“I was determined to know beans.”— Henry David Thoreau, The Bean-Field
How about you? How well do you know beans? Did you know that beans are a longevity food?
Creamy cannellinis, meaty garbanzos, sweet adzuki, tender pintos, and so many more—beans are one of the most powerful, nutrient-dense plant foods around.
Consider this: Beans are packed with tons of fiber, as well as plenty of iron and protein. They are low in calories. They are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, especially black beans. A great rule of thumb when choosing the healthiest fruits and vegetables: go dark. Blueberries, kale and black beans. (study)
Plus, studies have found them to lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and, as I mentioned, extend and improve the quality of your life. That’s right. Folks living in the Blue Zones are sure to include beans and other pulses (lentils, peas, chickpeas, etc.) in their regular diet.
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 celery, shallots, red peppers) with vinaigrette for a quick bean salad.
- Blend cooked beans with tomatoes, onions, and your favorite seasonings to create a yummy bean soup.
- Top a green salad with 1/3 cup of your favorite bean.
- Puree beans with a bit of olive oil, a garlic clove, salt, and your favorite seasonings. Voila! A fast dip or sandwich spread.
- Include 1/3 cup of beans with your other favorite toppings next time you make stuffed baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.
- Add 1/4 cup pureed beans to your favorite pancake, waffle, muffin, or cake recipe. You’ll be surprised at how moist and springy baked goods are when baked with beans.
- Be sure to wash and clean the beans first.
- Soak dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking (hint: cut a bean in half; if the center is still opaque, keep soaking).
- After soaking, rinse, fill pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, then skim off the foam.
- To aid digestion (aka avoid gas), add kombu (seaweed), bay leaf, cumin, anise, or fennel to the water.
- Cover and simmer for the suggested time.
- Remember: Only add salt at the end of cooking (about 10 minutes before the beans are done) or it will interfere with the cooking process.
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!