I have received so many questions regarding legumes. It seems a lot of people have never eaten legumes or cooked with them and are not sure what to do with them so I decided to write this blogpost to clear some of the confusion and hopefully inspire you to start including them in your diet every day! Plus they are very budget-friendly!
Benefits of including (1/2 cup of dry) legumes into your diet daily include:
- Higher intake of fibre (better digestion);
- Higher intake of protein;
- Higher intake of folate, zinc, iron and magnesium;
- Lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat (reduced risks of cardiovascular diseases)
Check out this study and this one about the benefits of legume.s
Legumes include lentils (brown, French or red/coral), chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), red kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, butter beans, cannellini beans, soya beans, peas (split/ garden). There are more varieties but these are the kind that are commonly found in supermarkets.
They come dry/ uncooked or pre-cooked and canned. Can legumes/beans are still very healthy and very convenient. Try choosing low salt options if possible. Having canned beans in the pantry is so helpful on busy nights or for adding a quick boost of protein for the kids.
My favourite ways to use legumes are simply to open a can of chickpeas/lentils or beans, drain and rinse them and add them to whatever meal I am cooking to bulk it up and add extra plant-based goodness.
- Canned chickpeas/ lentils and beans in salads
- Canned lentils for a lentil Bolognese pasta
- Canned chickpeas for chickpea coconut curries
- Dry red lentils for dhals
- Canned cannellini beans in soups
- Canned black beans for Mexican tacos/nachos/burritos.
- Smashed chickpeas with hummus for sandwich fillings
- Roasted chickpeas to add to salads or snack on.
- Beans to snack on.
- Chickpeas to make hummus
- Making bean-based brownies
Some of my past recipes using legumes are:
I hope you will find this post useful. If you would like more help with your plant-based diet I have available spots for nutrition coaching (available worldwide).
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