Low in fat, rich in protein, a complex carbohydrate, high in fiber and loaded with micronutrients, it's not a surprise that beans are a staple in all blue zones around the world. But perhaps what's most surprising is that blue zone residents eat roughly 1 cup of beans every single day. That's four times as much as the rest of us!
Adding a cup of beans to your daily diet is one of the cheapest, easiest and tastiest ways to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels and boost good gut bacteria.
The good news is that is very easy to up your own bean intake.
First, Prep Your Pantry
- Stock your pantry with either dry beans or canned beans to have readily available for cooking!
- Don't neglect the lentils! They're versatile, don't need soaking and cook quickly.
- When you don't have time to cook, keep Chef Soraya Plant-based Macro Meals on hand, for an instant meal filled with beans and other delicious superfoods.
- Keep a block of Extra Firm tofu in the fridge for a quick stir-fry or crispy baked cubes to throw on top of pasta.
1). Think Outside of The Box with Your Bean Use
- Season and roast chickpeas for a crunchy snack or salad topper
- Puree beans and use miso paste to thicken soups and dressings
- Use beans to make a plant-based burger
- Puree beans to make hummus dip or bean spread for toast
2). Add Beans to Hearty Recipes Like Soups and Stews
Beans are wonderfully rich and hearty, which makes them a great addition to long-simmered soup, stews and chili. See our Chef Soraya Inspired One-Pot Chili Recipe here.
3). Try Bean Noodles
From mung bean pasta to edamame pasta, you can make pasts out of just about any legume! Lentil pasta and garbanzo bean pasta are very popular, as they hold up nicely and taste great with red sauce. Bean-based pasta is also higher in protein and has a lower glycemic index compared to regular wheat pasta!
4). Get Your Beans In Early
Believe it or not, blue zone residents like to enjoy beans for breakfast. For instance, Costa Ricans eat black beans in their breakfast burritos, and in the Nation's traditional rice and beans dish called gallo pinto. For a savory breakfast recipe, try Chef Soraya's Cuban-Style Breakfast Burrito!
5). Treat Yourself To Dessert
Some types of beans can replace flour in baked goods like brownie. The subtle bean flavor disappears into the dish while they keep texture incredibly moist and add a hit of protein.