Pantry Staple- Beans

Ahhh, the first pantry staple. Beans! At any given time you can find upwards of five cans of beans in my pantry. My personal favorites are garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and black beans. But I also love pinto beans, kidney beans, refried beans, and white beans depending on what I am making.
Both meat eaters and vegetarians alike can benefit greatly from incorporating beans into their diets. Beans are rich in protein, high in fiber, very versatile, and budget friendly, whats not to love?! 

A typical serving size of cooked beans is 1/2 cup. With that serving size you can expect to consume 8 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber. There are many studies that support the claim that consuming at least 7 grams of fiber a day can reduce risks of developing heart disease, brain diseases, esophageal cancer, and colon cancer just to name a few.

It is recommended that people consume three servings of beans daily. You might be thinking that seems like a lot but it’s easier than you think to incorporate beans into your diet. Here are three easy examples of how you can get your recommended serving of beans!

Snack time: Hummus! Hummus is hands down one of my all time favorite foods. I can eat it multiple times a day, everyday. You can eat hummus as a dip with crackers or cut up vegetables, in place of dressing on a salad, or on top of toast for a protein filled snack. You can easily go to the grocery store and buy a container of hummus, but if you are feeling adventurous I encourage you to try making your own sometime.
In a food processor combine one can of garbanzo beans that has been drained and rinsed, 2 tablespoons of tahini, a 1/4 cup of olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, one clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and salt/pepper to taste. Blend together until it is smooth and creamy, and enjoy!

Salad topper: Add 1/2 cup of the drained and rinsed bean of your choice to a salad for a a source of fiber and a vegetarian protein boost.

Delicious Dinner: Add some vegetarian refried beans (or mashed up pinto beans) to a tostado or tortilla and top it with tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, onion, and the salsa of your choice!

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