Black Kabuli chickpeas + Beluga lentil beans
Black Kabuli chickpeas + Beluga lentil beans

I changed my diet the past year, and now I eat beans daily. Over the years for health reasons, our family started adding more beans to our recipes. I have found beans to be one of the best plant-based sources of protein. It seems like beans get a bad rap when it comes to gracing our tables. We need to change that attitude for it is International Year of Pulses! Let us  make 2016 the year we all start adding more beans/pulses to our daily diet.

Most people are afraid to add beans to their diet; they provide too many benefits to your health to be left out. I find it a bit easier, initially to add more beans to a diet with soups, chilies or hummus. Once you start adding beans to your daily diet, you will see how they improve your health.
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Beans are a beautiful addition to any recipe. I eat them every day because they are an excellent choice to add to a healthy living lifestyle. There are days where they are a snack after a long bike ride on the Mississippi River. If you search online, there are recipes galore for you to discover and try out each week. Start getting creative with your cooking. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.There is a bean for everyone!

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Why are beans good for you-

  •  packed with Fiber
  • Help regulate your blood sugar
  • lower cholesterol
  • Good for your heart
  • provides iron to your diet
  • source of B vitamins
  • reduce cancer risk
  • aid in maintaining a healthy weight
  • great source of  protein
  • rich with minerals for your body

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There are so many types of beans out there to try. Once you start cooking more beans  you will discover your favorites. My favorite ones are lentils. I love lentil beans for if I am in a rush and forget to soak my beans the night before, I just boil some water on the stove and put my lentils in and they are ready in 20 minutes. I sometimes just eat my lentil beans for a healthy snack during the day when I am feeling a bit hungry and don’t have time for a sit-down meal. I keep them in the fridge in a container and just grab a cup of lentils with a piece of fruit.

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I use to purchase hummus at the grocery store but after a few recalls, I decided to learn how to make my hummus. It cost pennies when you make your own. I usually soak my chickpeas overnight to help reduce phytic acid. Phytic Acid (“Inositol hexaphosphate (IP-6)” or phytate) is abundant in beans and makes it impossible for your digestive tract to absorb the healthy minerals they provide. According to some experts, phytic acid binds to magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium when you do not soak your beans. When you take the time to soak your beans for a minimum of 12 hours, you can reduce up to 60 percent of the phytic acid. If you search on the internet, you will notice there are a variety of views on how to prepare your beans. I don’t mind soaking my beans since they cook up a bit more quickly than if I boil them out of the bag.It took me a few months to get used to the habit of soaking my beans the day before but now it is just part of eating nutrient dense food.

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 Basic Hummus Recipe 

  • 1/3 cup of Tahini
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • pinch of paprika

*Don’t be afraid to tweak Basic Hummus Recipe to your own taste buds

I soak the chickpeas the day before and boil them until soft. If you soak them this does not take too long so watch them closely. I combine all the ingredients in my food processor. It is that easy!!!You can increase the lemon juice to replace the water. That is what I do since I like mine with a bit more lemon flavor. I also add sweet red peppers to mine, cayenne pepper, herbs, or whatever you feel might taste good in your hummus. I would recommend starting out with a small batch and see what you like. It keeps in my fridge for all week which means I don’t have to purchase any from the local grocery store. I also save a lot of money for it is so cheap to make but to purchase in the store they want too much money for it and it has a lot of stuff  you don’t really want in your hummus.

We all need to stop by and say thank you to Lori from What the Ducks for encouraging us all to post on Blogger Action Day-

Happy Blogger Action Day

Year of the Bean!

Get some beans cookin today!!!

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Health Benefits of Beans (read more here)

 

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

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