Beans are significantly important in the Mediterranean diet. They are consumed on average about twice a week.
Beans are one of nature’s near perfect foods, containing an abundance of B-vitamins and iron. They are low in calories, sodium, and fat containing calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and copper. A rich supply of most protein-building amino acids, beans also contain more fibre per serving than oat bran. One cup of kidney beans provides 5.8 grams of total fibre and oat bran has four grams of fiber.
Possible Therapeutic Benefits Of Consuming Beans
- Reduces blood cholesterol
- Contains chemicals that inhibit cancer
- Controls insulin and blood sugar
- Lowers blood pressure
- High fiber for colon disorders
- Aids hemorrhoids and bowel disorders
- Reduces risk of coronary heart disease
If you do not eat beans very often, it’s more likely you will bloat after eating beans. You need to build up a tolerance for beans by eating small amounts at first and then slowly increasing your intake, so that the body can adjust. Try adding 1/2 cup of uncooked brown rice or 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds to beans while cooking. This helps reduce intestinal gas and bloating.
Add more beans to your diet — combined with rice, wheat or corn they make a complete protein. Just one cup contains fifteen grams of protein.
Sadly my aunt passed away three days after I had written down this recipe… so I feel lucky to have it and share it with you.
1 tin red kidney bean, rinsed and drained
2 tins Cannellini beans (or Haricot beans or a mix of both), rinsed and drained
2 tins tomatoes chopped (OR 8 – 10 fresh, red ripe tomatoes, seeded, peeled and chopped)
4 tbsp olive oil
6 stalks celery, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
5 onions roughly chopped
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp clove, ground
1/4 tsp ginger, ground
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano, dry
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander (dried and crushed)
1/2 – lemon juiced
1 bowl of fresh coriander, chopped
salt to taste
3 cups water
(serves … an army !)
Saute onions in olive oil until clear in colour. Add in the vegetables and tomatoes. Let them cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the beans, spices, salt and water. Cook slowly over a low heat for about 30 – 40 minutes. Be careful so as not to overcook the beans as they become too soft. At the end of cooking, add in fresh coriander and switch off fire.
Serve with brown rice. Enjoy !