Updated: Jul 26, 2021
Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat them, the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you feel. So let's eat beans for every meal!
Talk about an all around wonderful food. Beans and legumes can be used in practically every dish from savory to ethnic , even as a dessert. This might sound strange to some people , but black bean brownies have been around as a popular "health" food for decades.
Mexicans, Indians, Italians, Africans, Americans, and others have made beans or legumes a part of their diet for as long as anyone can remember. They complete nutritional profiles and provide sustenance by filling you up and give a feeling of being satisfied. They are heavy and light at the same time, meaning they are filling without weighing you down.. Beans go well with both meat or cheese dishes or they are perfect without either one.
They are a perfect alternative to meat dishes as well as being nutritionally dense. They go well with any spice you throw at them because they have a mild flavor and tend to absorb spices or sweetners, making a perfect dish. The variety is almost without end, each with it's own characteristics , regional history and lore.
Beans and legumes are good for the heart, muscles and the gut. ( Many people have digestive problems and should be careful if adding beans to their diets suddenly. Take it slowly, heal , then add them in more often. If beans make you gassy, try using them as a side dish with lots of veggies. Also, soaking them before cooking helps breakdown the components that cause gas ) They contain fiber, protein, good carbs, iron, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, selenium and vitamins B, E and K..............
Beans are also a part of Dr Fuhrman's G-BOMBS anti-disease diet. He says the acronym is an easy way to remember important foods to add to your day. G is for greens, B is for beans, O is for onions (and others with similar properties such as garlic, tumeric and ginger), M is for mushrooms, B is for berries, and S is for seeds ( I would add sprouts ).
In the past 10 years or so, beans have become a favorite dessert as well. From brownies to mousse, from cookies to muffins, beans provide a solid base for dough as well as a healthy alternative to gluten and eggs. They can be used cooked, canned, soaked/sprouted, as a flour, or frozen. Easy to store, easy to cook, easy to use.
As a snack they can be toasted with salt and spices or made into "bread"crumbs, chips or crackers. The possibilities are endless As long as you let your imagination and your creativity run wild. When you use beans as a base for snacks and desserts, you can feel good that your family is getting a healthy and tasty treat.
Beans go perfectly with savory, salty, sweet and bitter greens. The density, fulness and moistness of beans eith cooked and blended or in flour form, adds a nutty flavor and can replace eggs, dairy and gluten. Use gluten free flours, nut flours, ground flax or chia seeds to create a biding agents for muffins, cakes, brownies, cookies etc.
As a rule white beans such as navy or chickpea can be interchanged and can be used in cookies, cookie dough, blondies, breads, crackers etc where you want a white base. Whereas black beans go well in brownies, chocolate cake or mousse because of their dark color.
Another way to use bean products: after cooking chickpeas, strain the water out and use the chickpea water in homemade marshmallow cream, puddings or vegan cheeses. It has a gelatinous, quality that goes well in recipes requiring that consistency.
The internet is exploding right now with recipes of bean desserts and meals. Easy to make, simple ingredients, inexpensive and healthy alternatives. A few sources containing some of these bean recipes :