I love beans. I’ll just put it out there. Despite their being the “musical fruit” I love them for their earthy goodness and simple flexibility. While I’m not afraid to admit that I eat black bean soup for dinner more often than I should (we’re talking 3+ a week here) I figured a little variety wouldn’t kill me. So at the store I picked up a bag of N.K. Hurst’s “HamBeens” brand15 bean soup. One sniff of the prepackaged spice mix and I decided to give the soup my own blend – granulated smoke flavoring just isn’t for me. I tossed the recipe on the bag, added a can of tomato sauce and was very pleased with the result!
On top of being delicious and versatile, legumes are widely praised for their wholesome goodness. Seriously, they rank up there with…well, other things that are really good for you. It’s late, cut me a break. Aside from being packed with dietary fiber and protein, beans are low in fat and calories and if you avoid the canned version, typically low in sodium as well. As if that wasn’t an impressive enough performance, beans are completely void of cholesterol.
In case you’ve been living under a rock and aren’t familiar with why your body is as obsessed with protein and fiber as tweens are with the Justin Bieber haircut, I’ll fill you in. According to Georgetown and their super informative dining hall website, protein makes up about 45% of your body and is essential to the production of enzymes, hormones and other good stuff that allows the body to build and repair body tissue. Protein helps us resist diseases and regulate the every day body processes that allow for the balancing of water, nutrient transport and muscle contraction. Fiber on the other hand is more like nature’s helpful digestive draino. Theatrics aside, dietary fiber usually refers to the part of the plant that can’t be digested by the body and therefore needs to be expelled, dragging with it anything else that might not be invited for a long term stay in your system. In short, beans are the perfect little helper to keeping our bodies healthy and clean.
True, I really had no idea what half of the beans in the bag of 15 varities were, but it was interesting enough trying to figure it out. And since when is a split pea a bean? I think old HamBeens might have been stretching a bit on that one….