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Fill up on beans – a tasty alternative to meat!

With many of us trying to cut down on our meat consumption, beans and lentils offer an excellent alternative. Beans, peas and nuts actually come from plants that bear seeds and pods, AKA legumes.

Low in calories, a great source of protein and fibre and bursting with vitamins and minerals, they really are a great choice if you are trying to lose a few lbs.

Their high fibre content means they are great for digestion and also help to feed the good bacteria in your gut,  more info on your gut health here

Easy to cook, cheap to buy and good for you and your waistline, what’s not to love?   Mix and match and try out the different varieties on offer in some of your recipes, vegetarian food can be very tasty  🙂

Here is the low down on a few of the more common varieties.  Note that if you buy the dried variety you need to factor in soaking time and follow cooking instructions on the pack.

 # Kidney beans
Not just for chilli con carne, these are great in soups and salads.  These contain a natural toxin, lectin, so really important to follow the guidelines on soaking and cooking if you use the dried variety.
Great for a helping to build a healthy immune system as they are a good source of zinc.

The main ingredient in hummus, which is really easy to make yourself. Also useful in soups and curries.
Rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, vitamin k and B vitamins these little beans are great for energy levels and bone health.

#Black beans
Great in stir fries and soups black beans or turtle beans as they are often known are a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, supporting bone and heart health.  In addition they also contain good amounts of zinc.

#Adzuki beans
AKA English red mung beans have a slightly sweet flavour and alongside the usual array of nutrients are reported to be particularly rich in anti oxidants.

#Haricot/navy beans
Better known as the “baked beans” a staple in most households. Not very tasty on their own but absorb other flavours well in cooking.  Used in many dishes with tomato based sauces all over the world.

Here is a recipe for one of my favourite soups 🙂


Give it a try and let me know how you get on 🙂