Beans, lentils, peanut, long beans, petai, snow peas, edamame and chickpeas all fall under the legumes category (plants that produce a pod with seeds inside) . But not many people are fans of beans especially because of the texture and the fact that it could give you gas. Prepping legumes are not an easy feat either, and is not for the lazy-hearted.
What most of us don’t understand is the fact that beans only make us bloated and gassy because our body might not be used to the large dose of fiber that it’s getting suddenly. If you consume fiber-rich foods (with loads of water and exercise) often, your body will adjust to it so you won’t feel bloated or fart too often.
Why You Should Have More Beans
- It’s high in both soluble and insoluble fiber so it can prevent constipation and help with your digestion .
- By having beans about 3 times a week, it can help lower the LDL cholesterol in your body which in turn lowers your risk of heart diseases .
- If you are looking for a meat replacement then beans is your best bet! Beans are rich in protein without the cholesterol so it’s a healthier alternative .
- Beans have isoflavones and phytosterols which are cancer-fighting plant chemicals that can lower the risk of cancer .
- Since beans are high in fiber and protein, you will feel full longer after consuming it, which can help you to eat less and lose weight .
Though it’s brimming with healthy nutrients, you should be careful not to consume raw beans and other legumes. Raw legumes contain anti-nutrient properties which interferes with the digestion and absorption of nutrients from other food . Only eat fully cooked beans and legumes to prevent that from happening.
Here are 12 bean recipes that you won’t regret trying:
1. Hearty Barley-Lentil Soup With Potatoes
Double the recipe so you can keep the leftovers for a light work lunch that’ll keep you full till dinner. You can dip some wholegrain crackers, pita bread or garlic bread into the soup to fill you up a little bit more.
2. Thai Tofu-Vegetable Wrap
Tofu is made from coagulated soy milk which makes it a bean ingredient. This tofu and vegetable wrap is packed with fiber and the cashew butter gives it a sweet nuttiness that blends well with the other ingredients.
3. Mung Bean Soup
Made of mung beans (also known as green beans), this thick gravy-like soup will go really well with a bowl of rice. Curry powder adds a depth of flavour and more nutrients to the soup.
4. Crispy Pan-Fried Beans with Wilted Greens
Feel free to substitute or add more different type of beans and vegetables as this dish is very versatile. Use beans that has been cooked and eat it with some whole wheat pasta, bread or rice to make this a complete meal.
5. Sambal Petai with Prawns
Petai may have earned itself the stink bean namesake but when cooked with sambal and some fresh prawns, you will love it despite its stinky reputation. Don’t forget to divide the petai beans into two with a paring knife to check if there are worms inside of it, worms tend to burrow into the middle of the petai bean .
6. Chinese Long Beans with Cracked Black Pepper
This simple stir-fry will be a great vegetarian accompaniment to your other meat dishes during dinner so you’ll power up on your daily fiber dosage. Try not to overcook the long beans so that it still has a slight crunch to them when you bite into it.
7. No-Guilt Bean Dip
If you have overcooked your beans, no worries! Use them to make a delicious bean dip with this recipe. You can even freeze the leftovers and reheat it whenever you need a quick fix. Cucumbers or carrots will make healthy dipping sticks.
8. Easy, Healthy, Homemade Baked Beans
Instead of going for the canned baked beans, why not make your own? This easy vegan and gluten-free recipe will help you stay away from the canned baked beans. You can slap some on your toast to make it a nice breakfast or snack.
9. Roasted Edamame
Steamed edamame can get a little boring so why not roast them? Roasting the edamame beans with some herbs and spices makes it more flavourful and crispy. You won’t be able to stop after eating one bean.
10. Green Bean Popsicle
Beat the sweltering hot weather with having some green bean popsicles. It’s like a trip down memory lane, except with a protein-packed version! You can have it in a non-popsicle form too like the red bean soup recipe below.
11. Red Bean Soup
Red beans, also known as azuki beans, are high in protein, carbohydrates and low in fat so they are a great ingredient for dessert. Looks complicated to prep but you only need 4 ingredients (including water) to make a big batch of this treat for the family. You can choose to have it warm, cold or in popsicle form too.
12. Chocolate Fudge Cake with Tofu
Most vegetarians use tofu as a meat replacement but for this cake recipe, it replaces eggs and butter so you get a healthier fudgy cake. Try reducing the amount of jam and applesauce to cut the calories.