Beans are making the news these days. From a health, environmental, and longevity perspective, these mighty seeds are finally getting some well deserved attention!
And we're going to do all we can to make adding beans to your diet that much easier. Here are some suggestions for how to incorporate more beans into your diet:
1. Batch cook beans
Try cooking up the entire 1lb bag (or more) when you're ready to make a meal and simply store the beans you don't plan on using that day in the fridge or freezer. To store cooked beans, add them to an air-tight container, cover with cooking liquid or water, and refrigerate for 3-5 days. To freeze beans, do the same thing, but make sure you need enough space in the container to allow the beans to expand. View our quick guide to storing and freezing dried beans, here.
2. Make big one-pot meals
Choose recipes where beans are the star of the show. Try brothy beans or a pot of chili; recipes that are full of flavor and will likely give you plenty of leftovers for follow-up meals.
3. Roast them as snacks
Take some of the leftovers from your batch cooking and pop them in the oven with some olive oil. If you feel fancy, add some spices (try our roasted chickpeas with smoked paprika to start).
4. Toss them in a salad
Every salad needs a few beans! Whether it's a roasted chickpea or some cooked heirloom favorites, beans are a great way to make your salads more substantial. They add protein, nutrients, flavor, and texture to any bowl. Top with a great dressing and you'll have endless options (here's a compilation of some favorite dressing recipes).
5. Make bean dips
Homemade hummus is a game-changer. Make a batch from warm, cooked chickpeas (or really any bean) and dig in any time of the day (breakfast included!). Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Hummus is great on sandwiches, with crackers, or on its own with a drizzle of olive oil and your favorite spice (think Za'atar...). Once you've made some classic hummus, play around with beet hummus, roasted garlic and white bean dip, black bean paste (which is great for tacos), or whatever suits your mood.
6. Think breakfast!
Huevos rancheros is a classic way to eat beans for breakfast, but also think smoothies, breakfast cookies, and others ways to add beans to the first meal of the day. When beans are blended into a recipe versus being served on their own, try using a mild bean like a white bean or Peruano. This is a great way to give your breakfast a boost and you likely won't even know they're in there.
7. And dessert!
Black bean brownies are fudgy, gooey delicious treats packed with power! Try adding beans to desserts and sweets for a less obvious way to add beans to your diet.
Beans are one the most versatile foods around. Give them a try beyond Taco Tuesday! Although, of course, don't forget your tacos! That's a good place to start, too.
Photo: Ella Olsson