Bean soup recipes are rich in protein and delicious in flavor. But adding beans and lentils to your diet can also help improve the way you look and feel.
Fewer Calories Without Feeling Deprived
Because they are high in both fiber and water content, a serving of beans can make you feel full more quickly than many other foods.
As a result you are more likely to reduce your calorie intake without feeling deprived.
But the news about beans gets even better -- they are also high in antioxidants which stop cell-damaging free radicals in their tracks.
This means that beans can help slow the aging process and prevent disease -- diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's. So enjoy bean soup recipes often. They are a great choice for high nutrition and satisfaction.
In a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these beans were among the top four foods recognized for their antioxidant capacities.
Beans, considered a superfood, are available in a variety of types and colors. And while many are widely available to us via our local markets, a mind boggling 40,000 varieties are held in world gene banks.
Starting your bean soup recipes with dried beans instead of canned beans is a fun way to experience the feel and beauty of the harvest.
But perhaps more importantly, with only a little extra planning these extra steps yield beans with enhanced flavor and texture.
Here are the basic steps for preparing dried beans for cooking:
1. Traditional soak (overnight)
2. Hot soak (4 hours)
3. Quick soak (1 hour)
Great Northern Beans
Soaking beans before they are cooked shortens the cooking time and reduces the quantity of gas-producing compounds.
Drain and rinse - Before the beans are ready to cook, the soaking solution should be drained away and the beans rinsed with fresh water.
The solution is discarded because it contains gas-producing compounds responsible for digestive discomfort.
Plain water or salt bath - The beans can either be soaked in plain water or in a salt bath.
The salt bath is a solution of 1-2 tablespoons of salt dissolved in about 2 quarts of water.
This solution helps the beans absorb water more evenly so they develop a creamy consistency inside and a soft skin outside.
American Chemical Society. "Largest USDA Study of Food Antioxidants Reveals Best Sources Science News." EurekAlert!. Accessed March 28, 2016. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-06/aas-lus061504.php.
"Breeding Better Beans Increasing Disease Resistance in Common Beans." AgResearch Magazine. n.d. agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2006/jun/beans.
Crosby, Guy, and Editors of Cook's Illustrated. "Concept 28." In The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen, 256-261. Brookline, Massachusetts: America's Test Kitchen, 2012.
Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., Julie, and Krystle McNeal. "All About Beans." NDSU Agriculture. Accessed March 27, 2016. https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn1643.pdf.