Beans receive mixed reviews in the weight loss community. On one hand, they’re a natural food, which experts normally recommend over processed foods to people who want to lose weight. On the other hand, beans contain carbohydrates, and many diets encourage people to limit their carb intake.
So, what’s the verdict? Do beans belong on our plates?
A 2013 study conducted by researchers at Loma Linda University found that “a high-fibre bean-rich diet was as effective as a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss.” Another study revealed that “bean eaters weighed, on average, 7 pounds less and had slimmer waists than their bean-avoiding counterparts.”
This is good news if you love beans. It’s also good news if you want to eat healthy because research has suggested beans can help:
- Lower cholesterol
- Regulate blood sugar
- Reduce your risk of heart disease
- Increase satiety (feeling full)
But maybe you’re not sure where to start when it comes to eating more beans―or maybe you just don’t like beans. That’s not your fault. Most people think the only way to eat beans is to pile them on a plate and starting spooning them up. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Beans are actually a very versatile food. Used correctly, you can add them to a dish and get all their health benefits―without overpowering the other flavors in the meal.
Here are 10 recipes to help you get started with eating more beans.
1. Quinoa and Black Beans
Since this recipe requires only 15 minutes of prep time, you can move on to other tasks while this tasty meal simmers.
2. Corn and White Bean Chowder
Make a big bowl of this delicious chowder for dinner and save the leftovers for an easy microwavable lunch.
3. Southwest Salad
This enormous salad shows just how easy it is to add beans to a meal. And since beans naturally contain lots of fiber, you’ll be making the meal more filling too.
4. Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich
This versatile chickpea and avocado salad can be used in a sandwich or a wrap. It’s a no-cook recipe, which means faster prep time and fewer dirty dishes. By the way, chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans, and yes, they are a legume.
5. Snickerdoodle Blondies
Bet you didn’t see this one coming. Beans are a surprisingly versatile food. Blend them up, and you can increase the fiber and nutrients in these blondies without spoiling the sweet taste. To be clear, these blondies are still a dessert — translation: you shouldn’t eat ten of them if you want to lose weight. But they are a sweet way to get more of healthy the goodness of beans into your life.
6. Chicken and White Bean Chili
This meal combines the heartiness of chili with the fiber of beans to help you feel full longer.
7. Asian Slaw with Ginger-Peanut Dressing
Need more easy-to-make lunches you can take to work? Stuff this salad into a plastic container and grab a piece of fruit. This recipe contains lima beans, a healthy legume many people forget about. Even if you didn’t like them when you were younger, you should give them a try in this salad.
8. Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake
If you’re like me, this recipe had you at “enchilada.” Plus, black beans (and pinto beans) go great with Mexican food. Now you have a reason to crack open your favorite jar of salsa.
9. Easy Tuscan Bean Soup
You can easily add beans to lots of soup recipes. It’s a smart choice because the beans will make the soup more filling.
10. Breakfast Smoothie
Beans are a great natural source of protein. Add some blended beans to a smoothie, and you can be sipping on a healthy breakfast in no time.
Now you have 10 tasty bean recipes to help you lose weight and start enjoying the many other health benefits beans provide. If you don’t know how to cook dry beans, or you would like to know how to cook dry beans for less gas, this free guide will help.
Thanks to Michelle Jones and Amy Hanus for providing the pictures used in this post. All Photos Used With Permission.
Featured photo credit: Skinny Enchilada Casserole/Amy Hanus via fullplateliving.org