The Most Versatile Food on Earth

Ok, so today we’re going to talk about the BEAN. Some people get fancy and say Legumes!!!! I’m not sure we all realize how good these little guys are for us so let’s explore why you need to incorporate them into your diet. I’ve broken this article down into Cost, Benefits and Versatility. So come with me on this voyage of learning the facts about the little but powerful bean.
First up, let’s talk about Cost: Beans are inexpensive. You can buy them canned or dried and the best thing is they last forever. I buy them when they are on sale at my local grocery at unbelievable prices, like 10 cans for $5.00. This means I can have the makings of a protein-rich meal anytime at a great price. They are even cheaper when you buy dried beans in bulk.
Next up, let’s look at the Benefits: Beans are an excellent source of protein and believe it or not, they have similar amounts to meat, but with the added bonus of high fiber and low fat. We all know that high fiber and low fat are important goals in healthy nutrition and fitness. One cup of these little guys contains nearly half of the daily requirement of fiber, whereas meat contains none. In addition to trumping meat on the fiber scale, there’s no need to worry about hormones or antibiotics contaminating beans. Why would any of us want to put hormones and antibiotics into our lovely bodies? With the exception of added sodium to canned beans, what you see is what you get with this naturally colorful source of nutrition. Some beans are also loaded with antioxidants. The top picks for antioxidants are small red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans. As the ole saying goes, “big things come in small packages”. Kudos to the small but powerful bean. These facts are what made me a bean advocate.
Last, but for sure not the least, is the Versatility of our little friends. The recipes for these hearty ingredients are endless. Whether it be garbanzo, soy, pinto, black, or kidney you’ll never be at a loss for a hearty meal. Beans can be added to soups, salads, and rice. Mashed up, they make yummy dips such as hummus. My husband loves deserts and I’ve even found great recipes for the cute bean to soothe his cravings.
So there you have it. The Bean—–great for you, inexpensive and varieties galore. Enjoy this recipe for roasted beet hummus to get you started. ¬†Always remember: Turn It On and Look Fab!

1 chopped clove garlic
1/3 cup chopped roasted beets
1 cup cooked white beans
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fennel, for serving

Puree garlic, beets, beans, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with fennel.  Refrigerate in an airtight container up to three days. Photo credit: Bryan Gardner

Roasted Beet Hummus

Beets and Beans

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