Did you know that beans have more antioxidants than blueberries, raspberries, and broccoli? That’s right, just 1/2 of a cup of beans has more than 13,000 units of antioxidant power. Beans contain phenolic compounds which lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and the risk of breast cancer.
Beans are an excellent source of fiber, protein and iron. Beans often contain both fiber and protein in equal amounts which makes them a vegan superfood. They can easily be incorporated into meals either as a main dish or a side. Canned beans are convenient, but dried beans cost far less and are more nutritous, as nutrients can get lost in the canning and pasteurizing process. Canned beans also contain preservatives such as salt and sugar, not to mention dangerous toxins such as Bisphenol A (BPA).
To prepare dried beans, rinse them under cold water in a large bowl and sort through to remove any pebbles or debris. Always soak dried beans before cooking. The larger the size of the bean, the longer they will need to soak. And the longer soaking time will reduce the necessary cooking time. Soaking also reduces the starches that cause intestinal discomfort. You can soak dried beans 2-6 hours or overnight, although careful not to soak more than 8 hours or they will ferment. Discard the water the beans soaked in and thoroughly rinse before use.
Mexican Bean Salad
15 ounces black beans, rinsed
15 ounces kidney beans, rinsed
15 ounces cannellini beans, rinsed
1 vine ripened tomato, sliced into small pieces
1 avocado, sliced into small pieces
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 ounces corn kernels
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon salt
1 clove crushed garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce (optional)
Chili powder and cumin to taste (optional)
1. In a large bowl, combine beans, bell peppers, corn, avocado and red onion.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, sugar, salt, garlic, cilantro, and black pepper. Season to taste with hot sauce, chili powder and/or cumin.
3. Pour olive oil dressing over vegetables; mix well. Chill thoroughly, and serve cold.
Image Source: Cowboy Caviar – Do you know Beans?
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com
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