Tuesday, August 4, 2009

how to eat beans

My friend Sam writes, "Do you have some tricks to help me to eat beans? Me who HATES the texture of beans or anything remotely chalky. We do like Mexican but I won’t touch re-fried unless they are buried under cheese. I don’t like lentils in any way, shape or form."

Beans are a great; high in fiber, B vitamins and protein they are an excellent food to add to the diet. Different beans have different micronutrients so varying the types of beans that you eat is a good nutritional choice. Right now beans are available fresh from the farmer's markets. They are very tasty, not chalky and make a great addition to a lot of different dishes such as my peas-y peas and celery.

Another great way to eat beans is to use them to make a spread like hummus. Hummus is made from chickpeas, but you can make something similar with other beans. Add spices and herbs to flavor it anyway you want; this makes a great dip for veggies, pita bread, or crackers.

One of my favorite ways to eat beans is to take cooked beans (although canned beans are fine too), mash them up with sauteed minced onion and garlic, add some chopped parsley and curry powder and make patties out of it. Pan fry the patties, stuff them into a pita with frisee lettuce, chopped tomato, and a delicious sauce (suggestions include tahini, spicy yogurt, or a falafel sauce) and you've got a great meal with beans.

A third suggestion would be to take dried beans, grind them into a flour (a grain mill works best for this although there is a KitchenAid attachment that will also do the job) and then add that to a tomato sauce for casserole dishes or put the flour into baked goods. You'll still get the protein and nutrients from the beans but they won't be so obvious in your food.

As the saying goes, beans are good for your heart. Eat some today.

photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phaseolus_Beans.jpg


kez said...

My version of hummus - Edamame beans cooked and mince/mashed, tahini, a squeeze lemon juice, a pinch coarse chilli. Mix together, top with a dash olive oil and roasted pine nuts.

Mira Dessy said...

This sounds delicious, thanks for sharing!