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.
We love the Cranberry Beans and Fava Beans from Bob’s Red Mill. Both of the Cranberry and Fava Beans have a whopping 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of dietary fiber per 1/4 cup serving – in addition to 15% of the daily recommend intake for iron. The Fava Beans are blanched and do not require soaking.
Try our Mexican Bean Salad recipe!