Thursday, February 25, 2016

Beans, Beans; They're More Than Just Good For Your Heart

They're good for your Heart!  REALLY!  Multiple studies show that beans reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

These tiny little legumes are a miracle food. They are loaded with fiber that aid in lowering cholesterol, regulating blood sugar and insulin, promoting digestive health, and protecting against cancer.  Not too shabby!

Do you think of whole grains, meat, and veggies when you think of fiber, protein, and antioxidants?  Probably!  But think again, beans offer all of these in one teeny package.  They are also a low-fat source of carbohydrates, magnesium, iron and potassium.
Although there is a large variety of beans, they all contain phytochemicals that inhibit cancer cells from reproducing and growing.  Beans also deliver a walloping amount of antioxidants.  Like turkey, beans contain the amino acid tryptophan; this enzyme helps to regulate appetite, aid in sleep, and improve one's temperament.

Research shows that people who consume beans at least twice a week are 1/4 less likely to develop cancers.  So make sure you get at least 2 cups of beans into your meals a week!

-Adzuki and mung beans are among the most easily digested; pinto, kidney, navy, garbanzo, lima, and black beans are more difficult to digest.
-Beans can easily substitute for meat or poultry as the centerpiece of a meal.
Black Bean Burger
1/2 Onion, diced

1 can Black Beans, well drained
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/2 Red Pepper, diced
1/2 Jalapeno, minced
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 c Corn
To Taste Salt and Pepper
1 Large Egg
1 Tbl Mustard
3/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
 Oil for Frying

-Saute the onions, peppers, jalapeno, and corn until soft.
-In a large bowl, mash the beans until almost smooth. Add sauteed onions and the rest of the ingredients, except the oil and panko, combine well.
-Form bean mixture into patties, approximately ½ inch thick, coat in panko and fry patties in a small amount of oil until slightly firm.
Bean Chili
2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 large Red Pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large Green Pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves Garlic, crushed and chopped
1 cup pale beer
1 (32oz) can Diced Tomatoes
1 (14oz) can Black Beans
1 (14oz) can Red Kidney Beans
1 (14oz) can Pinto Beans
1 (14oz) Pigeon Peas
1 cup Corn
1 Tbl Ground Cumin
2 Tbl Chili Powder
1 Tbl Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Kosher Salt
8 oz Shredded Cheddar

-Over moderate heat, add oil to a deep pot and combine onion, peppers, and garlic. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes to soften vegetables.
-Deglaze pan with beer, add tomatoes, beans, and corn stirring to combine.
-Season with spices.
-Simmer over low heat about 30 minutes, then top with shredded cheese and serve.

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