Did you know there is a group of vegetables that are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and vitamins? And that these vegetables can help reduce risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, help manage blood sugar levels and help reduce chances of birth defects?  
Beans, peas and lentils are inexpensive and have a long shelf-life (which means they can be stored for a long period of time) and can be used in a variety of ways.
One quick and easy way to include beans in your diet is to buy them canned and just heat them up and enjoy. However, you can use dried beans, which are naturally low in salt , and last a long time if stored in a cool, dark place at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  .
A big question most people ask is, “How do I prepare dried beans?”. The key is planning in advance in order to soak the dried beans overnight before cooking. Please visit The US Dry Bean Council website to learn more about cooking dried beans. It is especially important to follow strict guidelines when cooking red kidney beans because they contain a toxin in the raw state. The Federal Drug Administration recommends a few easy steps to safely cook kidney beans. Check these recommendations out on the FDA website.
Best of all, we have some delicious recipes made with beans, peas and lentils at your fingertips.
There are so many ways to enjoy beans, peas, and lentils… And so many different kinds to choose from. We hope you learned something new about these tiny-but-mighty vegetables!
Written by Leslie Davis, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES | Edited by the Nutrition Team
Posted: January 29, 2021