Adults Featured Healthy News — 07 January 2014

Three tasty bean tips you can count on! 

By: Jodie Shield, RD

Beans are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, but many kids – mine included- wish they could toss them out the window like Jack’s mother did in “Jack and the Beanstalk.” But, with a little kitchen magic, it’s super easy to get everyone in your family eating beans and living happily ever after.  Here are three tasty bean tips along with some of my family’s favorite recipes.

  1. Go for color.  Beans come in a rainbow of colors – black, white, red, green, yellow – just to name a few.  In fact, the darker the color, the more disease-fighting phytonutrients.  Phytonutrients are natural compounds found in plants that seem to play a role in preventing cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.  I like to mix beans with other colorful vegetables.  Try combining corn, black beans, and a finely chopped bell pepper to make a colorful Black Bean Salad that’s crunchy and fun to eat.
  2. Change the consistency.  If you usually serve beans whole, try mashing or pureeing them.  You can mash cooked pinto beans with a fork and let your child spread them on a soft tortilla and roll them up for an instant burrito or try my Tuna and Bean Smash.  Another recipe idea: blend mashed chickpeas with seasonings to create a Classic Greek Hummus dip.
  3. Mix beans with other foods.  Lots of kids love chili, minestrone soup, and even red beans and rice.  Try mixing beans with other kids’ favorites, such as lean ground beef, diced ham, or chicken to create a tasty casserole or hearty stew.  One of my favorite soups is Tuscan White Bean and Plum Tomato Soup or try my  3-Bean Veggie Chili recipe I developed for Sears FitStudio.  My friend Julie just posted a delicious Red Beans and Rice soup, too!

What are some of your ideas for putting beans in the “lima light”?

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