Why do they tell you that you have to soak the hard dry peas in Baking Soda? I would rather not do this, as I am not sure what the effect would be from a health standpoint.
Which "they" tell you that, Wyandotte?
There are, traditionally, two ways of cooking dried legumes: long soaking, and "quick" cooking. The purpose of both is to shorten the actual cooking time. What happens is that the beans or peas absorb some of the soaking water and start to soften. Then the actual cooking process completes the job.
Baking soda is sometimes used in the soaking water to help dissolve certain proteins. These are the indigestible ones that cause flatulance. They are not soluble in plain water, is the problem, so soaking alone does not remove them. While this is true about beans, I don't know about peas. They aren't known for causing that problem, so the baking soda is probably unnecessary. It's actually not absolutely necessary with beans, for that matter. Personally, I never bother with it.
Baking soda is generally accepted as safe; meaning there is no health danger from using it.
Thank you very much to the both of you for responding to my question.
The "they" who tell me to add baking soda to the soak water when making mushy peas are purportedly expert cooks whose recipes I found when putting "mushy peas - how to cook" on a search engine. Several, 3 or 4 results, all said the same thing.
My concern is that baking soda - if not transformed during the soaking and cooking process - would possibly neutralize hydrochloric acid in the stomach. For middle-aged and older, HCl is not produced as readily as when we were younger.
Strangely, in all the cooking instructions I've seen over 30+ years for cooking beans, they never tell you to add baking soda to the soak and/or cooking water. Just mushy peas.
To prevent flatulence, if it were an issue for me, I would cook legumes (not mushy peas) with various herbs or spices or take BeanO.
When using baking soda to make mushy peas, you only add a very small amount of baking soda to the cooking water. A VERY SMALL amount.
Teeny weeinie hard to read small as in not nearly enough to neutralize anyone's stomach acid.
The purpose of this tres petit peu of baking soda in mushy peas is to help make the peas... wait for it... mushy.
Enjoy your fish and chips,
Have you ever thought about using frozen peas? I love frozen peas and now I've gotten to thinking... If they can freeze peas with so much success why can't they freeze other fresh legumes like northern beans or black beans?
They do freeze some of them, KK. I've seen black-eyed peas, fava beans, lima beans, and garbanzos in the frozen food section. And, of course, snap beans, in various forms.
I believe, however, that with what we commonly think of as dried beans, canning is much more efficient.
Personally, I don't care for most of the canned products I've tried. It's just as easy, for me, to pre-soak and cook the dried ones.
Not in the quantities used with beans, Wyandotte.
For a pot of beans---let's say 2 cups dried---you'd only use about a teaspoon of dried eposote.
Glad to hear that, KY. I wonder where we can find that stuff! Is it easy to find or do you have to send away for it?
PS. Is it anything like hing (Devil's Dung)? That too has a "hot energy" according to eastern energetics and is said to be wonderful for any digestive challenge. I rather like the taste of that. You have me all curious about epazote/eposote now.
I'm not failiar with hing, Wyandotte. At least not under either of those names.
You should be able to find epozote in any place that stocks bulk herbs---health food stores, Whole Foods, places like that. If there's a Mexican market anywhere near you they're sure to have it, as it plays a big part in Mexican cuisines.
Most of it will wash away when you drain the beans, so don't worry about any taste problems.