Powerful Plant Protein – Plus cooking tips!

Powerful plant protein 

I was determined to know beans.”— Henry David Thoreau, The Bean-Field

How about you? How well do you know beans?

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 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 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.

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.
Please Enjoy these Recipes from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition:
Black Bean Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Yields: 8 peopleIngredients: 
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
Pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups cooked black beans
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
Cilantro and fresh lime juice, as garnish

Directions: 

  1. Heat oil in pan.
  2. Sauté onions and garlic with spices and salt.
  3. Remove from heat and put into a large bowl.
  4. Add black beans and peppers.
  5. Mix well and serve.

Warming Lentil Stew
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 people

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped 2 parsnips or carrots, chopped 1 tablespoon sesame or olive oil
1 cup red lentils, washed
5 cups water
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
Chopped parsley or scallion for garnish

Directions: 

  1. Heat oil in a pot and sauté onion and parsnip for 10 minutes.
  2. Add washed lentils and water and bring to a boil.
  3. Skim off the foam. Lower the heat, add cumin and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the lemon juice and salt. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

Serve in individual bowls and garnish with parsley or scallion.

GET EVEN HEALTHIER!
Do you intend to lose weight, eat healthy, and feel fantastic? Make a plan to succeed by getting the support you need! As a Health Coach, I specialize in helping people make their own healthy changes. Ready to get started? Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today!  717-781-7098 or Transformation@amandagoodwin.biz