Celebrate Eat Beans Day

Emma Brown - Nutritionist | 25 Jun, 2019

We've all heard the classic rhyme 'beans beans good for your heart, the more you eat the more you'... well you know the rest! But what does this really mean? Why are beans good for our heart? And why do they make most people extra gassy!? To find out, let's delve into some bean facts!

Beany facts

  1. Britons eat more baked beans than any other country around the world!
  2. It's not actually the fibre in beans that causes us to be a bit gassy – it's a certain type of sugar that combines with bacteria in our gut and produces extra gas.
  3. While beans are very nutritious, they're not quite as nutrient dense as say, broccoli. For this reason, they can only count as one of your 5-a-day – no matter how much you eat.
  4. Eating raw beans can make you very poorly, as they contain a toxin which is killed off during cooking. So make sure you cook them well – or stick to tinned beans which are already cooked.

Beany nutrition

Beans are an excellent low fat source of protein. They're incredibly high in fibre, containing more than most vegetables gram for gram. This combination of low saturated fats and high fibre makes them a super heart healthy food. Most bean varieties also contain high amounts of calcium, iron and potassium as an added bonus.

Beany recipes

Mixed Bean & Quinoa Stew

Mixed bean & quinoa stew

Serves 2 - 526 kcals per serving (18% protein)

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
526 7.2g 1.0g 85.9g 30.4g 23.4g 0.66g

Ingredients

  • Frylight
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 210g tin kidney beans, drained
  • 210g butter beans, drained
  • 150g dried quinoa
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 200ml water
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Place a frying pan over a medium heat and heat the Frylight. Cook the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes until starting to soften.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, chilli, pepper, carrot, beans, quinoa, chilli powder, ground coriander and water to the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the carrot has started to soften and the quinoa is cooked through.
  4. About 5 minutes before serving, add the fresh coriander and season with salt and pepper. Serve and garnish with coriander.
Chilli con carne pie

Chilli con carne pie

Serves 6 - 306 kcals per serving

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
306 6.8g 2.3g 45.1g 6.7g 17.9g 0.75g

Ingredients

  • For the mash:
  • 900g floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper, peeled
  • 3 tbsp hot semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • For the filling:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 250g lean steak mince (5%)
  • 2 red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp red pepper tapenade
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 100g Puy lentils
  • 400g kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15g plain dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Turn up the heat, add the mince and cook for 3 minutes or until browned.
  3. Stir in the chillies and cumin and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the tapenade, chopped tomatoes, stock, lentils and kidney beans, then bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stir in the chocolate and season with black pepper.
  5. Meanwhile for the mash, cut the potatoes into even-sized chunks, add to a pan of cold water and bring to the boil.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes or until tender, then drain. Tip the potatoes back into the pan and mash over a low heat, stirring in the milk, turmeric and coriander. Season to taste.
  7. Preheat the grill, spoon the hot chilli beef into a gratin dish and spread the hot mashed potato roughly over the top. Place under the grill for 5 minutes or until the topping is crisp and golden brown.
Mexican Bean Burgers

Mexican Bean Burgers

Serves 4 - 491 kcals per serving

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
491 12.2g 2.8g 75.6g 12.4g 19.9g 1.79g

Ingredients

  • 2x 400g tins of mixed beans
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • Bunch of coriander
  • 1 medium egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 lettuce leaves
  • 1 medium avocado (145g), peeled and sliced
  • 8 slices of tomato
  • 40g sliced red onion
  • 4 tsp fresh tomato salsa
  • 4 wholemeal bread rolls

Method

  1. Pre-heat the grill to medium.
  2. Crush the mixed beans in a bowl, and mix with the breadcrumbs, chilli powder, coriander, egg and seasoning.
  3. Split the mixture into 4 and make into burger shapes. Grill for 5 minutes on each side until starting to go golden.
  4. Top each burger bun base with 2 lettuce leaves, a bean burger, sliced avocado, 2 tomato slices, 2 red onion slices and a tsp of salsa. Finish with the top of the bun and enjoy with a large side salad.
Slow cooker turkey chilli

Slow cooker turkey chilli

Serves 4 - 459 kcals per serving

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
459 4.8g 1.2g 62.4g 11.6g 40.9g 1.29g

Ingredients

  • Frylight
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 500g extra lean turkey mince
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 400g tin kidney beans, drained
  • 200g tin sweetcorn, drained

Method

  1. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and spray with 10 squirts of Frylight.
  2. Fry the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes until starting to soften.
  3. Increase the heat and add the turkey mince, stirring until browned.
  4. Add the mince, onion and garlic to the slow-cooker, along with the chopped tomatoes, chilli, paprika, cumin, coriander and stock cube. Pour in a little water.
  5. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on medium for 3-4 hours.
  6. About 30 minutes before serving, add the kidney beans and sweetcorn and replace lid.
  7. Serve with 125g cooked rice per person. Just add the extra calories.
Bean Burritos

Bean Burritos

Serves 2 - 482 kcals per serving

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
482 5.8g 2.2g 85.5g 8.7g 19.3g 2.28g

Ingredients

  • 100g brown rice, dried
  • ½ reduced salt vegetable stock cube
  • 2 wholemeal wraps
  • 60g fresh tomato salsa
  • 50g 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 handfuls of shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 2 handfuls of shredded red cabbage
  • 2 tbsp sliced jalapeno peppers
  • ½ 400g tin black beans, drained
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning mix
  • 2 handfuls of mixed salad leaves
  • ½ red pepper, sliced
  • ½ yellow pepper slice

Method

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the stock cube and the rice. Mix together, reduce the heat to medium and cook the rice for 25 minutes.
  2. When the rice is nearly done, warm the wraps in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  3. Lay each wrap on a plate, top with the salsa, yogurt, lettuce, cabbage and jalapenos.
  4. Drain the rice, then return to the pan with the beans and taco seasoning. Return to the heat and warm through for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
  5. Top the wraps with the rice and bean mix, then wrap up tightly and cut each wrap in half to serve.
  6. Serve with a mixed side salad of leaves and pepper slices.

Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.