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white beans soaking in waterHave you heard of aquafaba? This trendy new ingredient is actually a staple item in many of our pantries, although most of us tend to toss it down the drain. Aquafaba is the combination of two Latin words: aqua (water) and fava (beans). It is the liquid from canned beans, which, for years, nutrition professionals have recommended consumers drain, rinse and discard. However, a couple of years ago, a vegan American software engineer discovered that aquafaba could be whipped and used as an egg replacer in meringues, macaroons and mousses. Now, aquafaba is popular not only among the vegan community; it appeals to:

  • Individuals with egg allergies
  • Individuals trying to reduce food waste
  • Individuals with compromised immune systems – aquafaba poses a lower food safety risk than eggs because it is less likely to be contaminated with Salmonella, and it does not need to be baked prior to consumption
  • Individuals trying to reduce calorie intake – each tablespoon of aquafaba contains only 3-5 calories (although dietitians point out that it also contains minimal nutrients compared to the higher calorie egg)

a whisk in a bowl of icingAquafaba can also be used in place of eggs in various dishes- from pancakes and waffles to baked goods, quiche and mayonnaise. Like eggs, aquafaba acts as a binder, thickener and emulsifier in cooking and baking.

When using aquafaba as an egg replacement, roughly three tablespoons is equivalent to one whole egg, and two tablespoons is equivalent to one egg white. The following tips can also contribute to your success when using aquafaba in place of eggs in your cooking:

  • If using aquafaba as a binder or to replace whole eggs (as in a quiche or most baked goods), whip the liquid with a fork until just foamy prior to use.
  • If making a meringue or mousse, whip the liquid with 1 teaspoon cream of tartar for 5–10 minutes until stiff peaks form.
  • Keep in mind that if you or someone in your household is sensitive to bean sugars, aquafaba may not be the best ingredient for you. Although the amount of aquafaba in most recipes is minimal, it may still cause gastrointestinal distress or flatulence and should be used cautiously by those with bean sugar sensitivities.

bowl of chocolate mousseReady to give aquafaba a try? Just substitute for eggs in your favorite dish- or, for a special treat, see this recipe for aquafaba chocolate mousse from the Michigan State University Health4U program.

 

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Sources:

Aquafaba Admin (2016). The Official Aquafaba Website. http://aquafaba.com/

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (2017). Aquafaba… The Magical Bean Juice. https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/wellness/2017/11/14/aquafabathe-magical-bean-juice/

Levinson, J. (2017). Aquafaba’s Versatility. Today’s Dietitian; 19(9), 36. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0917p36.shtml

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Beans

Beans

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, loy.1@osu.edu, Ohio State University Extension.
Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu, Ohio State University Extension.

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Veggie Snack Ideas

Healthy Veggie Snacks

Fall is a great time to enjoy picnics, pot luck dinners or tailgating parties with friends and family.  Instead of fixing a traditional high fat food items, look for a healthy and tasty alternative. Here are some healthy ideas to try.

  • Start with fresh vegetables and fruits.  Serve cut up veggies with low-fat dips.
  • Fruit kabob (fresh fruit cut up and put on a skewer) with a yogurt dip make a pretty and tasty treat.
  • Serve Chili with extra beans for additional fiber and use extra lean ground beef or lean ground turkey to reduce fat content.

Love your traditional recipe?  Make your favorite tailgate recipe a little healthier with these simple changes: substitute reduced-fat cheese, fat-free sour cream, less meat in your dip, or serve them with whole grain chips or crackers.

Three recipes are included for your eating pleasure:

  • Try Hummus and pita chips or whole grain crackers.
  • Make a Marinated Broccoli salad for a high vitamin, lower calorie treat.
  • Try Cowboy (or Cowgirl) Caviar for a delicious dip with whole grain tortilla chips or crackers.

 Hummus

 Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons Tahini, or 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional – 1/8 teaspoon red pepper or ½ teaspoon cumin (to taste)

Directions:

Place garbanzo beans in a blender or food processor with approximately 1 tablespoon reserved liquid. Process until smooth. Mix in the garlic, olive oil, sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Blend to desired consistency, increasing the amount of reserved garbanzo bean liquid as desired.  Chill in refrigerator until served; serve with whole wheat pita chips, whole wheat tortillas, or fresh veggies.

Keeps for 5 days refrigerated.

Marinated Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:                                             

4 cups broccoli florets

4 medium carrots, thinly sliced

2 small onions, sliced and separated in rings

1 can (2 ¼ oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained

1 jar (2 oz.) diced pimentos, drained

1 bottle (8 oz.) light Italian Salad Dressing

¾ cups chopped walnuts

Directions:

1.  Wash hands and assemble clean equipment.

2.  In a bowl, combine the broccoli, carrots, onions, olives and pimentos.  Add dressing and toss to coat.

3.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Just before serving stir in walnuts.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrient Analysis, per serving: 145 calories, 10 g. carbohydrates, 4 g. protein, 11 g. fat, Cholesterol 2 mg., 4 g. fiber, Sodium 321 mg.

Bean Salad

Cowboy Caviar

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained or small green pepper chopped
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 limes juiced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ¼ cup low-fat Italian Dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Mix kidney beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, chilies, and onion in a large bowl.

2. Add lime juice, oil, salt, and pepper; toss gently to combine.

3. Serve alone or with tortilla chips

Makes: 16 (½ cup) servings

Nutrient Analysis per ½ cup serving: 90 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 Cholesterol, 260 mg of sodium, 17 grams of Carbohydrate, 5 grams Dietary Fiber, 4 grams of Protein.

Sources:

Eating Smart – Being Active, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, Ohio State University Extension.

Cooking for a Life Time, The University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences, Cooperative Extension, http://www.fcs.uga.edu/ext/food/

Adapted from – SHS Wellness Programs, Utah Valley University, http://www.uvu.edu/wellnessed/nutrition/healthy_options_recipes.html

Broccoli salad photo credit- http://blog.preventcancer.org

Writer:  Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewers:  Dana Brown, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Morrow County, Heart of Ohio EERA, brown.4643@osu.edu
Lisa Barlage, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ross and Vinton Counties, Ohio Valley EERA, barlage.7@osu.edu

 

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