Thursday, September 10, 2009

White Beans & Your Health!

For the normal grocery store shopper, the only taste of white beans has been in a can of Pork and Beans. What a sad tale – because white beans have lots of great benefits that you are probably unaware of.

White beans (navy beans, great northern beans, cannellini beans):
· Are low in calories and fat
· Curb cravings
· Increase your energy
· Satisfy your appetite
· Prevent the enzyme alpha-amylase from turning carbs into sugar
· Block absorption of 2/3 carb calories
· Boost wei*ght loss up to 230%
· Are a great plant protein with slow-digesting soluble fiber
· And are very inexpensive (best purchased dry – see below for cooking)

Plus all these factors, white beans are very versatile in recipes. You can:
· Add them to pasta dishes with a variety of chopped vegetables (peppers, basil, broccoli)
· Mash them into a bean dip, or make them into hummus (instead of chickpeas)
· Sauté them with onions, garlic, bell peppers or other vegetables and season
· Stir-fry them with greens (Swiss chard, kale, etc.)
· Add them to soups with other vegetables, with or without whole grains (brown rice or quinoa)
· Grind them to a flour and use it in place of cornstarch to thicken foods

Cooking them is simpler than making pie! Just soak them in water overnight, then drain and cover with new water. Simmer 1-2 hours or pressure cook 25-30 minutes (depending on size).

For a great recipe idea…….here’s a tasty recipe from the Healthy Leaner Lifestyle series – Creatively Complete Dinners cookbook!

GARDEN VEGETABLES AND SPIRALS

8 oz. whole grain vegetable spiral pasta
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
½ onion, sliced and quartered
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin long strips
1 small zucchini, cut into thin long strips
1 small yellow squash, cut into thin long strips
1 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
Black pepper, cayenne pepper or kelp granules to taste
2 C. cooked navy beans, well drained (or 15 oz. can)
2-3 Tbs. fresh snipped parsley or cilantro

· Cook pasta according to package directions; drain well
· Prepare all vegetables as suggested
· In large skillet, heat oil and stir-fry garlic, onion, bell pepper and squashes just until crisp tender
· Stir in seasonings, drained beans and pasta
· Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro just before serving. Great main dish!

To order your copy of Creatively Complete Dinners cookbook, go to http://erleentilton.com/store.htm.

Enjoy the great benefits of white beans in your menus!

For your best health,
Erleen Tilton

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