Sunday, April 8, 2018

10 Things I LOVE About Beans and Legumes

My pantry is stuffed with a variety of beans and legumes.  I love them!!!  Here's why:
  1. They are cheap!  I can get a pound of beans/lentils/peas/etc at the Dollar Store for, well, $1.  At Costco I can buy these in bulk even cheaper.
  2. They expand when you cook them.  They don't take up much space in the pantry but when you cook them they can double in size.
  3. They are healthy.  Beans and legumes are nutritious and full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  4. They are versatile.  I often use beans and legumes in place of meat in my cooking.  I replace meat in burritos and tacos with black beans or pinto beans.  I replace hamburger in sloppy joes with lentils.  I make all kinds of soups and stews using beans or legumes instead of meat.
  5. They taste good.  No they don't actually taste like meat (much to hubby's disappointment when he tried a back bean burger) but they have their own taste which is pretty good IMHO.
  6. They feature prominently in the cuisines of many cultures.  I make Indian (dal), Mexican (chili), Italian (soups), Mediterranean (hummus), and Japanese (red bean buns) dishes to make our meals more interesting and tasty.
  7. They can be simple to cook.  Dried beans can take a bit more effort (soak over night then boil) but canned beans are super simple (open can, drain, then eat) and lentils cook pretty quickly.
  8. The can have a variety of textures.  They can be smooth and creamy (blended chickpeas in hummus), crunchy (baked chickpeas), chewy (beans in soups), etc.
  9. They can be served as every part of a meal.  They can be appetizers (falafel), the salad course (beans added to salads) the soup course (bean or legume soup), the main course (bean casserole) and even the dessert course (sweet bean buns).
  10. They can last a long time.  Canned beans can last for years, dried beans can last even longer.

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