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 rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. They are low in calories.
Plus, studies have found them to lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
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 tasty bean soup.
Top a green salad with 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 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 for delicious and well-cooked 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, add kombu, 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.
Quick tips: For speedier prep, boil dried beans for 5 minutes, then soak for 2-4 hours. Or 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.
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Right around Super Bowl time I saw that a lot of people were making roasted chickpeas. I wanted to get in on the fun & try it myself. Pretty easy to make/bake & endless possibilities when it comes to flavor! This is what I came up with and shared it with our beWELL group. It was a hit! These are a fantastic healthy snack food. Give it a try & let me know what you think!
(12 ounce) can chickpeas drained
2 tablespoons oil with a high smoke point
garlic powder dusting
onion powder dusting
salt to taste
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2) Dry chickpeas with a dish towel or paper towel.
3) In a bowl, toss chickpeas oil, and season to taste with garlic, onion, cumin, curry & salt.
4) Taste & make sure the flavor is to your liking!
5) Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Check after 30 minutes.