin and gliadin) found in wheat and relative wheat products (kamut, triticale, durum, spelt, semolina, farro, graham), rye, and barley. Upon ingestion of foods containing gluten, an immune-mediated toxic reaction occurs causing destruction of the villi in the small intestine. With atrophy of the villi, malabsorption of nutrients occurs including calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin K, along with the fat-soluble vitamins. With continued ingestion of gluten containing products, malnutrition can set in, along with other disorders including intestinal lymphoma and bowel cancer, lactose intolerance, osteoporosis, anemia, bone and joint pain, iron deficiency, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, depression, anxiety, neurological complications, miscarriages (and congenital problems in an unborn baby), and weight loss and failure to thrive in children.

Oats may be problematic in some individuals as crops that grow wheat are cleared out and then oats are grown leading to cross-contamination. However, you can purchase certified gluten-free oats at various grocery stores. It’s best to test the oats and see how well you tolerate them. If you feel that you have any symptoms re-emerge, remove them from your diet. Over time, as your GI tract heals, you may be able to reintroduce them again.

Next to come, gluten-free grains!

References:

Green PHR, Stavropoulos SN, Panagi SG, Goldstein SL, Mcmahon DJ, Absan H, Neugut AI. Characteristics of adult celiac disease in the USA: results of a national survey. Am J Gastroenterol. 2001;96(1):126-131.

Holmes S. Celiac disease: Symptoms, complications and patient support. Nurs Stand. 2010;24:50-56.