Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Plant-Based Eating "ain't beanbag"...

But it sure helps to know your beans! Beans are the "backbone" of Whole Food Plant-Based Nutrition.  They are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as protein. Shown are a few of the amazing variety of dried beans available in your local grocery store.

You can get pre-cooked beans in cans (be sure to drain and rinse or buy unsalted).  Or you can cook your own.  Don't be intimidated...cooking dry beans is as easy as boiling water!  Some take longer than others.  Split peas and lentils are the quickest cooking, under an hour. Other beans take longer.  It helps to soak them in a pot of water overnight if possible, drain, and rinse. Then simmer the beans in water til soft. Now you have cooked beans for salads, dips, main dishes, side dishes, bean burgers and loaves or try this fabulous Baked Bean recipe adapted from JOY OF COOKING:

Soak 2 cups dried white beans or navy beans.  Drain, then cover with water and bring to a boil, then simmer slowly, covered, until tender, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 250.  Drain beans, reserving cooking water.  Combine beans in a casserole with 1 cup boiling water, 1 chopped onion, 6 Tbls molasses, 6 Tbls catsup, 1 Tbls dry mustard, 2 Tbls Worcrstershire sauce, 1 tsp curry powder, 2 Tbls brown sugar, 2 Tbls prepared mustard.  Bake, covered 4 - 5 hours; uncover for the last hour of cooking.  If they become dry, add a little reserved bean water.

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