Beans. Can’t hardly say the word without thinking about the gas associated with their consumption. However, the more I learn about beans, the more I think they’re beautiful, wonderful and worth a little gas.
I was told I needed to add more beans to my diet. My cousin (the ND) says she adds beans to everything! She also admitted that she doesn’t really care what her food tastes like, she just needs it to be healthy and proper. For example, she adds beans to stirfrys – not that I’m saying that wouldn’t taste good, but it’s certainly not something I’d think of doing! Until now. I headed over to Pinterest to see what they suggested for incorporating beans into almost any kind dish.
Of course, I’m going to choose dried beans over canned every time. The beans in the picture above are organic heritage beans. I see you rolling your eyes! Hey, it matters. We soaked a whole bag for 48 hours. [48 Hours you say! Soaking 24 to 48 hours will reduce the effects of beans on your digestive system – which if you’re a fellow IBDer, you’ll want to heed this advice. Even if you’re not, why make your body work harder for nutrients than it needs to.] You do need to change the water a few times. Then we put them in the slow cooker and boiled the crap out of them. We had the intention of mashing them and freezing them for use over an extended period of time. If we were making baked beans, we would soak them the same and then start our recipe instead of cooking them plain in the slow cooker.
For the first time ever we made our own refried beans. What a difference! The most noticeable was that they didn’t smell like cat food. Not sure if you’ve opened a can of refried beans to have the smell of cat food waft up your nose, but we have. Doesn’t matter the brand either. Never again, we just pull our prepared (soaked, cooked and mashed) beans out of the freezer and whip up however much we need.
Refried beans are awesome. Of course they go with any of your favourite Mexican dishes like breakfast tostadas, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, the list goes on and on. Anything you’re serving with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and rice – throw in some refried beans too.
You can bake with them also. This chocolate cake is definitely on the to-do list. As soon as I can put sugar back into my diet! Look to Pinterest for a world of recipes that suites the type of dish you’re doing and whatever taste you’re going for. Beans are surprisingly good in rice, like this lime and bean rice. Salads, soups – you name it, you can add beans to it. I even found a black bean flour at the bulk food that I will one day use to make crackers and my own pasta.
Now, why would you want to add beans to everything? Well, you could read all about beans here. I’ll sum up. Beans are extremely versatile, they’re nutrient dense and rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. They’re important in reducing the risk of disease, they help you feel fuller longer, they fit into many special diets and they’re ridiculously economical.
Are you convinced yet?