Welcome to the second post of The Plant-Based Diet Club! If you have a question/suggestion you'd like me to write a post about, let me know here. I'll be happy to write about it in a future post.
Today’s post is all about beans. It’s a mix of recipes I love and personal tips. I should mention that this is a long post. So grab your coffee or tea, and let’s go! ☕
Beans are one of the most healthy foods out there. They are full of nutrients, iron, fiber, and protein with the added perk of being a low-fat food. They can even be the most predictor of a person’s lifespan. Not to mention that it’s also one of the cheapest foods that you can buy 💸.
Fort the past year, I have developed a system that makes having beans always ready to eat is possible that requires little effort and time.
I usually soak the beans on Saturday or Sunday night. On the next day, I rinse them very well. Then I use my foodi ninja pressure cooker. It takes about 30min, counting the release time. Chickpeas are my favorite because they are great to add to many meals.
By the way, you know all of those fancy egg substitutes out there? Yeah, you can have them for cents by using the cooking water from chickpeas! 😮
🥫 Canned or Dry?
I prefer dry beans because the price is unbeatable. I like to keep my expenses low and food is by far the biggest expense after rent. Another reason why I prefer dry beans is that I control the amount of sodium.
Those are my preferences and because I’ve been doing some meal prep for a long time, I have reached a system that works for me. But I know that canned beans are famous for a very special reason: they are convenient.
If dry beans would not work for you, take advantage of canned beans. Go with whatever works best for you, always!
Here are a few tips from my experience:
Soak your beans overnight or for at least 8h (except lentils, mung beans, and split peas). This step is very important because it increases the digestibility of beans.
Use a pressure cooker. A Slow cooker works too.
If you prefer canned beans, rinse them first to minimize the sodium intake (or choose low-sodium options).
Cook in batch and freeze some portions.
I like to add salt, black pepper, bay leaves, and veggie broth before turning my pressure cooker on. It’s easier for the salt to get incorporated at this moment, then you season your beans depending on what recipe you’re gonna make later 👌
It’s always a good idea to have some canned beans in your pantry for those days when time is short.
🗒️ Recipes, please?
Nutrition Facts Daily dozen recommends 3 portions of beans per day. I aim for that but it’s usually just 1 or 2 portions per day for me, to be honest.
It’s hard to eat more beans by just seeing them as a regular side dish, though. Well, there’s where the beauty of a plant-based diet comes in: you discover a whole new world of possibilities (and flavor!).
I selected lots of recipes that will add beans in delicious ways throughout your day. You’ll see that mastering beans is all about spices and getting creative 😎
You must have rolled your eyes by reading this. I know, I did that. But beans don’t taste anything, so you won’t even notice it. Plus, they will add some creamy texture to your smoothies ;)
A few recipes to startle your imagination:
What I most love about hummus is that you can use almost any type of beans. Plus, you can add your favorite spices as well, and there is no limit to your imagination.
It’s a good idea to always have some hummus available to eat in a sandwich or with veggies as a snack.
A few hummus recipes:
Navy Bean Hummus - my husband eats this like he’s eating chocolate. It’s delicious!
Oil-Free Hummus - with chickpeas, if you like to be traditional
I usually double the ingredients so I have more available during the week. For lunch, you can try:
Air Fryer Falafel - I love this one, it’s simple and delicious. And I have tried several recipes before, this is my one to go.
Pot Beans (Frijoles de Olla) - for the cold days when you just want some good homemade food.
Crispy Roasted Chickpea - it’s like a beans popcorn. So delicious!
Hummus with veggies - check out this amazing mason jar hummus idea for a to-go snack.
Vegan tuna - This is also one recipe where I double the ingredients. It’s so good. Use them in a sandwich, in a wrap. Or just eat it by itself (I have done this several times).
Refried Beans - Best to choose black or pinto beans because of the final texture. You can find them in a supermarket but it’s really simple to do if you can/want. You can add it on a toast, on burritos, tacos, or eat it as a dip with tortillas.
⚠️ Go slow with beans
Beans have lots of fiber and if this is your first time eating more fiber than the average person, remember to be gentle with your body.
A few tips:
Start with just one small portion per day.
Choose garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) first, since they are the easiest to digest. It should take approximately 3 weeks or so for your body to get adjusted. Only then I recommend adding another variety of beans.
Really, really soak them for at least 8h, and rinse them before cooking.
Try to eat at least one portion of beans per day. Don’t worry if you like just one type of beans. Eat that one, and be happy!
Get creative. It’s possible to have beans in every meal of your day, the beauty of a plant-based diet is how creative you can get in cooking. Add them to your pasta sauce, sprinkle roasted chickpeas on your soup, eat veggies with hummus as a snack.
Be smart. Always have a few options of canned beans available for quick recipes or to add them to your meal. Or develop a system for cooking dry beans.
Have fun. Even though you should start slowly your body will have way more active bowel movements. That’s a sign that your body is alive and functioning! Have fun.
I hope you enjoyed this post and got inspired to eat more beans in more creative ways. Let me know which recipes you are gonna try and liked the most. You can hit reply or add a comment on this post 😊
Before I go, I wanted to share this podcast episode from the Plant-Powered People Podcast about Meal Prepping Tips to Save Time & Money. I think you’ll like it.
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Have a great weekend, and as always, thank you for reading. 👋