Beans are protein-rich legumes of varying varieties and sub-varieties, belonging to the family of plants called Fabaceae. There are also called cowpeas. Pulses and lentils also belong to this family of plants.
Mostly kidney shaped and comes in various sizes, and colour. Popular ones include black eye beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, brown beans, red kidney beans, and adzuki beans.
Beans is one of the most highly nutritious food known to man. They have very high protein content, rich in fiber and antioxidants. They fill you up for longer, a plus for any trying to lose weight or generally wants to stay healthy. Unless you add fat to them they are generally very low in calorie. They help lower blood glucose level, may help lower cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of cancer and prevent fatty liver.
They are a safe alternative to protein for vegans and vegetarians. Safe for any on a gluten free diet. Those on gluten free diet should be cautious of already packaged beans as they may come from factories that also package wheat so check the label.
Despite the many benefits of beans, they are not everyone’s cup of tea. I must admit that while growing up, they were not mine either. Below are the two common reasons some shy away from eating beans.
Flatulence or passing gas is normal and we all do several times a day. Perhaps up to 20 times and most times without knowing we are. True, certaian foods like beans make it worse however unless it is excessive and causes you discomfort which require medical help or complete abstinance from any food that aggravates it, for most people it may not get that bad.
Try the following suggestions to help solve or reduce these problems:
Some may also add a little potash or baking soda to tenderize the beans. The draw back with these two, is they may potentially destroy important nutrient, like the B vitamin, B12. They may also change the taste of the beans negatively. The age of the beans sometimes play a role on how long it takes to cook, the older the beans the longer it takes to cook. So, if you can, always by beans that are not so old.
My favourite method of cooking beans is on the slow cooker.
If you do not have a slow cooker then your good old stove is great. After soaking overnight, rinse and drain, then transfer to a pot and cover with water. Add salt after cooking for an hour and cook until beans is tender adding more water as needed. Depending on age of beans, it should take about an hour and half to two hours.
Want to try some beans recipe? Try these:
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