By Brittany Barton
The spotlight is on beans. This year the United Nations declared it the International Year of Pulses. Lentils, chickpeas and all legumes are dominating meal and snack time. Beans are high in protein, fiber, and micronutrients and have an impressive array of health benefits. They have been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, help prevent both diabetes and heart disease and even reduce inflammation in the body.
BEANS IN BROWNIES
Most often a savory food, beans are now making their way into desserts. Pure Genius Provisions has created brownies and blondies from chickpeas (yes, beans!). These baked treats are made with whole chickpeas, not bean flour, which pack a heaping dose of fiber and protein without a bean-y taste. Dessert can taste crazy good and be crazy good for you.
Below are 5 fun facts about beans.
Feel Full with Fewer Calories
Eating beans has been shown to increase the feeling of fullness by 31 percent, resulting in less food intake and reduced body fat even if calories are not restricted.
Keep the Soil Healthy
Beans are the only plants that enrich the soil rather than deplete it. Other plants use up the soil’s nitrogen stores, which is essential for growing healthy, nutritious food. Farmers will plant legumes as cover crops during the winter to prepare for the next growing season.
Make Amazing Brownies
The smooth texture and consistency of beans make them an ideal base for brownies. Pure Genius Provisions makes Deep Chocolate Brownies and Chocolate Chunk Blondies with forty percent chickpeas!
Use as Whipped Topping
Aqua faba is the liquid extracted from chickpeas and it can be whipped into a light, fluffy topping like whipped cream. Or use it to replace egg whites in any baking recipe.
Richly colored beans like adzuki and black beans contain similar amounts of antioxidants to berries and raisins. A high antioxidant diet is important for preventing lasting damage from free radicals in our body.
Brittany Barton is the creative behind SparkleKitchen.com. She offers real food recipes, sustainable living guidance and inspiration for others to become more sparkly versions of themselves.