With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to treat your heart with the utmost love and care it deserves. There’s one easy fix to this and it includes incorporating legumes into your diet. Legumes are one of the most heart-healthy plant-based foods and are packed with nutrients that are essential to your heart-health and every day functioning.
Being very high in protein and one of the best sources of soluble fiber, legumes are a staple in cuisines from all over the world. Legumes are a staple source of protein with moderate caloric intake, making them ideal for any diet.
Here are a few key reasons why we love beans and why they are our favourite heart-healthy ingredient especially during the cold winter months:
- Controls your weight: Beans are high in soluble and insoluble fibre, which slows digestion and makes you feel full longer.
- Great source of fibre & protein: Combining iron-rich beans with good sources of vitamin C increases the body’s ability to absorb the iron.
- High in protein: Legumes are one of the best sources of protein. They are low in cholesterol and have almost no fat.
- Incredibly versatile: Beans are easy to cook and can be used in everything from Indian curry, bean dip, salad, veggie burgers, soup, falafel and hummus, chilis, and many varieties of salads and stews. While some legumes benefit from soaking before cooking, this step is not necessary for lentils and dried peas. It is important to prepare dried beans, as opposed to canned beans, as they are sodium-free. You can use a one-inch piece of Kombu to reduce the gas. But if you’re in a pinch, you can opt for canned beans the occasional time. EDEN brand is all organic, natural and BPA-free.
- Colorful and flavourful varieties: You will never get bored of them because there are so many different types of legumes that you can eat including kidney, black, navy, lentil, chickpea (garbanzo), adzuki, and mung. They vary in color and size, which makes for a creative presentation of your meals.
- Great for digestion and elimination of toxins: Eating beans helps move things along in the digestive tract. The fibre in beans passes through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact, and speeds up the passage of food and waste through your gut.
Join us this month at a legume-focused cooking class and help cupid look out for your heart by incorporating more beans in your diet!
Black Bean Salad with Fresh Mint
What’s in it?
1 cup black beans, soaked* or use Eden canned organic beans
3 cups filtered water (no water needed of canned beans are used)
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½-1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ extra virgin olive oil
3 red radishes, small dice
3 scallions, minced
¼ cup parsley, minced
¼ cup fresh mint, minced
How it’s made:
- Drain soaked beans and rinse well with water. Drain again.
- Combine beans and water and bring to a boil over high heat. (Alternatively, you can use canned beans but only by EDEN organics)
- Lower heat and cook for 1-1/2 hours. Drain beans
- Whisk together the next five wet dressing ingredients and pour over warm beans.
- When beans have cooled, toss together with vegetables.
A burger doesn’t always need to go in a bun. A burger can be eaten on a salad, on a pile of grains or just alongside some steam veggies. When I refer to “burger” here, I am talking about an all natural veggie burger made from whole food ingredients. See Recipe Below!
If I were to put my burger on bread, it would be bread made from either spelt, kamut or sprouted grains. Companies such as ShaSha, Little Stream and Grainsfields make excellent breads that are easy to digest, high in protein, fiber and taste delicious!
But in this particular case, I have deiced to put my “burger” in a bowl. Not just in a bare bowl all on its own, but a bowl filled with quinoa, steamed green veggies (broccoli and snow peas from my garden), steamed sweet potatoes and then topped with tahini and tamari toasted almonds. Wow what a bowl! It was a random occurrence of ingredients, but that is the best way to make a meal – especially a vegan one. You can get as creative as you want and just throw a whole bunch of things together and you have yourself a whole foods, balanced meal. Not only is this meal colourful and full of texture but there is also an amazing amount of calcium, protein, fiber, beta carotene, b vitamins, minerals etc… all jammed packed into one little bowl.
Making a homemade veggies burger is also a great way to get in some healthy nutrition and fulfill that urge to eat something that is burger like and has a “meaty” or rich texture. By meaty, I mean (hearty/grainy) so in this case you can use grains, beans, root veggies, nuts and seeds and not even have to go the length of using a faux meat or soy based substitute to get that “patti or juicy burger” option. There are much more naturals options!
So the next time you want to get a little creative and make a burger and throw it in a bowl – make sure to fill both the burger and the bowl up full tasty and nutritious ingredients!
If you have a veggie burger recipe that you would like to share…please leave a comment!
Black Bean Veggie Burger
1 cup black beans, soaked overnight or use 1 can or Eden organic black beans
1 cup sweet potatoes, shredded
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup red onion
1/4 cup spelt flour
2 tablespoons tamari
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
- Rinse soaked beans, place in a pot with water (cover by 1-2inches). Bring water and beans to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1-11/2 hours. Remove from water and drain. Or rinse and drain can of organic black beans.
- Place beans in a bowl and mash. Stir in remaining ingredients.
- Scoop 1/3 cup of batter at a time to form burger patties.
- Place burgers on a baking sheet (you may need two)
- Bake in oven on 350 F for approx 45 minutes.
- Serve with sprouted buns, a salad or and enjoy!