As a vegan I need to be careful that I am taking in enough protein from sources other than animal protein as I don’t eat any meat or dairy. BEANS are my favorite way to get enough protein in my diet. There are so many different kinds of beans and so many ways to prepare them that you could never get bored with the mighty bean.
Beans have so many incredible nutritional benefits. I will try and give them the credit they deserve.
First of all beans are so inexpensive. You get a really good bang for your buck. Beans are definitely less costly than meat and dairy. If you buy beans dry, in bulk and soak and boil them yourself they are super affordable. Of course you can buy them in the can already cooked and ready to be used in recipes but getting beans that way is a bit more expensive than cooking the beans from scratch. Getting your beans from a can is also adding sodium to your diet. Most cans are lined with toxic elements I just don’t want in my beans so I prefer to cook them from scratch. While boiling them I add a strip of Kombu seaweed to help cut down the gas producing properties of beans. I always cook more beans than I need for a particular recipe and store them in a glass container in the fridge. I then have them for adding to soups, salads etc.
Beans are super nutritious. They are low-glycemic and anti-inflammatory. They are loaded with soluble fiber of which we should be consuming a minimum of 25 grams a day for women and a minimum of 38 grams per day for men. The average person only consumes about 15 grams a day. No wonder the population is constipated….
Beans are loaded with many nutritional qualities aside from fiber. They are loaded with antioxidants, protein, multiple B vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium….all things we need to get in our daily diet.
As a regular bean consumer I know I am lessening the chances of me developing diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer and am keeping my weight in check as beans are not fattening. (At least not the way I cook and use them.) Beans are good for making you feel full therefore avoiding overeating which also helps you keep weight gain under control unlike eating saturated animal protein. I opt for the bean over meat on all counts.
I always have beans available in my refrigerator. I always have hummus made from chickpeas in my fridge too.
Crazy as this may sound…now that I have been vegan 5 years….I actually crave beans like a meat eater would crave a steak. I find myself salivating over the thought of having a kidney bean burger like a meat eater would crave a bacon cheeseburger made from ground beef. Interesting how this has happened to my taste buds and mental conditioning. I even carry a little baggie of beans in my purse when we go to a restaurant so I can top my salad with beans to up the nutritional value of my meal. It’s all good.
I love beans!
Here is a great recipe for upping your bean intake. Just working on this post is making my “bean craving” ignite.
QUICK AND EASY THREE BEAN CHILI (all of my ingredients are organic and non-GMO)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 bell peppers cut into chunks ( I use 1 each of yellow, red and orange to add great colour to the dish)
1 or 2 yellow onions (depending on their size) coarsely chopped
8 oz. chopped cremini mushroom (optional) , cleaned and sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. chili powder (or more if you want to kick it up a notch)
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 large fresh tomatoes diced or 1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed (could also use fresh corn from the cob…of course, or canned and drained)
15 oz. cooked kidney beans (or could use canned, drained and rinsed)
15 oz. cooked black beans (or canned, drained and rinsed)
15 oz. cooked pinto beans (or canned, drained and rinsed)
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish of fresh chopped cilantro leaves, chopped avocado or a scoop of non-dairy sour cream.
Sautee peppers and onion, mushroom, if using, and garlic and spices. Cook for 5 minutes stirring until onions are soft. Stir in beans, corn and tomatoes. Lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with garnish of choice.
For a complete and satisfying meal I often serve this chili on top of a large scoop of cooked brown rice or quinoa.
I think I’m going to make this for dinner tonight. Yum!
Try adding beans to your daily regime. It’s all good.