As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to eat more beans. They’re kind of hard to get used to for me because they have a unique texture and taste.
I eat beans in a lot of things now, so I wanted to share how to eat more beans, coming from a person who didn’t used to like them at all.
First, though, let’s talk about why it’s even worth it to bother eating more beans!
They’re Healthy. Beans are packed with protein, fiber, iron, and other good stuff. They are good for your heart and your cholesterol. They help keep your blood sugar level. They are low in calories for all of that goodness too.
They’re Filling. That protein and fiber really fill you up and keep you full.
They’re Inexpensive. Yup! Beans are insanely cheap. You really get a ton of “bang for your buck” with beans. They’ve got to be the least expensive way to fill up an empty belly. I’m always on the lookout for ways to stretch our grocery budget and beans sure help. They’re even cheaper if you buy dried beans and cook them yourself.
How to Eat More Beans (or get your family to)
Pick the Right Beans
I always hated beans growing up, but the only kind I ever had was huge kidney beans that had a weird texture. I still don’t really eat kidney beans.
For me, it was best to start with smaller, less “meaty” beans. Smaller beans can get added into a dish without taking it over.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Navy Beans (they’re actually a white bean, i don’t know why they’re called that #googleit)
- Great Northern Beans (another white bean)
- Black Beans
- Refried Beans (they have good flavor and are creamy)
- Chickpeas (these are what makes hummus)
Don’t Go Crazy
I always think a little at a time is best when you’re trying to get used to a new food.
If you can add a small amount of beans to the dishes that you already like, you’ll have a better chance of getting used to the taste and flavor. I wouldn’t recommend making a lot of bean dishes all at once.
There are still plenty of dishes that are just too bean-y for me, but I’ve added more beans to our diet in some creative ways:
- Hummus: We make our own hummus with chickpeas and eat it with tortilla chips. Pureed beans don’t seem like beans 🙂 This is the recipe I use with my Ninja.
- Tacos & Quesadillas: We started with adding a very thin layer of refried beans to our tacos and quesadillas. The flavor and creaminess are yummy! We now add a thicker layer. Sidenote: Aldi has fat free refried beans that we really like.
- Soup: Adding a small amount of a smaller bean can be a good way to start incorporating beans into meals without them being super noticeable or overpowering.
- Sneaky Soup: Beans can be a great thickener. In some of my soups, I puree a can of beans and mix them into the soup to thicken it. No one ever notices!
The more we get used to eating beans, the more we like them and try to find more ways to incorporate them into our meals. I really notice how filling they are and how easy they are on my food budget.