Dried or canned, beans are great in SO many ways, even in brownies!
- Fiber! Beans are rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Fiber helps regulate bowel movements, promotes satiety, and can contribute to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. It also aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. The fiber content in beans acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. A healthy gut microbiome is linked to improved digestion, enhanced nutrient absorption, and a stronger immune system.
- Nutrient density! Beans are packed with essential nutrients like protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins (such as folate, thiamine, and vitamin B6), minerals (including iron, magnesium, and potassium), and antioxidants.Beans are an excellent plant-based source of protein, making them an essential part of vegetarian and vegan diets. They contain substantial amounts of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein and necessary for cell repair and growth.
- Resistant starch! Particularly certain varieties like kidney beans, black beans, and navy beans, are known to be good sources of resistant starch. When beans are cooked and then cooled, some of the digestible starch in them undergoes structural changes, becoming resistant to digestion.Resistant starch acts as a slow-release carbohydrate, providing a steady and prolonged supply of energy during physical activities. It breaks down more slowly compared to other carbohydrates, such as simple sugars, preventing rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar levels. This sustained energy release can help athletes maintain endurance and performance during extended workouts.
Try some of these recipes this summer – I sure will!
From a smoky chickpea number with bacon and Cotija to a simple pairing of plump cranberry beans and tender poached salmon, these bean salads are anything but boring.
Here are a few more for you:
- Classic Chili from Delish.
- Tuscan White Bean Soup from Barefoot Contessa.
- Black Bean Tacos from Cookie and Kate.Load up warm tortillas with seasoned black beans, fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, and add toppings such as guacamole, salsa, and cilantro. These tacos are packed with flavor and make a fantastic vegetarian or vegan meal.