Powerful Plant Proteins / Know Your Beans

Beans are a great source of protein.  They are packed with tons of fiber, as well as plenty of iron. They are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients.  They are low in calories.  Plus, studies have found them to lower the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

So how do you get more beans on your plate?  Many people avoid beans because they just don’t know what to do with them.  Beans are so versatile.  Here are some suggestions but don’t stop there, you can check out some recipes on my website for even more ideas.

*Toss beans and diced veggies (such as celery, shallots, and red peppers) with vinaigrette for a 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.

*Add beans to eggs.  Top with avocado and salsa.

*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.

If you’re new to cooking with beans, try these tips:

*Wash and soak dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking.  Letting them soak overnight is the easiest.

*After soaking, rinse, fill a pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, then skim off the foam.

*To aid digestion, add kombu (seaweed), bay leaf, cumin, anise, or fennel to the water.

*Cover and simmer for the suggested time. (read the package for cooking times)

*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.

*Quick tips:  for speedier prep, boil dried beans for 5 minutes, then soak for 2-4 hours.  Or you can use canned beans instead.  (Some people find them even easier to digest)  Be sure to avoid canned beans with added salt or preservatives and rinse thoroughly once removed from the can.  Also, make sure the can is BPA free, there are more and more brands with BPA free cans.

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.