Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bean Cuisine

As seen on KMGH-TV 7


Bean Economics
Have been talking about ways to decrease the food budget, while still eating healthy and delicious food.
• Dry beans and other legumes are some of the most widely available, inexpensive and nutritionally complete staple foods.
• Cost- minimal compared to the cost of protein from animal meats.
• One drawback however, is the time, and lack of knowledge to cook dried beans from scratch.

Soaking: Cover the beans with room temperature water. Soak covered, overnight or for 8 to 10 hours. Rinse and add fresh water.
• Hot/Quick Soak: Bring beans to a boil and boil for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand for 1 - 4 hours, covered. Rinse and add fresh water.

• Stove top: Cover with 6 cups fresh water for each pound (2 cups) of soaked beans, or to about one inch above the beans. Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons oil. Boil gently with lid tilted until tender when taste tasted, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Add hot water as needed to keep beans just covered with liquid.
• Slow-cooker or crockpot: Cover soaked beans with 6 cups fresh water for each pound (2 cups) of beans, or to about one inch above the beans. Bring to a boil on high. Then, cook 8-10 hours on low.
• Freeze: Will keep up to 6 months in freezer once cooked.

Bean Nutrition
• As both a vegetable and a non-meat protein source, beans contain nutrients found in both food groups.
• They are also a nutrient-rich source of complex carbohydrates and contain dietary fiber, proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers and to aid in weight maintenance.
• In the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, recommend that adults consume three cups of beans per week to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Most Americans don't even eat one (1) cup in a week.

Beans in polite company
• If high-fiber foods such as dry beans are not a regular part of your diet, the natural complex carbs in beans may cause temporary digestive discomfort.
• Research shows that adding beans to your diet on a regular basis -- at least once or twice a week -- reduces flatulence.
• The best way to reduce beans' naturally occurring carbs is to use the quick hot-soak method to soften dry beans, then drain the soaking water and start with fresh water for cooking.

Beans for Energy and Vitality
• A nutrient-rich food, beans contain protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, and important vitamins and minerals, such as folate, manganese, potassium, iron, phosphorous, copper and magnesium.
• The lean protein in beans helps maintain and promote muscle while beans’ complex carbohydrates provide a sustained energy source.
• Breakfast: Berry Bean Blast and Blueberry Bean Muffins

Beans for Blood Sugar Management
Beans boast a low glycemic index and contain complex carbohydrates, which are digested slowly.
These facts make beans a good choice for people needing to keep their blood sugar in the normal range.
Shrimp & Red Beans Creole

Beans for a Healthy Heart
• Unlike meat-based proteins, beans are naturally low in fat, are free of saturated fat and trans-fat, and are a cholesterol-free source of protein.
• Research shows that a diet including beans may reduce your risk of heart disease.
• Spicy Bean Cake

Berry Bean Blast

Makes 2 servings
1 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained, or 1 3/4 cups cooked dry-packaged navy beans or Great Northern beans
1 1/2 cups orange juice
2 cups quartered strawberries
1 to 3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 to 8 ice cubes
In a blender or food processor process all ingredients, except ice cubes. Add ice cubes and blend until smooth. Serve in glasses.

Note: May be made 1 to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. The drink will thicken in the refrigerator. Stir in orange juice or cold water for desired consistency. If frozen strawberries are used, omit the ice cubes.

Blueberry Bean Muffins
Serve these antioxidant rich muffins hot from the oven. Any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be substituted for kidney beans.
Makes 18 muffins
2 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained, or 3 cups cooked dry-packaged red kidney beans
1/3 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a blender or food processor process beans and milk until smooth.
Ina large bowl mix sugar and butter; beat in eggs and vanilla. Add bean mixture, mixing until well blended.
Mix in combined flours, baking soda, salt and spices. Gently mix in blueberries.
Spoon mixture into 12 greased or paper
lined muffin cups; sprinkle with pecans.
Bake muffins for about 20
25 minutes until toothpicks inserted in centers come out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes; remove from pans and cool.

Shrimp & Red Beans Creole
This classic dish is a staple in New Orleans homes and restaurant kitchens. Serve over rice, with a salad, for a complete meal. Makes 6-8 servings

2 large onions, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup green pepper, cut into thin strips
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter or canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 16 ounce can tomato sauce
1 bay leaf, broken
Hot pepper sauce
1 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained, or 1 3/4 cups cooked dry-packaged kidney beans
1 pound cooked shrimp, deveined
6-8 cups cooked rice

Heat butter or oil in saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery, green pepper, garlic until soft, for about 5 minutes.
Combine flour, sugar, salt and paprika, sprinkle over vegetables. Add the tomato sauce, bay leaf and season with hot pepper sauce to taste. Bring to a soft boil, reduce heat, stir often and simmer for 20
30 minutes until thickened. Add water if the sauce is too thick.
About 20 minutes before serving, drain and rinse beans. Add beans, peeled shrimp to sauce. Heat over low heat for about 10 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

Idaho’s Spicy Bean Cake
This low-fat spice cake is sure to be a family favorite. Frost with a maple or cream cheese frosting. Add 4 tablespoons of cocoa if chocolate cake is desired. Makes 12 servings

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups cooked, pureed pinto beans
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 cups diced apples
1/2 cup nuts
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

In a blender cream butter or margarine and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Blend in pureed beans.
Sift together dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture, blending well. Fold in apples, raisins, nuts & vanilla. Pour into buttered 9x13 inch pan.
Bake in oven, 45 to 50 minutes or until cake tests done. Frost as desired