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The Other Side of Beans

Beans, beans, the magical meal. The more you eat, the better you feel! As one of the smartest food choices you can make, beans are brimming with protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. We often think of beans in colder weather, when hearty soups and stews are on our minds, but there’s no time like summer to enjoy the other side of beans. If you let them, they’ll work magic in your next salad.

From adzuki to cranberry, from fava to garbanzo, I’ve never met a bean I didn’t like. Dried beans are economical and have a long shelf life. Canned beans are convenient. Both are so versatile that if you haven’t established a healthy relationship with them yet, what are you waiting for? Canned beans are fine, as long as you rinse them before using: You can reduce the sodium by nearly 50% with a good rinse. Dried beans are a bit better, in taste and texture, so if you find you have the time to put up a pot, make extra and freeze them in small portions for use in your next recipe that calls for them. Add a piece of dried kelp (a.k.a. kombu) when cooking and you’ll improve the nutritional content, flavor, and digestibility.

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