Recipes: Beans are Full of Taste, Nutrition, and Versatility

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Recipes—We all try to eat healthy and eat good. Beans are one of those ingredients that go well in a wide variety of recipes, dressing them up, adding flavor and variety in texture, and boosting nutritional value. A serving of either black or garbanzo beans provides about 15 grams or 60% of an average adults requirement of fiber. Beans are not just a staple for salads, they work great in soups, main dishes, sides, and even desserts.

During a MomItForward Twitter girls' night out (#gno) a couple of weeks ago, the discussion about what to do with beans was so energetic, mouths were watering all over the place. Recipe links were flying like confetti! Your mouth will water too after reading this post. As difficult as it was to narrow the list down, here are the top 10 recipes, in order:

Top 10 Bean Recipes

  1. Cannellini and Tuna Salad, from @tidymom, who says: "I've been fixing Cannellini and Tuna salad for summer lunches."
  2. Pinto Bean Pie, submitted by M. Willits on This was a surprise smash hit at Evo '11. Everyone RAVED about it.
  3. Black Bean Brownies, submitted by "Elizabeth" also on Who knew: brownies and black beans?
  4. Crock Pot Taco Soup, from @mommyskitchen. She also provided this recipe for a "kid-friendly white bean and cheddar dip."
  5. @jeffreysaad suggests trying pan fried garbanzos with mint leaves, harissa and feta cheese on top.
  6. @realmomkitchen had some great recipes, including Easy Mango Chicken Over Rice, and Barbecue Chili With Corn.
  7. Butter Chickpea Curry, on, suggested by @hlkljgk
  8. Caramalized Black Bean Butter. Says @tidymom: "Beans are versatile, cheap and good for you! They are a great protein-packed snack for anyone who wants a quick, healthy choice to fuel their bodies.  Beans will keep insulin levels in your body low, causing you to feel full for hours and preventing you from overeating later in the day. – MY kind of snack I say! This versatile recipe works as either a dip or a spread and has a sweet and toasty flavor thanks to  the caramelized onions. I served it with toasted garlic pita."
  9. @WithStyleAndGrace suggests Summer Chopped Chickpea Salad. It's gluten-free and dairy-free. She says, "It's our new favorite chickpea salad! Very fresh!"
  10. @mtnmamacooks, Kelley Epstein, says these Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos are "quick and delicious!"

So, if you're looking to add excitement or nutrition to your repertoire of summer recipes, consider adding beans of any brand or type, and see what kind of recipes you come up with!

What is your favorite way to cook with beans? What is your go-to bean dish?

Photo courtesy of She Wears Many Hats.

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