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Do you recall this childhood playground song?  In celebration of National Bean Day, take a minute to learn why you should be eating bebean-1684304_1280ans.

Although beans are not a fruit, they may be magical because they fit under not one, but two food groups. Within USDA’s MyPlate they are found under the vegetable and protein groups because they are so packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.

Beans are a mature form of legumes. They include kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, and garbanzo beans (chickpeas). All are available in dry, canned, and frozen forms. These foods provide other nutrients such as iron and zinc and are excellent sources of plant protein. They are similar to meats, poultry, and fish in their contribution of these nutrients.  Thus, they are considered part of the protein group. Many consider beans a vegetarian alternative for meat. However, they are also considered part of the vegetable group because they are excellent sources of dietary fiber and nutrients such as folate and potassium.

The high nutrient content makes consuming beans recommended for everyone, including people who also eat meat, poultry, and fish regularly. The USDA classifies beans as a subgroup of the vegetable group. The USDA also indicates that beans may be counted as part of the protein group. This allows individuals to count beans as either a vegetable or a protein food.

Beans are convenient and cost effective. They are available in the dry form in sealed bags and precooked in cans. A can of cooked dry beans can easily be used in dips, main dishes, soups, or salads.

How do canned beans compare to dry-packaged beans?

Canned beans are convenient since they don’t have to be presoaked and cooked. They can be eaten straight from the can or heated in recipes. According to the American Dry Bean Council, one 15-ounce can of beans equals one and one-half cups of cooked dry beans, drained. For most recipes, one form of beans can be substituted for the other.

Unless canned without salt, precooked canned beans generally are higher in sodium than dry-packaged beans. Always thoroughly drain and rinse canned beans in a colander or strainer under cold running water before using them in a recipe. This may help lower the amount of sodium by 41% and may help remove some of their potential gas-producing properties.

Bean Benefits

  • Beans are low in fat and calories and high in dietary fiber and protein. The fiber in beans provides a sense of fullness that helps keep food cravings down. Depending on the variety, a half cup of cooked dry beans is only about 120 calories.
  • Because of their high fiber, low glycemic index, and high nutrient content, eating beans may help reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.

Recipes and Uses

Navy beans are great for soups, stews, or baked beans. Kidney beans are used in chili and three-bean salads. Pinto beans are used refried in stews and dips.  Black beans are used in casserolechili-bean-dip-bean-blogs, soups or baked bean

dishes.  Great northern beans and lentils are used in soups and stews. Garbonzo beans are used in salads and hummus.  Check out these “no recipe required” bean meals and snacks.

 

Writer: Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County, jones.5640@osu.edu

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

Sources

The Bean Institute, http://beaninstitute.com/no-recipe-required-pdf/

The Bean Institute, http://beaninstitute.com/volume-6-number-2-2015-dietary-guidelines/

Michigan State University Extension, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/eat_more_dry_beans_enjoying_their_health_benefits

United States Department of Agriculture, https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/factsheets/HHFS_BEANS_BLACK_110020.pdf

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, http://food.unl.edu/chili-bean-dip

US Dry Bean Council, http://www.usdrybeans.com/

 

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So what’s the secret potion behind these magical beans? Protein of course! Protein is a hot topic in today’s society and you see promotions of different protein powders and nutrition bars everywhere. Personally, I know of many people who have fallen into this trap of trying different protein powders to add to their “protein shake” in the morning to get that quick fix of protein. However, they are spending so much money on these quick-fix protein sources and need to find another way to incorporate protein into their diet. Beyond these protein powders and bars, most people go for the typical meat, fish and poultry when it comes to a reliable protein source, but don’t forget to give plant-based protein credit!

DWDHeartyBeanSoup (1)

Beans are packed with a bunch of different nutrients that are beneficial to your health. Beyond protein they are a great source of fiber, folate, magnesium and potassium. In regards to fiber, beans are packed with soluble fiber. Soluble fiber attracts water and slows down digestion and emptying of your stomach. This delay in emptying of your stomach makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time, which could be a great tactic for controlling your weight. About 5-10 grams of soluble fiber can decrease your LDL cholesterol by 5%, with beans containing about 0.6 to 2.4 grams of soluble fiber per half a cup.   This makes eating beans a great way to help with decreasing cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

Now let’s talk about beans and its protein content. One serving of beans is ½ cup of cooked beans, which provides roughly 7-8 grams of protein! Protein causes satiety, or fullness, so with the combination of soluble fiber and protein beans can be a great way to keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Like stated before, this can help keep your diet and weight on track.

Most Americans consume canned beans, but dried beans are also a great way to incorporate more beans in your diet. Dried beans are underutilized in America and on any given day less than 8% of Americans report consuming beans .The problem many people face with dried beans is how to cook them. Canned beans are easy and convenient yet dried beans can come off as intimidating and time consuming. The truth is that they aren’t that hard to figure out once you know how! Soaking your beans is what takes the most time but you actually don’t have to do much to soak them…it’s just a waiting game. There are many different methods that can be used when cooking dried beans such as traditional, hot and microwave soaked methods. One method that is most convenient is the quick soak method:

  1. Rinse: to ensure proper cleanliness of your beans it is important to wash them off before consuming them.
  2. Place beans in a large pot and add 10 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans.
  3. Bring to a boil and let boil 2-3 minutes.
  4. Dried beans, discard soak water and rinse with cold water.

How easy is that?! Once you figure out which method works best for you, you can incorporate beans in your diet. Dried beans make a mass amount of product and can last you for a long time. If I over-committed on my bean abilities and made too much I freeze the remaining beans and just quickly heat them up! A 1-lb. bag of dried beans usually costs around $1.49 and can make around 13 servings of beans! What a great, and cheap, way to incorporate more protein into your diet!

Check out the US DryBean Council website for many recipes to try using beans!

Written by: Courtney N. Klebe Dietetic Intern, Bowling Green State Univeristy and Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Wood County

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, LD, MA, Extenstion Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County

References:

  1. Messina V. Nutritional and health benefits of dried beans. Am J Clin Nutr 2014; 100: 437S-42S.

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Score a touchdown with friends and family tonight with this Buckeye Bean Soup!  Tonight we will cheer on our Ohio State Buckeye Football team in the first NCAA College Football National Championship in Dallas, Texas.baloon  This soup will make a healthy addition to tonight’s pregame meal.  Canned soups generally have 800-1000 mg of sodium per one cup serving. This soup has less than half that amount and is additionally high in fiber .Therefore Buckeye Bean soup is appropriate for people with diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, or high blood pressure.  Any type of beans can be used in place of pinto beans in this recipe. In addition, if your football fans prefer a creamier soup, the soup can be pureed in a food processor for a creamier consistency if desired. To save time, the vegetables can be chopped ahead and placed in a zip-top bag. The beans can be drained, rinsed and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator before using.

Finally, if you’re New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier, remember portion control with those peanut butter chocolate buckeyes tonight during the game! GO BUCKS  .. BEAT DUCKS!

Winning Buckeye Bean Soup

Makes approximately ten, one cup servings

130 calories per serving , 1 gram Fat, 6 grams Dietary Fiber, 6 Grams Protein

Ingredients:

2 tsp. olive oil

1 cup each diced onions, red pepper and carrots

2 cloves garlic, minced (or ¼ tsp. garlic powder or 1 tsp. bottled pre-minced garlic)

1 tsp. each dried thyme, oregano and parsley

3 cups reduced-sodium broth (can be beef, chicken or vegetable)

1 cup tomato sauce

2 (19 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp. brown sugar

¼ tsp. black pepper

Equipment

Measuring cups and spoons

Large saucepan or stockpot

Strainer

Mixing spoon

Ladle

DWDHeartyBeanSoup (1)

Directions

Step 1.  Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, red pepper, carrots, garlic, thyme, oregano and parsley. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.

Step 2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Writer: Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Wood County, Erie Basin EERA, Zies..1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Dan Remley, MSPH, PhD, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness, Remley.4@osu.edu

Recipe Source: Dining with Diabetes, WVUES 2000-present, original recipe Hearty Vegetable Bean Soup

 

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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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