I came across this interesting South American plant and decided to give it a go. One of the reasons it attracted my interest was that it claimed that South Americans added it to their bean dishes to stop flatulence…
We propagated and planted some Epazote plants in the garden. They grow quite prolifically and don’t mind being cut back. If they go to seed too quickly, they can be cut back and they then form nice big leaves. Epazote is said to be a great companion plant, keeping away pests by masking plants’ natural scents, attracting some predatory insects and it is said to have natural pesticide compounds. In addition to numerous health benefits, like apparently killing intestinal worms and used in asthma treatment, I add some Epazote leaves to my bean dishes to prevent unpleasant odours later in the day. So far, it seems to work 😉
This morning’s breakfast we had beans with sausages, scrambled eggs, toast, avocado and tomato. I soaked the beans (I used kidney beans this time, but black eyed beans are great too!) for a day and a night, then drained the soak water, rinsed the beans and added fresh water. I cooked the beans for a number of hours on the wood stove. A lot of the water had disappeared by then, so I added a bottle of strained tomatoes (you can also add fresh chopped tomatoes or tomato paste and some water), around 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp cumin, and of course the chopped up Epazote leaves. I used about 6 – 8 leaves for a medium size pot (serves around 8 – 10 people for breakfast). Do not use too many leaves, as the flavour can get a little overpowering. Cook the beans in its sauce for another few hours, stirring on occasion to ensure no sticking. I then put the beans in the fridge ready for breakfast the next day.
So far the Epazote is doing its job. Let’s hope I’m not full of hot air….