4 tricks for eating more beans (even if you hate them)

black bean brownies

Give beans a chance

In this week's Plant-Powered Protein class, we covered an interesting fact about the typical American diet: it provides twice as much protein as we need, yet only about half as much fiber as is recommended

Not that I would ever imply that any of you unique snowflakes are typical, but if you are looking to eat healthy amounts of both protein and fiber, beans should definitely be a semi-regular part of your diet.  One serving of beans (1/2 cup) provides about 8-10 grams of protein and about 25-35% of your RDA of fiber.  

The catch?  Many people I know just don't like beans or don't know how to cook them so that they taste good.  So today I wanted to cover 4 ways that bean-haters can learn to add a little of this affordable and versatile food group to their diet.  If a lentil salad or black bean soup is just not on the menu for you, try one of these clever ways of preparing beans. 

1. Roast them.  

Chickpeas become a crunchy, salty movie snack when your roast them with salt and oil in the oven at 400 for 45-60 minutes.  Use for solo snacking or for adding to salads and bowls.  Recipe here.

2. Crisp them in a skillet.

Similar to the roasting method, this technique gives beans texture and crunch.  Take cooked green, black, or brown lentils and make sure they are well-drained.  Heat a skillet with a drizzle of oil and lightly fry the lentils with salt and spices to make a crunchy protein-rich garnish for soups, avocado toast or kale salads.

3. Blend them into a creamy soup.  

White beans take the place of cream or potatoes in any blended soup.  Before blending, add 1/2 can of any rinsed and drained white beans and blend away.  This sneaky technique works on kids too and has the bonus of making vegetable-based soups more filling.

4. Put them in dessert.  

Now this idea sounds the craziest to bean-haters, but that's the genius of it.  Soft and creamy black beans have a similar texture to fudgey brownies, so I swap out flour and eggs in a traditional brownie recipe. My students are shocked and delighted every time.  Check out my recipe for Black Bean Brownies here.

Think I may be onto something with this bean-loving manifesto?  Check out my recipes page for even more ideas.