Powerful plant protein (plus cooking tips!)

Creamy cannellinis, meaty garbanzos or chick peas, sweet adzuki, tender pintos, and so many more – beans are one of the most powerful, nutrient-dense plant foods around.

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 the 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:

  1. Toss beans and diced veggies (such as celery, shallots, and red peppers) with a vinaigrette for a bean salad.
  2. Blend cooked beans with tomatoes, onions, and your favorite seasonings to create a yummy bean soup. 
  3. Top a green salad with 1/3 cup of your favorite beans.
  4. Puree beans with a bit of olive oil, a garlic clove, salt, and your favorite seasonings. Voila! A fast dip or sandwich spread.
  5. Top beans with avocado and salsa!

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

  1. Wash and soak dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking. 
  2. After soaking, rinse, fill a pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, then skim off the foam.
  3. To aid digestion, add kombu, bay leaf, cumin, anise, or fennel to the water.
  4. Cover and simmer for the suggested time.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.

Share photos of your delicious meals on Instagram or let me know what you prepared via Twitter.

Happy cooking!

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