Include More Beans In Your Diet

I know people who say they could never give up eating meat, and that is okay. You do not have to give up meat; however, you can lessen the amount of meat you eat by including beans in your diet. If you are worried about not getting enough protein, there is no need to worry. Beans are a good source of protein. Furthermore, you don’t really need to worry because you are not giving up meat. You are simply lessening your consumption of meat; however, if you ever choose to go meat-free, know that beans are your friend.

My favorite beans are Chickpeas also called Garbanzo beans, Black beans, Kidney beans, Split peas, and Lentils. These beans are good sources of protein. A cup of cooked Chickpeas has about 16 grams of protein, Black beans about 15 grams, Kidney beans about 12 grams, Split peas about 16 grams, and Lentils about 18 grams.

Beans are dry when you buy them, so to make them easier to cook, you need to soak them in water overnight. It is especially important that you do this for Garbanzo beans because even after soaking them overnight, they still take about 1 to 2 hours to cook. Black beans, on the other hand, cook within minutes when soaked overnight. Lentils and Split peas do not need soaking because they are fairly easy to cook.

I cook beans in bulk and store them in the freezer. Black beans and Garbanzo beans are perfect for storage. I soak about three or four cups of Black beans and about the same amount of Garbanzo beans or more overnight. In the morning, I strain off the water and wash the beans. Next, I put the beans in cold water and add a good amount of salt. You want to make sure the water taste of salt. This will give your beans more flavor when they are cooked. Allow the beans to cook. Once they are cooked, strain off the water and let the beans cool for a few hours. Do not discard the bean water. Instead, pour it into a bottle and store it in the freezer. You can use it for your bean recipes that require water. The bean water has lots of flavors, and it will enhance your bean dishes.

If you don’t have time to wait for the beans to cool, you can add cold water to speed up the cooling the process. When the beans are cold, measure half cup or a cup of beans and pour it into small storage bags. You should have quite a few bags of beans when done. Put the bags of beans into a larger storage bag and store them in the freezer. The beans should last you a few weeks. Each time you need to add beans to your meals or make a recipe that includes bean, simply grab a bag or two from the freezer. Also, do not forget to defrost the bean water and use it to flavor your bean dishes.

Beans are not food items you want to cook every day. You simply won’t have the time, so cooking them in batches or bulk and storing them in the freezer is a great way to have beans when you need them. By the way, I have only cooked and stored black beans and Garbanzos, but you could probably do the same for other beans. Give it a try!

You also have the option of buying canned beans. It is convenient and ready-made, and depending on your lifestyle, it may be the perfect time-saver; however, I do not recommend buying canned beans. If you want to be intentional about what you put in your body, cook your own beans.

Happy cooking!