BEANS: Foods That Keep Your Health Up and Your Budget Low – Part 1

by Randi

I am sure you have heard the funny song about beans and there is definite truth to this jingle. Beans are good for the heart along with many other health benefits and let me tell you the very BEST thing about beans…they are CHEAP.

Beans help you control your weight by keeping you satisfied and fuller longer due to their high protein and fiber content. By helping you control your weight beans can lower your risk of Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and various forms of cancer. They also help prevent bone loss with the calcium and magnesium they supply.

As I said earlier, they are not only good for you, they are also very inexpensive. A can of beans only costs $.95 cents! That’s right, $.95 cents!!! Amazing! Dried beans are even cheaper but most of us do not have time to spend soaking and cooking them for several hours. Dried beans are slightly better for you because they do not contain any added ingredients like sodium, but you still get a load of nutrients from eating canned varieties. Just be sure to look for ones that are labeled low-sodium. You can also rinse beans in running water to help reduce the sodium content before consuming.

Did I mention yet how many varieties of beans there are? Many! Therefore, you could probably eat them everyday and never get bored or tired of them. I can think of at least 20 kinds of beans off the top of my head and I know there are more. Some of my favorite beans include red kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans. Oh, and if you are worried about the second part of the bean song, fear not! Here are a few tips from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition on how to help reduce gas and bloating if you have trouble digesting beans:

1. Experiment with your ability to digest beans. Smaller beans like adzuki, lentils, mung beans and peas digest most easily. Pinto, kidney, navy, black-eyed peas, garbanzo, lima and black beans are harder to digest. Soybeans and black soybeans are the most difficult to digest.

2. Chew beans thoroughly to help aid in digestion and know that even small amounts have high nutritional and healing value

3. Season with unrefined sea salt, miso or soy sauce near the end of cooking. If salt is added at the beginning, the beans will not cook completely. Sea salt is a digestive aid when used correctly.

4. Pour a little apple cider or white wine vinegar into the water in the last stages of cooking. This softens the beans and breaks down protein chains and indigestible compounds.

SPECIAL BONUS Here are three of my favorite bean recipes that cost less than $10 dollars to make!

Salsa, Brown Rice and Bean Pilaf

Recipe by: Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet by Nava Atlas

Grocery List:

  • Bag of long grain brown rice:$2.75
  • 1 14 oz can of black beans: $.95
  • Jar of Salsa: $2.48
  • 1 bunch of scallions: $.67
  • Fresh cilantro: $.88
  • Total: $7.73 (tax not included)

Combine 2 – 3 cups cooked brown rice, 1 14 oz can of black beans (rinsed), 1 cup prepared salsa, 2 minced scallions, and ¼ cup of chopped cilantro in a large sauce pan. Season with salt and pepper and heat slowly until heated through. Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro for garnish and serve. Makes 3 – 4 servings.

Bean Tacos

Recipe by: Randi Munns

Grocery List:

  • 1 14 oz can of Garbanzo Beans: $.95
  • 1 bag of frozen corn: $1.48
  • 1 jalepeno: $.27
  • Head of iceberg lettuce: $1.66
  • Corn tortillas: $2.29
  • Jar of Salsa: $2.48
  • Total: $9.13 (tax not included)

Cook 1 cup of frozen corn in a sauce pan according to package. Add 1 14 oz can of garbanzo beans (rinsed) and 1 diced jalepeno to sauce pan. Heat 3 – 5 minutes. Heat corn tortillas either in microwave or on the stove in a skillet. Chop iceberg lettuce. Serve corn tortillas with bean mixture, lettuce and salsa. Makes 2 – 3 servings.

Avocado and Pinto Bean Salad

Recipe by: Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet by Nava Atlas

Grocery List:

  • 1 14 oz can of Pinto Beans: $.95
  • 2 medium tomatoes: $2.72
  • 1 large avocado: $1.48
  • Fresh cilantro: $.88
  • 1 jar vinaigrette dressing: $3.75
  • Total: $9.78 (tax not included)

Combine 1 14 oz can of pinto beans (rinsed), 2 diced medium tomatoes, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 1/3 cup of vinaigrette dressing, or as needed, and 1 large avocado, pitted, peeled and diced, in a large serving bowl. Season with pepper as needed. Serve or refrigerate until needed. Makes 2 – 3 servings. You can purchase the Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet by Nava Atlas at Amazon.

Stay tuned for Monday's blog, Foods that keep your health up and your budget low – Part 2!

Health and blessings!

Randi

Randi's passion is to create positive change in a person's life that leads to prolonged health and happiness. She works with individuals who wish to control weight, increase their energy, lower stress and manage and prevent disease all without dieting, counting calories or feeling overwhelmed. She is a certified holistic health coach and is in the process of completing her personal training certification.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: