“I was determined to know beans.” – Henry David Thoreau, The Bean-Field
How about you? How well do you know beans? Did you know they date back to more than 5,000 years? That they are packed with plant proteins, fiber, and tons of vitamins and minerals, especially iron, folate, and manganese?1 And don't avoid beans because you think they lead to noxious fumes – this may be mostly hot air.2
The varieties are endless, creamy cannellini beans for Italian cooking, fava beans for Mediterranean dips and salads, meaty garbanzos for hummus and Indian curries, nutty black beans for Latin fare, sweet adzukis in soups, tender pintos for bean salads, and more.3
What To Do With Beans
Many people avoid beans because they just don’t know what to do with them. Are you one of them? Keep reading:
- Toss beans and diced veggies (such as red pepper, cucumber, and onions) with a balsamic-olive oil-garlic vinaigrette for a bean salad. (Add avocado!)
- Make a protein-packed (non-traditional) tabouleh salad with beans, quinoa, mint, parsely, tomatoes, and cucumber.
- Blend cooked beans with diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, and your favorite seasonings (thyme & oregano) to create a yummy “French” bean soup (and a touch of cayenne to spice it up!).
- Top a green salad with 1/3 cup of your favorite bean (add your favorite nuts/seeds).
- Puree cooked beans with a bit of olive oil, a garlic clove, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Voila! A fast dip or sandwich spread. (Add roasted red pepper for a richer flavor)
- Add beans to scrambled eggs. Top with avocado, cilantro leaves, and salsa!
If you’re new to cooking with beans, start simple:
- Wash and soak dried beans for 6-8 hours before cooking, preferably overnight.
- After soaking, rinse well, fill a pot with fresh water (about 1:2 ratio of beans to water).
- To aid digestion and minimize flatulence, select beans with care,4add bay leaf, cumin, or anise to the water.
- Cover and simmer for the suggested time.
- Remember: only add salt at the end of cooking or it will interfere with the cooking.
- Quick tips: for speedier prep, boil dried beans for 5 minutes, then soak for 2-4 hours. Or use canned beans instead, which are easier to digest. But rinse well if salted.
And if you are just looking for some easy, tasty and healthy recipes, check out some of my recipes here
Get Even Healthier!
Would you like help learning how to choose and cook healthy foods like beans? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today – or pass this offer on to someone you care about!