Beans are sometimes called a magical fruit, but they're not a fruit. However they are a healthy option found in two different food groups. Fareway Registered Dietitian Whitney Packebush offers these facts on beans.
Beans are the only food in two food groups: vegetables and protein.
They are rich in fiber. Beans are linked to decreased cholesterol, risk of certain cancers, blood pressure and constipation. To reduce gas associated with beans, drain and rinse beans until all the white bubbles are gone.
Beans are also rich in protein. They're considered an incomplete protein meaning beans do not contain all essential amino acids. To make a complete protein, pair beans with brown rice, corn, nuts, seeds or wheat.
They are also high in antioxidants and can help control blood sugar levels. Besides the health benefits, they're inexpensive.
Black Bean Soup II
Makes 4 servings, Total time 30 minutes
1 Tbsp. canola oil
½ small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
2 cans black beans
1 ½ cups water
1 cup chicken broth
4-5 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 can green chilies
Salt and pepper, to taste
HEAT oil over medium heat; ADD onion and SAUTE until soft. ADD garlic and SAUTE for 30 more seconds. ADD chili powder and cumin. DRAIN beans (but don't rinse) and ADD to pot. ADD water and chicken broth. SIMMER for 15 minutes. SCOOP 1 cup into a blender or food processor and BLEND until almost smooth. ADD blended soup back into the pot and ADD hot sauce and green chilies. STIR to combine.
Nutrition information per serving: 212 calories; 6.7 g fat; 0.89 g saturated fat; 1.35 mg cholesterol; 663 mg sodium; 28.8 g carbohydrate; 6.5 g fiber; 9.1 g protein
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