I write about foods and ideas I have passion for.
I love dried beans.
More importantly, I love beans with a creamy, smooth texture that don't give me gas!
Dried beans, legumes -- whatever you want to call them, are nutrition powerhouses AND they're cheap, tasty and easy to cook.
DRIED BEAN NUTRITION
The beauty of beans - high in plant protein, high in complex carbs with loads of fiber, potassium, B vitamins and cancer fighting phytochemicals.
Beans aren't a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids, so it's best if mixed with a complimentary food to round out the protein profile. Examples include: rice and beans, lentils and barley, bulgur with beans or peanut butter (yes, peanuts are a legume) on 100% whole wheat bread.
Combining legumes with nuts and seeds also provides a complete protein. That way your body can fully use this protein to build and repair tissue.
It was once thought that consuming these combination foods at one time was necessary to benefit from a complete protein. Studies now show it's okay consuming both combination/complimentary foods throughout the day, not necessarily at the same time. Your body will be able to obtain all the amino acids needed for building and repairing tissue.
Great to prevent constipation, stabilize blood sugar, reduce cancer risk, reduce cholesterol and heart disease.
How to Fit into RYGforHealth
1/2 cup is a RED list food.
1-2 cups can be used at a meal to count as a starch (RED) and protein (YELLOW).
Nutrition averages per 1/2 cup cooked:
Carb: 15-20 g (net carb 8-10 g)
Fiber: 7-10 g
Protein: 8-10 g
My no-soak bean cooking secret -- the pressure cooker.
Before I go any further, I have to give credit where credit is due. First, my son, who has taught me many things, but specifically for this article, taught me about the versatility of the pressure cooker as a kitchen tool and that it won't blow up! Next, my daughter-in-law, who taught me the easiest foolproof recipe for killer beans.
What you need:
Works for any amount - from 1 cup to as many as 3-4 cups. Right now I am using 15 Bean Soup Blend. My other favorites include pinto beans and an Heirloom Bean Blend I bought at Costco.
I use an Elite by Maxi-Matic Electric Pressure Cooker I bought on Amazon.com.
Onion and garlic are added to beans, just peeled, NOT cut up or broken up. If you don't have, use garlic and onion powder. I salt the beans to taste after cooking.
Water is added to pressure cooker so water level is about 1-2 inches above bean level. The more beans you cook, the more water needed. I found 1 inch above beans worked well for 1 cup beans. With 3 cups beans, a higher water level of 2 inches above beans works better. You don't want dry beans. Our aim is creamy texture.
Absolutely no pre-soaking needed with this recipe which makes it so great. Last minute beans are now a reality.
Sort beans to get rid of pebbles or broken, shriveled beans.
Once sorted, rinse in water using a colander.
Put beans, onion and garlic in pressure cooker and add water to 1-2 inches above bean level.
Close pressure cooker and set timer for 65 minutes.
Once 65 minute cooking cycle complete, let the pressure release slowly before opening cooker. This takes about 45 minutes. The slow release results in even creamier beans.
Retrieve beans from cooking water with slotted spoon or use colander. NOTE: The water that beans are cooked in contain more galactan, the carbohydrate responsible for causing gas. I discard it.
Salt cooked beans to taste.
You now have a blank slate, so to speak. You can add anything to these beans to switch up the flavor.
Cilantro, jalapeno for Mexican flare, topped with cheese
Tumeric, curry for Indian spice
BBQ sauce, brown sugar and/or molasses for baked beans
These are a staple in my household. In my fridge, at the moment, you'll find my container of beans mixed with tomatoes, onions and jalapenos.
So if you love beans, as I do, a pressure cooker is the way to go.