Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Beans, Beans, Beans

Today on my walk I managed to find a brand of lentils and beans that I haven't tried before. The price also seems a little cheaper than the usual offering at the other stores I frequent.  So I picked up a few bags of several types of beans and green lentils.

Right now I'm soaking garbanzo beans and pinto beans and thinking of what to make with them.

These new to me garbanzo recipes look like something I would like to try.   

Garbanzo Bean Medley

1 tsp. olive oil
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, chopped (optional)
1 can garbanzo beans (I'll use "from scratch" beans as they have no preservatives)
1/8 tsp. fresh pepper
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet  and saute green pepper for 2 minutes, add onions and garlic; saute until soft. Add beans, pepper and salt; saute until well blended and heated through. Serves 4.

Notes:  I will use red peppers instead of green ones because I prefer the taste and colour.

Garbanzo Bean Soup
1 lb. garbanzo beans (the recipe calls for dried but I'm using "made from scratch" beans)
8 c. water
1/2 c. olive oil
1 lg. onion, diced
1/2 clove garlic, diced
4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 bay leaves
1/2 (6 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 (6 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
4 med. size potatoes, peeled

Saute onions in olive oil and when tender add all other ingredients with the exception of stewed tomatoes and pepper. Saute for 2 more minutes. Bring garbanzo to a boil and add all ingredients. Lower heat to low and boil until tender. More water or salt may be added to taste. Cook until potatoes are done. If you would like a thicker consistency.mash some of the beans and potatoes.

I'll probably use the pinto beans for some make ahead chili, as in this recipe but I'll use pinto beans instead of kidney beans. 

The health benefits of beans are many:  they lower cholesterol and promote digestive health, promote  heart health, stabilizes blood sugar levels. The beans also have antioxidants in them and can help manage your weight by giving a feeling of fullness (satiety).  Garbanzo beans contain molybdenum, manganese, folate, fiber, tryptophan, protein, calcium, phosphorous and iron. 

I was surprised to learn that garbanzo beans may be one of the world's oldest, cultivated bean.  I was also surprised to read that India supplies the vast majority of the world's garbanzo beans; something like 80-90%! Other producers of garbanzo beans are Pakistan, Turkey, Ethiopia and Mexico.

This chart is a bit old but I don't think that the bean production levels haven't changed too dramatically.

Recently I learned two tips for cutting down on the gas in cooked beans. The first tip is not to cook the beans in the same water in which you soak them. The second tip, is to change the water part way through the bean cooking process. I tried the latter tip last time I made beans and it really worked.

What about you dear reader?
Do you have tips you use to cut down on gas from cooked beans?


Inger said...

Beans are so great and helps with your blood sugars too. My husband (he's the cook around here) cooks them all the time.

Joyful said...

Thank you for your comment, Inger. I love beans. I know they take a long while to prepare but their health benefits are so great that I now make time to cook them. It's great that your husband does it for you.

Dimple said...

These recipes look good!
I have tried using different water to cook the beans in, but that is it. I think it helps some, but I will try your other tip next time, as well!

Joyful said...

That would be great. Let me know if it works for you too!

Fred Alton said...

We use garbanzo beans (chick peas) here on a regular basis. Frances makes Indian food (Curried foods) more frequently than most Americans and we love it.

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