Beans are a healthy, versatile, and affordable ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are five of our favorite ways to use beans in your cooking.
1. Add them to soups and stews.
Beans are a great way to add heartiness and creaminess to soups and stews without adding any fat. Just cook your beans until they’re soft, then add them to your soup or stew along with some broth or water to thin them out. Pureeing some of the beans will also help thicken the soup or stew.
2. Make a bean dip.
Bean dips are a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional dips like sour cream and onion dip or guacamole. To make a bean dip, simply combine cooked beans, spices, and other flavorings (like salsa or lime juice) in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Serve with chips, crackers, or vegetables for dipping.
3. Use them as a replacement for meat.
Beans make a great meat replacement in dishes like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and chili. They’re high in protein and fiber and low in fat, making them a healthy option for those looking to cut back on meat consumption. Plus, they’re much cheaper than meat, so you can save some money too! Simply cook the beans until they’re soft, then add them to your favorite recipe in place of the meat.
4. Side Dishes
In addition to soups and salads, beans make great side dishes. They’re especially good with rice dishes like pilafs and risottos. Black beans, garbanzo beans, and lima beans are all excellent choices for side dishes.
5. Baked Goods
You might not think of beans as an ingredient in baked goods, but they actually work quite well in many recipes. For example, black bean brownies are a delicious way to get your chocolate fix while getting some extra fiber at the same time. Other baked goods that can be made with beans include muffins, cookies, and even cake!
So there you have it—five ways to use beans in your cooking! We hope you’ll give them a try next time you’re in the kitchen. Happy cooking!