Beans aren’t just for baking at summer picnics anymore. Use this inexpensive, low-fat, high protein and high fiber food staple to make healthy alternatives to other fat laden salads and dips at your summer gatherings.
Beans are so versatile, a half-cup serving of cooked dry beans counts as one, one-ounce serving of lean meat in the USDA Dietary Guidelines Meat and Beans group, and as a full serving of vegetables in the Vegetables group.
The quality and digestibility of beans can be improved by consuming them with cereal grains. When beans and grains are served together in dishes like beans and rice, or tortillas and refried beans, they provide a complimentary protein profile.
Easy bean dip
Make an easy bean dip by combining a can of any type of beans (rinsed and drained) with 1/3 cup of olive oil and process until smooth. Rinsing the beans helps remove some of the sodium. Season to taste with onions, garlic, or your favorite herb mix. Bring along baked tortilla scoops for the perfect appetizer.
At only 100 to 120 calories per serving, beans are a great nutrient investment. The high fiber content of beans – about 25-30% of the recommended daily value per serving – slows the release of glucose and the increased satiety from beans may also enhance the effectiveness of weight-reducing diets. At about 20 cents per serving, beans do our wallets a favor as well.
Add beans to your favorite salad to increase protein and fiber. Or, better yet, try an all bean salad. Drain, rinse and mix five cans of your favorite beans in a large bowl – try kidney, garbanzo, lima, navy, great northern, pinto and/or black beans. Add chopped onion, chopped green pepper and a can of rinsed and drained corn. Marinate overnight in ½ cup wine vinegar and ½ cup olive oil seasoned to taste with garlic powder, oregano, basil, rosemary and/or anise. This makes a delicious salad that can be served as a side dish or a dip for baked tortilla chips.
Try something new this summer – bring on the beans!
Source: Idaho Bean Commission, http://bean.idaho.gov
Writer: Polly Loy, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Belmont County, email@example.com, Ohio State University Extension.
Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ohio State University Extension.