Update: This is an old post that I’ve made a bunch of updates to. It seemed like many people stocked up on beans when the coronavirus hit, so I wanted to give you some ways to use them! Plus, we eat mostly vegan at home now, so we eat more beans than ever, so I’ve got new tips to share.
Do you like beans? I didn’t grow up eating a lot of beans, except for in chili, and I usually picked around them 🙂
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 one of the least expensive ways 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.
SIDENOTE: You can get the meal planning printable I use each week by entering your info below!
Tip # 1: Pick the Right Beans
I always hated beans growing up, but the only kind I ever had were huge kidney beans, which have a texture that I couldn’t stomach. I actually still don’t like kidney beans.
Choosing the right kind of beans is important if you’re going to enjoy them!
For me, it was best to start with smaller, less “meaty” beans. Smaller beans can get added into a dish without taking it over.
My favorite “beginner” beans:
- Navy Beans (they’re actually a white bean, i don’t know why they’re called that…)
- Great Northern Beans (another white bean)
- Black Beans
- Refried Beans (they have good flavor and are creamy)
- Chickpeas (these are in hummus)
Tip #2: 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.
Tip #3: Get Creative
There are still some 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 and veggies. Pureed beans don’t seem like beans.
- Tacos, Quesadillas, and Tostadas: 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.
- Soup: Adding a small amount of beans to soup 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!
Recipes & Cookbooks:
Here are some of my favorite recipes and cookbooks for eating more beans:
- The Meatless Mondays Family Cookbook: This is the best vegan cookbook I’ve found. Most of the recipes use beans and everything we’ve tried so far has been delish! The Chipotle White Bean Salad Sandwich recipe is on regular rotation at our house.
- Hummus from Inspired Taste: This has been my go-to hummus recipe for years and it’s so easy.
- Falafels from Budget Bytes: Delicious fried food made of beans. What’s not to like?
- Burritos from Loving It Vegan: Burritos lend themselves perfectly to beans and this recipes has a yummy spice blend.
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.
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- What We Eat in a Week: Vegan Edition
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