Beans, Beans, The Musical Fruit

Bean Nuts

So, up until this point, my husband has managed to escape any real significant embarrassment in my stories.  Oh, I have talked about how we met, and his less than adventurous culinary tastes.  I may have mentioned a drunken party foul or two, and I DID post that picture of him in yellow tights.  But compared to all the stories about my smelly teenagers and their nether bits, Greg has really dodged some bullets.  That ends today.

We are talking about gas. And I don’t mean ethanol, petrol or helium.  Not argon, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or ether.  There will be no discussion of butane, oxygen or halogen.  Nope.  We are talking about methane.  Toots. Farts. Whistleberries. 

Now, I know the more sensitive of you are thinking “Lawdy Mercy—can’t believe this girl is writing about gas…Shocking…Vulgar…tres declasse….”

I say, you’re right!  But…Children adore it.  Wives fear it.  Animal rights activists use it as thinly veiled subterfuge in their battle against the beef industry.  Apparently, the evil beef industry is responsible for high levels of methane, from the cows doing what cows do after they eat.  Which is funny—because wouldn’t there be MORE methane if we quit eating all the cows? 

Actually, the human digestive tract produces several types of gasses, of which methane is only one.  But the other ones are odorless, and methane is, well, NOT odorless.  Some foods produce more gas than others because they contain compounds that the human body does not break down and absorb.  If you eat it, and it does not break down and get absorbed by your body, then it has to leave your body or you would blow up and die.  When it’s put like that, you would think people would be glad of their gas.

Some people, such as myself, would rather have their fingernails ripped out with pliers than ever, ever produce methane.  In the 17 years we have been together, my husband has received no indication that my body functions properly in this manner.  Maybe there really is a stick….nevermind.

On the other hand, my husband dabbles in gas like DaVinci dabbled in oils.  He is an artiste!  A savant of gas.  His plumbing is a finely tuned machine–the minute he is done eating, the car windows start rolling down.  It’s enough to bring a tear or two hundred to the eye.  The kids beg that beans not be made available to him. 

With good reason.  Beans contain a sugar compound called oligosaccharides.  The enzyme that breaks this type of sugar down is not produced in the human body.  Thusly, these sugar molecules are not broken down and absorbed by the small intestines the way other sugars are.  Instead, they are broken down in the large intestine, into the gas that will eventually send your family scrambling for fresh air.

My husband’s grandfather had a giant cast-iron bean pot that he used to cook beans over a fire for their giant family gatherings.  Probably about 20 gallons could be cooked in this pot.  Greg said Grandpa Van de Walle used to lean a big stick against the outside of the pot, and when the kids asked him what the stick was for, he said it “so all the little farts could crawl out…”

I am guessing it didn’t work.

But, the flip side to all this toilet humor is this:  the foods that produce the most gas, are also the healthiest.  Beans and other legumes, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc., and fruits…Aside from being high in octane, they are also high in fiber.  Beans have the added benefit of being high in protein, making them an excellent source of low fat, high fiber, lean protein nutrition.

With your good health in mind, I am glad to offer you three great bean recipes.  And tell your dining/sleeping companions that I apologize in advance for doing this to them.  I am sure they are lovely people.

Bean Nuts

Bean Nuts

Like roasted chick peas or soy beans, pinto beans may be toasted in oil and spices until crunchy.  I serve them like mixed nuts when serving a Texican feast.

  • 3 cups pinto beans, may use fresh cooked, or canned
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each: salt, paprika, brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon each: cocoa powder, cumin, garlic powder

Heat oven to 250*

Rinse and drain beans.  Spread out on paper towels to dry, and pat with additional paper towels.  Place on a baking sheet, and toss with the olive oil to coat.  Mix all of the spices together, and toss with the beans.  Spread evenly across baking sheet into one layer.  Heat in oven for 5 hours, stirring every hour.  Remove from heat, and allow to cool completely.

Jeff Beans

Jeff Beans

Jeff was my best friend’s brother-in-law when I was in college. He made some killer beans.  I don’t know if there was ever actually a written recipe, but this is my rendition of them.  A little bit sweet and a lot of savory, they are good with anything that you would serve with pinto beans or baked beans.

  • 1 pound bacon, chopped
  • 2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch parsely, chopped
  • 2 cans (15oz each) of black eyed peas
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) pork and beans
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) field peas with snaps
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) crowder peas (if not available, use 1 more each of black eyes and pork and beans)
  • 1 T cajun seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s)

Cook bacon in dutch-oven or soup pot over medium heat until bacon is almost crispy. Add chopped peppers, onions and garlic, and cook until softened. Stir in parsley and heat for 2 minutes. Add all beans (do not drain) and seasoning, and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

You can also cook the bacon and vegetables ahead of time, and then throw everything in a crock pot for slow cooking. 

Whistleberry Brownies

Whistleberry Brownies

I know it sounds weird, but these are delicious.  You don’t actually taste the beans.  These make for a smooth, dense, super chocolate-y brownie that you don’t have to feel guilty for eating.

  • 1½ cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder  
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (or may use applesauce)
  • ½ cup sugar (or may use Splenda)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or chopped nuts (optional)

Whiz all ingredients (except for chocolate chips, dried fruit, or nuts) in a food processor for 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl a few times.  Stir in any optional ingredients you are using.  Pour into a well greased 8×8 baking pan.  Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.

Serve warm or room temp.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Categories: BAKING, Cupcakes, dessert, Food, Gourmet, humor, recipes, Texas, writing


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62 Comments on “Beans, Beans, The Musical Fruit”

  1. livingforjackie
    2012/06/21 at 3:07 pm #

    I had to laugh at your title 🙂 but I believe all males have a tootin problem ….and they are quite proud of it too! Your recipes sound really good….I’ll have to give them a try…..

  2. 2012/06/21 at 3:09 pm #

    I love the brownies recipe. It sounds delicious! I think I know what to make for my next game night…

  3. 2012/06/21 at 3:20 pm #

    i like beans. and brownies too. /embarrased whisper

    And that brownie recipe sounds intriguing.

    Then the practical stuff – I’ve read that eating them regularly and soaking the heck out of them, then discarding the soaking water, minimizes the, um, oligosaccharide problem. Do you know if that’s true?

    But finally, to give myself away as a total Northerner, what on earth are “field peas with snaps”???

    • 2012/06/21 at 4:32 pm #

      Field PEas are sort of like tiny black eye peas, with little bitty snap beans in the can with them. Allen’s is a popular brand, although I am not sure how far they are spread….You can just use pork and beans and black eyes (equal parts) if you can’t find the funny varieties….

    • 2012/06/24 at 2:07 pm #

      You’re right. If you eat beans regularly, you’ll have less gas. When I went veg half a lifetime ago, beans were really tough on my (or maybe on my sister, who shared my room). 13 years later, no gas at all. I think it only took a few months of eating them a few times a week.

      Cooking your own does help. Soak over night (or “quick-soak”), drain, rinse and cook.

  4. 2012/06/21 at 3:20 pm #

    Not during the whole 17 years? C’mon! Get with the program!

    • 2012/06/21 at 4:34 pm #

      DUDE! My sisters have long plotted to get me drunk, feed me beans, and jump on my stomach, because they have never heard it either. And I’ve know them for 30 and 40 years…….

  5. 2012/06/21 at 3:42 pm #

    I love this combo–food and humour!! Thanks for the laugh. And I just cut and pasted your Whistleberry Brownie recipe. Will definitely be trying that one out!!

  6. 2012/06/21 at 4:04 pm #

    Gee, no dog to blame this on?

    • 2012/06/21 at 4:35 pm #

      Oh, no. There are three dogs, but they are usually far away when the whistleberries start…

  7. 2012/06/21 at 4:31 pm #

    Very entertaining. As usual the recipes look great.

  8. 2012/06/21 at 5:58 pm #

    That was a very interesting and true to life commentary on the life cycle of unused natural resource! 🙂

  9. 2012/06/21 at 7:15 pm #

    Oh, dear — I have several comments.

    – Methane is not the cause of the odors. As the PSAs warn, “Natural gas has no smell.” Natural gas is, in fact, methane.

    – Not all flatulence has methane in it; it depends upon the flora in the individual’s gut.

    – The odor-causing constituents of flatulence are skatole and indole, which are byproducts of the digestion of meat, and various sulfur-based compounds (one of which is actually added to natural gas by utility companies to make it recognizable).

    – Studies show that although men pass gas more frequently than women, women’s farts are more odiferous.

    – There is at least one commercial product, Beano, that helps manage the problem.

    – Flatulence can be caused by any compound that your gut flora digest more readily than you do. (I say this as somebody who is lactose-intolerant.)

    – In this context, how could you not feel guilty when eating bean-filled brownies?

    – Yes, you can indeed set fire to a methane-based fart.

    • 2012/06/21 at 8:42 pm #

      Yes. I am actually aware of all of that (have I mentioned my hubby is a scientist?)…..for the sake of brevity, and an audience with diverse acumen, I try to stick the really, really condensed version, lest I lose their interest. Men and children just seem to really enjoy farts, so I don’t want to belabor them with too much science. I don’t mind when my readers do, though!

      Haha! Thanks for the comments!

  10. 2012/06/21 at 7:32 pm #

    Funny Funny! I grew up with my dad singing, “Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat them the more you toot.” Perhps this is why my mom never served beans when I was growing up!

  11. 2012/06/21 at 8:05 pm #

    Great topic, and for us guys, it is most definatly an art LOL But I can tell you an old WV trick that Mamaw used when cooking soup beans, (or any other she wanted to get the gas out). She would soak the beans in Coca Cola over night and somehow it worked. No matter how hard we tried, we could not make beautiful music after a good pot of beans lol

  12. 2012/06/21 at 9:24 pm #

    That was so funny I laughed so hard I ,,,,,,well you know.

    • 2012/06/21 at 11:10 pm #

      Ha ha..mission accomplished…the laughing part, anyway.

  13. 2012/06/21 at 9:32 pm #

    It is an old back country WV thing. But it does work!

  14. 2012/06/21 at 10:41 pm #

    Hairy Hallelujah! Gotta love Beans!!!
    I have got to share this with our little town market blog followers. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it as much as I do. One of the reasons I wanted to create this blogspot (the LeRoy Market Earlybird), was to share recipes from other blogs. Cooking and serving a wide variety of food can be a fairly harmless way of keeping life interesting.
    Thanks for the humor, and you can best I’ll be breaking out some beans soon, Brian

  15. Lance
    2012/06/22 at 1:45 am #

    My Mamaw from Killeen use to soak her beans in Coke as well for the same reason. Might be worth the research. Oh and once again, great write up!

    • 2012/06/22 at 9:42 am #

      yes, I am going to try the coke thing….anything to save our air quality…

  16. 2012/06/22 at 7:01 am #

    You almost caused me to shoot some Coke out my nose while trying to hold the laughter in this morning. Great post. I heard (and its probably an old wives tale, I’ve never tried it) if you cook some carrots in your pot of beans and then toss the carrot, it cuts down (or eliminates) the gas. Who knows?

    • 2012/06/22 at 9:41 am #

      But I wouldn’t want to toss out the carrots…I bet beans would be awesome with carrots in them….I’m gonna try it. Someone else said to soak the beans in coke overnight to get rid of the gaseous agent entirely….I will try that too…

      • 2012/06/22 at 12:50 pm #

        But I think the carrot is supposed to absorb a bunch of that stuff that causes gas so to eat it would make it just worse.

  17. 2012/06/22 at 11:03 am #

    Hi, I’ve read several of you posts and have found them delightful. I am commenting on this one because I have a twin to your husband. I, in fact, tell him that God gave him a special organ just for making gas! EVERYTHING gives him gas and he is a child-man who finds utter delight in the sounds of life! Thanks for visiting my blog and hope we can share many things as we travel along. Great Blog!!!

    • 2012/06/22 at 11:48 am #

      Thanks for reading along! Men and children do adore their gas…I have a house full of boys, and it’s a wonder my olfactory nerves aren’t fried.

  18. 2012/06/22 at 12:03 pm #

    I was so excited to see your bean recipes. We eat a lot of beans and I’ve been wanting some new recipes to try. Thank you! 🙂

  19. 2012/06/22 at 8:00 pm #

    Loved the post! Hard-boiled eggs had the same effect on my ex!

    • 2012/06/22 at 9:37 pm #

      Oh no….don’t even get me started on hard boiled eggs…or popcorn shrimp.

  20. chroniclesofdomesticdisaster
    2012/06/23 at 3:10 am #

    Thank you for following my blog – I like your style too.
    I have an excellent recipe for something we call Fart Soup – Jerusalem articokes and truffle oil. Very delicious but with the aforementioned after affect which kicks in about an hour after eating. We once went to a wedding where they served it – somewhat uncomfortable!

    • 2012/06/23 at 9:07 am #

      Oh lord, I will try it, but not when my hubby is around.

  21. 2012/06/23 at 3:33 am #

    love beans

  22. 2012/06/23 at 5:24 am #

    love all three of these – you are also hilarious –

  23. 2012/06/23 at 8:19 am #

    What a gas! 🙂 Loved this! Just yesterday my hubby (a BBQ pit master, himself) told me my baked beans surpass his now. You have no idea what an honor that is…well, maybe you do. Wait ’til I throw one of these recipes at him!

  24. 2012/06/23 at 3:35 pm #

    ha! What a catchy title. 🙂 First, the serious. Brownie from beans sounds like a good idea. I am not too averse to it because in the Philippines, beans, sweetened beans, is used as bread filling in delicacies like ‘hopia’.

    Second, the rowdy. Growing up, my cousins (males, of course) usually have a tootin’ contest. Sometimes, they acted like they were shooting each other with guns.
    Anyway, this gas thing is a test of true love. Hmm, only in one genuinely loving and carefree environment can anyone be free to let loose, err, air. :-))

  25. 2012/06/23 at 4:03 pm #

    Wonderful post Texana. Couldn’t stop laughing. I think your husband may be my twin brother. Word of warning however, don’t feed him venison. Don’t know why the activists are complaining about beef. Venison is much more odoriferous. Keep up the good laughs. God Bless You, Grant

  26. 2012/06/23 at 10:56 pm #

    As a Mom of 3 boys…I love the title!

  27. 2012/06/25 at 6:40 am #

    Yes, this really is a great title. And men aren’t the only ones who suffer from gas from beans. 😉

  28. 2012/06/25 at 2:28 pm #

    I have a lactose intolerant 5 yo…Until he came into my life I never thought such big odors (and loud noices) could come out of such a tiny behind…I am def going to try these recipes, I am always looking for new ways to present healthy, simple and frugal food!

  29. 2012/06/26 at 8:31 am #

    17 years is an awful long time to go by without displaying a public toot. I truly admire your resilience! 🙂
    The Jeff Beans recipe looks like something my husband would love….. oh well!

  30. 2012/06/26 at 10:14 am #

    OK Ma’am, I’ll Give your whistle berries a go if you promise to try mine. You can read all about real old west trail beans and the recipe “Cowboy beans” on my heritage and trail cooking blog. It might just give you even more reason to ‘Toot’ your horn about beans! :()~

    • 2012/06/26 at 11:09 am #

      I’ll do it! We actually do many, many campfire cookouts…Dutch ovens and all…

      • 2012/06/26 at 11:46 am #

        My type of woman! LOL ( a true Texan!)

      • 2012/06/26 at 1:24 pm #

        haha! We would survive a zombie apocolypse, that’s for sure…

  31. 2012/06/26 at 8:42 pm #

    coming up with a bean recipe!

  32. 2012/06/28 at 4:19 pm #

    As I understand it, methane production is from incomplete digestion. If you have your beans with whole grains, you can reduce or even stop this. The kids will hate you but it makes for a more pleasant life. there was also a Frenchman who made a living farting music. I think his name was La Petomane. I hope that’s not ruder than farting.

    • 2012/06/28 at 4:57 pm #

      Yes..Beans contain a sugar that cannot be broken down by the body (not even if eaten with grains)…The only way to get your body to fully process beans is to introduce into your body the enzyme that breaks down this sugar…Beano contains this enzyme, thusly stopping the problem…..

  33. 2012/07/01 at 7:54 am #

    My husband loves beans and I hate every kind I’ve ever tried! I refuse to make them for him. Why make something I hate to eat and have to suffer the consequences of him having eaten them, too? It just doesnt seem fair. We were reading your blog together and could not stop laughing at the whistleberries. We’ve never heard this term before! Thanks for following my page by the way. Ill be doing the same to yours and I look forward to reading more from you!

  34. 2012/07/03 at 11:56 am #

    So funny – we sing that song every time we make beans. LOVE IT!

  35. 2012/07/04 at 5:36 pm #

    Greatest recipe introduction ever… looking forward to your other posts!

  36. 2012/07/08 at 8:27 am #

    I’m glad I found these! I’m trying to decrease the amount of meat in my diet and beans is my preferred substitute for protein (as well as carbs). Thank you!

  37. 2012/07/28 at 5:30 pm #


  38. 2012/08/07 at 12:30 am #

    Beans and veggies used to make me gassy…and then I went vegetarian. I haven’t really done any research into the science of it, but all the digestive issues I had before went away. *shrugs*


  1. LeRoy Market Earlybird Weekly Flyby 6/23/12 | The LEROY MARKET EARLY BIRD - 2012/06/21

    […] One of the reasons I wanted to create this blogspot was to share recipes from other blogs. Cooking and serving a wide variety of food can be a fairly harmless way of keeping life interesting. Enjoy these bean recipes (and the accompanying, interesting and musical story) from fellow blogger Texana of Texana’s Kitchen. […]

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