Happy Bean Day!

Today is National Bean Day. Beans (or legumes) are packed with vitamins, minerals, are an excellent source of protein, and low in fat. Additionally, beans are high in fiber. Research has shown that beans may lower blood sugar which helps in the management of type 2 diabetes. It also can lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides. For some, eating beans can cause uncomfortable gas. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce the gaseous after effects.

beans legumes

-Soak your beans for 12 to 24 hours. This reduces a good amount of the indigestible part of the bean.

-Know your beans. Some beans, like adzuki, mung beans, lentils, split peas, and black-eyed peas produce less gas than others. High gas producing beans include lima, pinto, whole soy beans, and navy beans.

-Add beans to your diet slowly so your body can get used to the fiber. Start off with small portions once or twice a week and slowly increase your intake.

-Chew your beans thoroughly to help break them down for digestion.

And finally, you can always take Beano or other gas busting tablets to reduce gas production.

So in honor of National Bean Day, prepare a bean dish today! You can find delicious recipes at the US Dry Bean Council website or the Bean Institute website.

One of my favorites (because it’s super easy) is the Breakfast Bean Burrito. See the recipe below.

Breakfast-Bean-Burrito-with-Eggs

Breakfast Bean Burrito

Ingredients
1 -10” flour tortilla, plain or whole wheat
3/4 cup canned, drained, and rinsed reduced sodium black or pinto beans
1 scrambled egg
¼ cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons of your favorite salsa

Directions
1. Lay the tortilla on a dinner plate.
2. Place the beans in the center, top with the scrambled egg, cheese and salsa.
3. Fold in the ends, and then roll up to form a burrito.
4. Microwave for 45-60 seconds.

Suggested Serving: Add additional salsa and/or plain, low-fat Greek yogurt for extra flavor and protein!

-Lisa

Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/recipe-for-health-cheap-nutritious-beans-201211305612

15-Minute Soup

See how to make it here:

Makes 4 servings; Serving size 1½ cups

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups pre-soaked beans or 1 (16-ounce) can beans, drained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chopped or diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach
  • ½ Cup macaroni

Directions

  1. In a 2-quart pot, combine all ingredients except spinach and macaroni.
  2. Heat until the liquid comes to a boil.
  3. Stir in and break up spinach; bring to a boil again.
  4. Stir in macaroni and simmer until pasta is tender, about 6-8 minutes.

Nutrition information per serving

145 calories, Total Fat .5g, Saturated Fat 0g, Protein 7g, Total Carbohydrate 28g, Dietary Fiber 7g, Sodium 135mg. Excellent source of vitamins A and C. Good source of iron and calcium.

How to Soak Dry Beans

Dried beans are an inexpensive low-fat source of protein and fiber that can be easily added into our diet.  They are easy to cook but must be soaked prior to using in a recipe.  This requires just a little planning and preparation before they are ready to use.

  1. Before soaking beans, pick them over, removing any small rocks or dirt pieces.
  2. Put the beans in a strainer or colander and rinse with cold water
  3. There are two methods of soaking beans – the Hot Soak and the Traditional Soak.  The Hot Soak allows you to soak and cook your beans in the same day.  Your beans will cook to a tender stage in about 30-45 minutes.
  4. To Hot Soak your beans, heat 10 cups of water for each pound of beans in a large pot until it boils.
  5. Add the dry beans and boil for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, cover and let stand a minimum of 1 hour.  Soaking gets rid of many of the gas-producing substances in beans.
  7. To use the traditional soak method, simply cover your dried beans with 3 times as much water as beans.  Cover and soak overnight.  Beans soaked by this method will take about 1 – 2 ½ hours for them to be tender.

Whichever method you use, drain and rinse your beans with fresh water after soaking and before using in your recipe. If you don’t have time to cook dried beans you can substitute 3 cans of drained beans for 1 pound of dry beans.

Bean recipes from Cooking with EFNEP cookbook:

15-MINUTE SOUP

Makes 4 servings

Serving Size: about 11⁄2 cups

Ingredients

• 1 (16-ounce) can unsalted Great Northern Beans, drained

• 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth

• 1 (16-ounce) can chopped or diced tomatoes, undrained

• 1 small onion, chopped

• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 (10-ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach

• 1/2 cup macaroni

Directions

1. In a 2-quart pot, combine all ingredients except spinach and macaroni.

2. Heat until the liquid comes to a boil.

3. Stir in and break up spinach; bring to a boil again.

4. Stir in macaroni and simmer until pasta is tender, about 6–8 minutes.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

145 Calories, Total Fat .5g, Saturated Fat 0g, Protein 7g, Total Carbohydrate 28g, Dietary Fiber 7g, Sodium 135mg. Excellent source of vitamins A and C. Good source of iron and calcium.

SLOW COOKER DRIED BEANS

Makes 10 servings Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Ingredients

• 1 (1-pound) bag dried beans (pinto, black, garbanzo, etc)

• Water

• 1 onion, chopped (optional)

• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Put dried beans in the colander and rinse. Remove any broken or discolored beans.

2. Put dried beans in a large mixing bowl. Add water to cover beans then add an additional 2 inches. Cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator overnight.

3. Drain beans and place in slow cooker with water to cover plus 2 inches.

4. Add onion if desired.

5. Cook on low for 8 hours or until

6. Add salt and pepper to taste

7. Drain if desired.

Food Preparation Tip: Experiment with adding different spices to beans.

Pinto beans can be mashed to make refried beans with no added fat. Refried beans can be used in tacos, taco salad, or as a main dish substitute.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

110 Calories, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Protein 7g, Total Carbohydrate 20g, Dietary Fiber 7g, Sodium 170mg. Good source of iron.

Analyzed with pinto beans.