Beans Are a Great Choice for Good Health

BlogHer Original Post

Dried Beans
All this month BlogHer is going to be talking about health, so for my contribution I decided I'd write about foods that promote good health. I've already started out with my own little love letter to sweet potatoes, and today I'm singing the praises of another one of the world's healthiest foods, dried beans and legumes. There are a lot of different choices in this category, but I found a good list of beans and legumes at the Mayo Clinic site. Some of the beans on that list are pretty common, but here's your chance to learn about a few new types of beans, and maybe find a new recipe to add to your rotation.

Azuki beans (also spelled adzuki) are a type of Asian bean. They are frequently eaten sweetened, and are the main ingredient in red bean paste, commonly used in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisine. In the U.S. similar beans are often just called red beans.

Cook some Azuki Beans:
Adzuki Bean Stew from Once Upon a Feast
Slow Cooker Adzuki Bean Chili from Blog Appetit
Azuki Bean Ice Cream from Bon Appegeek

Anasazi beans (also called Jacob's Cattle beans) are a type of speckled bean with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. This is actually an ancient type of bean which was re-introduced when some were found among some Anasazi ruins and scientists were able to get them to germinate. Reportedly they are quite easy to grow. One thing which makes them popular is that they are less gas-producing than many types of dried beans. Barlotti beans and cranberry beans are similar to these.

Cook some Anasazi Beans:
Venetian Style Bean and Pasta Soup from Superspark.
Anasazi Bean and Cabbage Soup from Kalyn's Kitchen
Everything From the Pantry Bean Soup from The Perfect Pantry

Black-eyed peas are a bean you may have heard of, but many people haven't cooked with them. They are thought to bring good luck if you eat them for New Year's but truly they are delicious all year long.

Cook some Black-eyed Peas:
Black-eyed Pea Cakes from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Black-eyed Peas with Sujuk from Almost Turkish Recipes
Black-eyed Pea Stew from A Mingling of Tastes

Fava Beans were made famous by the movie The Silence of the Lambs, but truly fresh favas were considered a real delicacy long before that movie came out. These are grown almost everywhere, and have a lot of other names, including broad beans, faba beans, and horse beans. They're eaten fresh but also often dried, although true fans always prefer the fresh favas.

Cook some Fava Beans:
Cooking Fresh Fava Beans from Yogurtland
Fresh Fava Bean Salad with Pecorino from Lucullian Delights
Braised Fava Beans with Proscuitto from What Did You Eat

BlogHer Food Editor Kalyn Denny cooks beans whether it's summer or winter and blogs about it at her food blog, Kalyn's Kitchen.

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