Beans are known as poor man's meat and they've nourished the world since the beginning of time. Dried beans, also known as legumes, are
packed with nutrients. They are also advantageous because once dried, beans are almost imperishable; therefore they have a long shelf life.
There are many types of beans: black beans, great northern beans, lima beans, kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, mung beans, fava (or
broad) beans, garbanzo beans (or chick peas), cannelloni beans and black eyed peas. Nutritionally speaking they are all powerhouses of energy,
vitamins and minerals. They are good sources of protein, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Most are also fat-free, and unless canned, low in
sodium. They are also a very good source of fiber. They even offer a small amount of calcium (about 40-80 milligrams per cup). For more recipes
on incorporating beans into your food look for gourmetrecipe.com.
How can you incorporate more beans into your diet? Try this:
ß When dining out at salad bars, include some garbanzo beans or a three-bean salad in your green salad.
ß When making soups and salads at home, add beans.
ß Add an extra can of beans to your chili recipe.
ß Using canned beans does up the sodium but if you drain and rinse them, they are a convenient way to use beans for soups or dips.
ß The next time you make potato salad, add a rinsed can of navy beans to the bowl and mix.
ß Beans and Rice is a classic dish and a wonderful accompaniment to Tex-Mex dishes or can serve as a main meal. If you have leftover ham or
pork, you can add cubed pieces to a rice and bean mixture for extra flavor.
Seek out some low fat bean recipes and enjoy these nutritional powerhouses. Try the quick and easy recipes below to help you include some
nutrient-packed beans into your diet this summer.