Learning How to Live to 100 Years
Since I started learning about the Blue Zones, I have been trying to incorporate more beans into my diet. They are already a major source of protein for me since I don’t eat animals, but I don’t eat them everyday.
Beans are not only naturally low in fat, they are a terrific source of energy slowly released over time due to their complex carbohydrates. They are also a good source of non-meat protein. And they have compounds that make them protective against cancer.
A New Twist on an Old Favorite
Roasted chickpeas are a great snack to take with you on a hike because they won’t spoil. They add a nice crunch on salads. Ounce for ounce they are more filling than chips. You can use different spices to give them different flavors too! So they can easily go from Middle Eastern, to Asian, to Italian.
So Many Beans, So Many Options
One of the things I really love about beans is that there are so many ways to prepare them. One of my favorites is hummus. I make it from scratch that way I can control what I put in it.
Another favorite is chili. Whether with meat or without, there is nothing better than a bowl of chili on a cold winter night. It’s easy to make and it’s easy to reheat and serve. And the best part? It tastes better the day after because the flavors have had time to marry.
Sometimes I make Persian rice with beans. Sometimes I make baked beans. When I make Mexican food, I make refried black beans. You can make black bean soup or black bean burgers. You can even make dessert with them (black bean brownies). The possibilities are endless!
A Legume By Any Other Name
Lentils are similar to beans and can be used in many of the same ways – soups, stews, salads, and purees. And, just like beans they provide many of the same health benefits.
And what better time than the fall to enjoy this powerhouse of nutrition?
In this recipe, I used a traditional North African seasoning called Harissa. It is made from chilies and gives the chickpeas a nice spicy flavor.
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
- 1 tsp Harissa seasoning
- 1 tsp turmeric ground
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl, evenly coat chickpeas with seasoning.
- Arrange chickpeas on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.