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I don't know beans,


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Initial post: Apr 21, 2009 8:11:41 AM PDT
about beans.
I want to add more lowfat fiber to our diet (me and DH, in our 50s) and beans or legumes sound like a good way to do it.

Unfortunately my repetoire is limited to Bush Vegetarian Beans, No-fat refried beans, lentil stew, split pea soup, and 5 bean salad.

Do you have any good tasting recipes, without "hot" additives. I have a strong physical reaction to chili and other hot foods.

I would also be interested in any bean cookbooks you recommend.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 9:51:22 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 21, 2009 9:53:55 AM PDT]

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 9:53:40 AM PDT
vegTX says:
(For whatever reason, my post got cut off. Here it is again.)

I don't have any experience with all-bean cookbooks, but I did find out how to search for them on here. Here's the link to the results: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=node%3D1000%2C6&field-keywords=beans&x=0&y=0.

You might try black bean soup and red beans and rice. I don't have a recipe for either, but I'm sure you could find one on allrecipes.com or somewhere similar. They're both easy to make, and while I love everything with a little extra heat, I know that they're good without it, too. My parents like a pea salad, which is a cold, mayo-based salad, like potato salad. My mom makes it with fat free mayo and FF cheese, and they love it, although it's not my thing. She also makes a baked bean casserole of sorts, with baked beans, dijon mustard, brown sugar, low fat ground meat, and worcestershire sauce, I think.

Also, it might be of some use to look through some vegetarian cookbooks at your local library. I've been vegetarian for eight or nine years, and some of the cookbooks have whole sections on beans.

I hope this gives you some ideas. :)

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 8:46:45 AM PDT
Thanks Amanda, I already did that. Did you notice there were over nine thousand listed? :) Rather than wade through them I tried a shortcut. Checking out the library is a good idea.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2009 9:19:13 AM PDT
Get "The Brilliant Bean" by Sally and Martin Stone--old, out of print but still the best.especially the cake recipes--absolutely glorious cakes--which use beans instead of flour.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 9:50:40 AM PDT
I actually have a book called: "If you don't know beans about beans, or even if you do..." It's put out by the St Paul-Ramsey County Nutrition Program and printed by the Minnesota Dept of Health. You might check your library to see if they can get it for you.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 12:22:54 PM PDT
Sonal Bagga says:
Bean cutlets/burgers is one excellent recipe for most sturdy beans. You'll find many recipes for that.

Also, a bean/rice pilaf is good with yogurt.

And have you tried red bean buns at a chinese restaurant, they are a wonderful not-so-sweet dessert. Yum!

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 5:06:38 PM PDT
home cooking, how 'into' beans are you. I tend to have 'winters of . . .' stir fry, Borscht, minestrone, stews, casseroles, etc. One was a 'winter of beans' -- in essence, the idea is to take a theme, and work it to death -- I am single, so I LOVE to cook but not clean -- so this way I can chose a 'subject' and then work it to death -- and so I prep for 20-40 minutes and eat for a week -- or more. I am one of those intiitive cooks -- but I can say that because each bean is different -- there are many ways to deal with beans -- from stone dry in a pressure cooker to ready to serve bean soup in less than an hour, to various meats and beans --- so, if you are really serious, I can share a bit with you -- but it will be a lot of extraneous information -- sorry, just the way I write. It takes time to put something together, so if you are serious, I can be too!

let me know -- And, trust me when I tell you that absolutely the best thing you can ever buy for beans is the brand name Khun-Rikon pressure cooker -- and here's why -- I learned of it from a friend who's a beach bum in the south pacific where often fuel is more precious than water. at about $150 for a 5 or 7 liter pressure cooker, you don't want to make a mistake -- she saved the price of the pressure cooker twice over the first year in gas alone. the other reason is that it's DEAD SILENT. yikes! -- and for example -- I can put in three GIANT artichokes, 3-5 TABLE SPOONS of water -- and get all but the outer leaves so soft, that I can eat the entire leaf, like you do the inside leaves right before the stickers and heart. Total time cooking? about 15 minutes, that's about how long it takes me to cut the hooks off every leaf and wash them! -- the only problem is he 'heart' and stem, it gets a bit over done. but have you EVER eaten an artichoke heart that's say three maybe four rows in COMPLETELY and enjoyed it? Me either. So -- if you are doing beans that's about the only piece of equiptment you need. Also, don't forget EVERY BEAN SPROUTS! -- but there's something right on the tip of my brain that won't come out!! -- besides saying that you'll often need to use many varieties, so a very large aluminum bowl from wally world for about $5 is also handy for mixing beans -- I'm 4 beans short of my traditional basic 'mix' and that is 30 different beans this year -- it ranges on what's on sale, and our local IGA (independant grocers association) store has beans at 2/3d's off!!! -- and so I have 30 one pound bags (or will have) plus I add a couple of extra pounds for a more 'soft' soup - navy bean = hard bean, black bean = soft bean. And then I have hard and soft mixes, and red mix, white mix and black mix -- most involve lentils as well - so you can make a beans that are basically a given color -- and use them as beds for various other foods -- white beans and winter greens on them, or red beans with sliced beets -- many different things can go on a bean -- black beans with white chicken meat or fish --

But I tend to stay with the multi-bean mix -- and never soak your beans and throw out the water!!!! -- wash them -- OK, but to keep minerals and nutrients and such -- do not soak -- you can get rid of farts by growing the right bacteria in your gut -- soaking is a myth -

so if you are serious, let me know - and I'll tell you some of what you might want to know. but if you aren't that serious, it will save us both a lot of time!

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 1:36:36 PM PDT
Desert Girl says:
Books: Haven't really tried the other bean books mentioned, but I do own one that's fairly handy. It's the "Lean Bean Cuisine" book by Jay Solomon. On the cover is a quote from the Vegetarian Times about it, so at some point that magazine must have reviewed it.

But, as you have access to a computer, why not just look at one of the many recipe websites out there? One that I use frequently (can I mention it here?) is Recipezaar. It has a well-developed filter system that allows users to actually choose ingredients, type of cuisine, type of diet (low fat, low cal, low cholesterol, lactose free, etc), cooking/baking technique and probably at least a million other combos.

I am sure you could also find many recipes at the many, many, vegetarian/vegan websites out there.

And as far as "hot" goes, you can always adjust the spices and seasonings to fit your tastes. My husband & I find that most main course recipes are far too "tame" for our tastes, so we just add in a little more "heat" to most recipes.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 5:54:56 PM PDT
when you add 'heat' remember that it is like an addiction -- what was hot enough to blow the top off your head about 3 months ago, is not not even enough to raise your eye brows now. And that I always tell people that heat is a flavor, not a contest -- so keep it within YOUR bounds of comfort. Also, all peppers, or the way a company handles their peppers are not equal -- and example is the Habanlero -- (sp) -- one brand, 'try me' brand -- makes a title called "yuccatan sunshine' and I have it as a staple sauce -- it's a mild warm sauce that's a bit sweet, Hell Fire and Damnation -- also uses it, but it's about a step higher in heat content on the heatometer what ever it's called -- it DOES have a real name.

So -- you do need to get used to the different heats - every pepper will warm -- at a different speed, and to a different 'heat' a different part of your mouth -- the secret is to create a series of sauces which warm different parts of your mouth at different rates -- some will warm the top of your tongue -- other's won't touch it, but will put a warm glow on the UPPER part of your palate, leaving the tongue completely untouched. So to start, try Tobassco red and green -- and their cipotle is done in maple, a very strange combination for me -- I tend to go for Chipotle more in a different than maple smoke -- like misquite which is the traditional smoke --

Now here's a condiment I'm stealing from a cookbook I no longer remember the name of, and the author gave credit to someone else -- maybe moosewood, I'm not sure -- but get a can of MEXICAN Chipotle -- a small can -- then take out ONE pepper and mash it in a bowl with about half a teaspoon of the sauce the pepper came in, I use Embassa brand -- but others will work -- now add that to one cup of WHOLE MILK YOGURT -- PLAIN. If it doesn't say 'low fat' then it's whole milk -- if you like goat yogurt -- try it there -- and so you put ONE chipotle pepper smashed with half a TEA spoon into ONE CUP of Yogurt. Mix it well, and put it in the refer to chill if it's warm enough for you.

DO NOT EVER -- !!!EVER!!!! TAKE EVEN A DROP OFF THE END OF THE SPOON TO SEE WHAT A CHIPOTLE TASTES LIKE -- it really will destroy your taste buds for about half an hour --I was once told that anything over a heat of 5 is too much. so you can go to 5.9, but at 6 you have blown out your taste buds for part of the day.

Now before you put it in the refer to cool down add a bit more sauce and pepper by the HALF -- (you hot pepper people, go by the ones) I just don't want to scare people off -- and adjust the flavor of heat to YOUR mouth so it is 'al dente' to you -- meaning it fits YOUR mouth or YOUR tooth.

when you serve it, serve it as a glop on the side of the individuals bowl -- and they can draw it out into the beans or bean soup by as little or as much as they wish.

It will give you a "Hot-Cool-Sweet-Sour-Smokey flavor" (if I remember their quote that made me try it) -- and now it is a staple in my house -- for extra sour, use a goat yogurt -- and for extra cool, put it in your freezer and just make sure it doesn't freeze just get's very chill - it will warm up once it sits on the beans for a bit -

When you see a hot sauce -- see or ask how hot it is -- I can take a tablespoon of red Tabasco and sip it as is, and I'm OK, but it's taken years -- when I make about a gallon of beans, I'll often use the measure of 'ten shakes'. or "15 shakes" -- of about between 5 adn 10 standard sauces I always have around - plus I'll always have some other 'hot' sauces around -- and remember 'hot' comes in many forms -- one I use is a wasabi-scotch bonnet-horseradish SALAD dressing -- made by a fruit stand in a town about 45 miles from here. And only twice a year -- so when i see it, I grab about four or five bottles, and keep them at the back of the refer because they don't have a preservative other than citric acid from lemons and a little orange. So keep your eyes open at farmer markets, or road-side stands, they often have some amazing 'hot sauces' in several different forms. And many places will allow you to taste them -- they will have a squeeze bottle like a plastic mustard bottle labeled with what kind of sauce is in it - and the proper way to taste if there is not something like a cracker or old bread around, is to drip a little on the back web of your thumb between the thumb and your pointer finger -- and lick it -- that way the end of the bottle never comes into contact with your skin or your mouth -- or anyone else's -- I often have a couple of small plastic spoons in the center console of my truck that they can drip some into for me to taste -- and be careful, some have not learned that it's not a contest -- and also -- when I make my 'cup' of yogurt -- i make two cups, one for me and some of my friends using five chipotle peppers and some sauce -- and one with about one and a half chipotle peppers and two tea spoons of sauce --- but it's a lot easier to start low and slow before you break out in a sweat and your mouth is on fire and nothing will quench it -- that will happen if you try chipote pepper straight -- even now, when I think I can make a reasonably hot soup -- I won't even touch a chipotle with my skin -- let alone put one in my mouth without a buffering or diluting agent - after all -- it's about enjoying your food.

Another thing to think about with beans, is the use of vinegars -- REAL vinegars -- and I'd suggest a few kinds of apple cider, a wine vinegar or two or three -- and the top of the list is a good balsamic -- and yes they ARE expensive, but you only need a drop -- and they can be used in salad too -- my favorite brand is Ella and it's about $30-$40 a bottle or so. and it DOES take but a drop.

Soon you will also master the taste of vinegar in your beans -- and do get at least one or two with 'live' mothers in them -- first, you can keep a vinegar going for a long time -- on your own -- and second, if you put some in a cheese or cotton covered bottle with some left over wine from your guests -- starting in about 3-4 months and doing nothing but makeing sure you scoop off any green looking penicillin mold -- (I've never had any, but I've heard it can happen) you will have a VERY good vinegar that makes anything you buy in the store taste like poo.

when the mother looks hungry -- you can tell -- just add some more wine -- preferably red -- and the mother will perk up and go to town! It's a good thing!

so there you go -- Oh -- and cayenne -- replace it every six months - I date my spices and replace any open bottle every six months and replace my entire cupboard every year -- things do lose their volatile oils -- So -- I'm very happy when cooking with fresh herbs, and if I have to buy store bought dried herbs -- I make sure that the full flavor is there -- cayanne is one of those peppers that is very complex in it's flavor -- and old cayanne is just hot, with nothing to recommend it over any other kind of hot -- and a lot to recommend something ELSE in it's place! so keep it fresh, and keep your dried fresh too!

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 7:48:51 AM PDT
Paul,
as I said in my first post, I only have about 5 bean dishes I make. I will order Pasta fagoli, but I only tried making it once. If I could get 5 more recipes DH and I both like, that would be great. I don't think I could ever get used to the hot stuff. Even the mild ones give me a chemical "burn" on the tip of the tongue, and the roof of the mouth--yes I've even gotten blisters. Then about an hour later I get a sharp pain in the lower abdomin. Wasabi and vinegar I can do. Maybe I should be looking towards Mediterranian bean dishes rather than Tex-Mex.

Well Desert Girl, I do use the internet, but I prefer my cookbooks for recipes.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 6:58:13 PM PDT
Homecooking -- I started a post and it got long, so I'm going to have to finish it off line, I like to research things I say to make sure that they are true -- like soaking stops farts -- not true -- the National Library of Medicine says so -- but yogurt will work NOW and all you have to do is make sure it is 'live culture' and it's like giving your body a vaccination of the good beasties that live in your intestine -- also you'll want to eat with some grain -- wheat, corn, etc -- to make ALL the protein and nutrients available to you.

I think your idea of moving to a Mediterranean food style is an exceptional idea. If you can take the hot of wasabi and horseradish, yet your mouth burns and blisters with even the most mild hot sauce -- it may be that you are having a mild allergic reaction to capsaicin, the chemical in hot peppers that make them hot. and it's a shame because it boosts the immune system, and helps kill off both virus's and both prevents tumors and also helps kill tumors that are already growing -- (you can replace 'tumor' with the word cancer and it's still true) and it helps many of the chemo-therapy medicines work better and faster -- in short, it gives your immune system a kick in the butt) but many other plants do the same, like Aloe vera -- so there is a replacement part for you when you need it.

I do have to say that what I see on the web falls into two camps: the veggie/vegan camp, and the 'fiber' camp. And many pages, especially those written by the extremes of each camp are full of complete misunderstandings -- and I would have to also use the word 'lies' as well. and probably over all, the vegans have more misinformation that the other two camps -- but middle of the road veggies seem to be the best source -- but all you really have to worry about is getting pesticides and preservatives off the beans, and that means washing under HARD running water - it doesn't wash stuff off the outside like it does with say brown rice, and gets rid of dust and dirt and insect parts and pesticide and fumigants and preservatives - and check your beans for rocks, not a lot of that anymore, but it only takes a minute to check a bag for a small rock or clod of dirt - and only one small rock can cost your over a thousand in dental work, and you can't sue because they told you to look. And 'bad' beans float - so put beans in cold water and bad beans will float tot he top use a small strainer to get rid of them -- and you've found the bad ones without having to look at every bean one-at-a-time!

And salt does make the skin tougher, so it will stay on if you want different colored beans - otherwise it falls off and becomes part of the fiber and makes the runny water a nice thick broth -- lentils will do the same thing.

And I have to say, not just because I cook northern Italian very well and was raised on that diet, I also live in California where the blending of cultures is amazing, so don't forget that the Mediterranean doesn't stop at Italy or Greece, it goes all the way around through the middle east and North Africa -- so Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and of course Eastern Europe like Croatia, Bosnia etc -- and don't forget Spain, Turkey and Syria -- you have an entire continent to mix and match from --so that insight was brilliant! -- really. and, or course, just a camels or mules ride away is India and an entirely different set of meals that are good enough to keep hundreds of millions of people alive!

so I am impressed at your world vision - and the wonderful food that you can add to your beans -- beef is around of course since they all have their own cheeses --- but lamb is too -- and large and small chickens - and lots of fish - and if you don't like their fish, you can always use salmon -- so while I finish (a day or two perhaps) I'll leave you with this page -- it's a handy sight, and I've bookmarked it -- started a recipe, got a phone call, then side tracked, and now I have to run the dogs while theres light -- they are sled dogs, so if they don't get their minimum of 3-5 miles a day, my life becomes a nightmare. when you to them a day without mushing is a day without the sun! -- and they all smile so wonderfully -- it makes MY day too -- and I just take care of the abandoned and abused or sick OLD dogs -- and so some can go a quarter mile, and others 6-10, but until the snow melts I'm stuck with a 4-5 mile route and we switch from one to the other so they don't get bored.

In the mean time, here's a page you will find very useful to bookmark, and play with their links out -- and you may well learn a lot more than I'll ever know from this one page:

http://www.foodsubs.com/Beans.html

OH! one thing to think about is that many of your countries which used to be part of the Persian Empire use fruits a lot -- I know I had a multiple course meal at a friends house and so I got my eyes REALLY opened as to the possibility of what goes with what -- let me mention two things before I run off: 1) the food I got was 'special' food for company, and 2) one of the main dishes was 'fruit stew'.

so -- you don't have to stop at thinking about seasoning by spice, you can think about seasoning by fruit - say orange or mellon -- maybe just something like northern and large lima beans with orange zest and a bit of sugar --

just a seed to plant.

and beans need a grain to allow complete digestion and up-take of nutrients -- but you might want to cook the grain on the side -- and add it to the portion that you are eating -- grains left in liquid overnight act as sponges and soak up the liquid and become very soggy -- and HUGE -- so,if you add grains at the time of serving, you won't have the problem, you CAN cook them together, but any left overs will also be over the hill by morning --

now I must run! -- well, the dogs must!

enjoy the page: http://www.foodsubs.com/Beans.html

you may learn a lot --

and if no one has told you, you can back up, if you look at the url address above, you see the forward slash 'beans' -- try backing up one slash at a time - sometimes you can find amazing sites that way -- and this does not disappoint -- http://www.foodsubs.com/

and "Ingredient of the Month: this month is braised cabbage!! -- "Braised red cabbage goes well with apples, onions, nuts, and red wine, and it makes an excellent bed for pork, duck, and salmon. Choose firm, shiny heads that are as dark as possible. Don't overcook red cabbage or you'll sacrifice flavor and vitamins." Whoda thunk! and from that site under 'stick vegetables' - ever wonder what a hear of palm was? the center of a palm tree? yeah, maybe. BUT: These are peeled cabbage palm buds!!!! CABBAGE!!!!???? OR Palm???? but that's easy to find out -- I'll bet it's closer to cabbage than palm -- but it seems like a good site -- and fair in its descriptions -- and warnings.

Good luck, and I'll have a couple of killer recipes --= and one thing that slows me down is I am a 'creative' cook, ie, I don't measure -- and that can drive people crazy, so I am trying to come close and either give exact amounts, or describe amounts, since sometimes the amount varies depending upon something as extraneous as the size of the bottom of the bowl compared to it's height!!!! -- I never knew that until today when I was doing a literal 'dry run' and when I came to imaginary celery -- I had no clue, it's done by the ratio of the bottom of the bowl compared to it's height and circumference!

you are makeing me learn a lot -- thank you. I haven't been this happy in a long time -- and it's a good break -- I'm on an extended sabbatical -- it's cheaper for the U to hire a sub than to pay me my full salary -- so I may well retire and never see my office except to clear it out! -- each year they extend it and I find that what started as a simple research project is turning into a history book!!!

So thank you Homecooking -- you have made me a very happy man and have literally made my day! THANK YOU!

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 5:59:48 AM PDT
Paul, thank you for spending so much time on this! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I enjoy learning new things too, and I also cook by how things "look". DH sometimes complains because I'll change a recipe the first time I try it, but if I know we don't like one ingredient much, but like another a lot, why not change the amounts? I have learned that exact portions matter more in baking. I'll look at those sites.

One of our neighbors is from Syria, and he made the most amazing salad, must have had 20 or more chopped vegetables and beans in it. Then his wife made something called Texas Caviar, but without the jalapenos. Corn, green peppers, black eyed peas, and black beans were the main ingredients, along with a sweet/spicy dressing. I liked it a lot, but DH wasn't enthusiastic, so I haven't made it myself.

Thanks again.

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 8:11:34 PM PDT
simple recipe. red beans, orange juice, brown sugar and star anise.
yum with brown rice.

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2009 8:42:17 AM PDT
I ordered copoy of "The Brilliant Bean" off ebay after reading your recommendation. Can't wait to try it.

Posted on May 2, 2009 10:30:21 AM PDT
I found 2 recipes online I'm trying this week. I just made Pork tenderloin, kale, and white bean soup. I'm going to let the flavors mingle before serving it for dinner tonight. The other recipe is for a mediterranian bean salad, which should make a good side dish later this week. Haven't made it to the library yet.

Posted on May 5, 2009 10:50:23 AM PDT
vegTX says:
homecooking,

You might see if your library has a copy of the Sonoma Diet book when you go. It's a Mediterranean-style "diet," but it seems to emphasize whole, real foods. My boyfriend's mom likes it a lot, and she's always liked to cook. The recipes that she's made when we've been over have all been good, and many focus on or include beans.

Don't overlook, too, that most libraries are part of a citywide or countywide library system. Browsing the selections online (at home or in the library--the librarians are always happy to help) can open up multitudes of options that might not be physically on the shelf at your branch, but are available to you by request. This is always a nice feature when you're looking for something specific. Here in Houston, there may be ten or fifteen vegetarian cookbooks in any given branch, but a hundred or more between the different branches. (Always something new to try, or at least browse!) We also have the luxury of having access to both city and county library systems, which is really great.

Amanda

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2009 5:08:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 13, 2009 4:50:24 PM PDT
"Do you have any good tasting recipes, without "hot" additives. I have a strong physical reaction to chili and other hot foods."

I buy Food Club brand Navy and Great Northern beans. These do not have the problems I experience with other beans. I sometiimes puree up a can of the great northern beans and use them in recipes calling for bean flour and some other liquid. But, my favorite is this:

Snip 1 slice of bacon into 1/4" pieces and saute with grated (or dired minced) onion, some garlic (or garlic powder) a bit of finely grated carrot and some pepper - - no salt, the bacon will be enough. When cooked, I add 2-3 cans of navy beans (with liquid) and 1 C. of tomato juice. Cook, stirring about 20 minutes - - this tastes like that well-known (Camp____) Bean w/Bacon many of us ate as kids.

Also, if one is diabetic, beans are a good way to keep one's blood sugar in better check - - this from a diabetic newsletter I get. I am not diabetic, but I have family who are and I keep still need to keep my blood sugar in check.

Good luck to you.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2009 10:27:52 AM PDT
J says:
I am so pleased that I stumbled upon this thread. So much good information. I am looking forward to looking at the website you recommended also.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2009 10:37:53 AM PDT
Lizzie B says:
I love the sound of the Chipotle/Yoghurt condiment. I am definitely going to try it.

Posted on May 13, 2009 10:29:46 AM PDT
Judy S. says:
Here comes some nice warm weather - a perfect time to make Greek White Bean Salad. I love it. Use Navy Beans: One of the highest-fiber, lowest-fat foods available, and the richest source of vegetable protein. Delicious & Nutritious!
This makes about 1 ½ quarts of salad in 4 easy steps:

1. Step One: Cook beans.
Soak ½ lb navy beans in cold water overnight. They will double in size.
Rinse, cover with fresh water, simmer about 1 hour until tender.
Rinse and drain them.

2. Step Two: Mix beans with:
1 cup fresh chopped parsley
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
½ cup diced cucumber
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup chopped fresh tomato
¼ cup sliced black olives
(I also add ¼ cup each of chopped celery and sliced pepperoncini)

3. Step Three: Make the dressing.
Wisk together:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Oregano
¼ tsp Pepper
(I add dill too, about ½ tsp)

Step Four: Mix the dressing with the bean salad and Refrigerate. (It's also very good warmed up!

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2009 10:35:54 AM PDT
JusyS. Why do you rinse the beans after you soak them?

Posted on May 13, 2009 10:37:56 AM PDT
woops! sorry Judy -- I really CAN copy a name! This is the first time in from the yard today, haven't gotten the pruners out of my fingers or they keyboard in -- yet! thanks!

Posted on May 13, 2009 1:17:09 PM PDT
RE: DIABETES. I really like people to learn to do their own research because with all the herbs and 'hippie medicine' out there, some is valid and some in not valid and some is hogwash and some will kill you. If you know where to go to look up stuff, it helps. I know that in some Universities Post Doctoral work in Alternative Therapies can take up to 8 or 10 more years of your life -- and that is 8 or 10 years you are not makeing the income of the average physician in the US -- this is shocking! ($125,000/year -- really, that's how much your average GP makes AFTER expenses yikes!)

So, Some call me the Aloe Vera Kid because Aloe Vera, aspirin, and green tea are three of the most amazing drugs we have around as far as keeping us health or getting us healthy. All that said -- when I i saw a post about diabetes, I went right to med line to see if there was a very simply worded study to make the point that aloe vera works. And the first study I pulled up was the one:

"The Aloe[Vera] produced a dose-dependent reduction in the blood glucose in blood glucose levels. It also compared well with the effect of insulin. CONCLUSION: This study shows that Aloe [Vera] has significant activity on glucose levels in rats and this, therefore, confirms the claims by traditional healers that this plant has anti-diabetic effects."

(from Central African Journal of Medicine. 2005 Nov-Dec;51(11-12):115-20. and the study was done by Gundidza M, Masuku S, Humphrey G, Magwa ML. who work at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Zimbabwe, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe.
The pubmed number is 17447343 so when you go to:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

and put in 1744343 -- you can read that one abstract.

And one from the dept of biochem, at a University in Inidia (2006):

"Thus, the results of the present study provide a scientific rationale for the use of Aloe Vera as an antidiabetic agent.
PMID: 16487267

"Only [Aloe] vera leaf gel extract showed improvement both in histological and biochemical parameters suggesting a protective effect of A. vera on mild damage caused by type-II diabetes on kidney tissue."
PMID: 15274480

So why is this in the 'beans' section -- well many diabetics use beans -- and so it's a way to reach out to them -- and to them through others -- and say -- Well that Salad by Judy S. had a bunch of sugar in it -- BUT -- after you do research, IF you
AND your Doc decided that Aloe Vera MIGHT be of value -- you might be able to make -- and EAT -- that salad.

Again -- the address you might want to book mark is:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

Just enter the terms you are looking for - and it might take awhile for example 'beans' returned over 40, 000 hits.

BUT "Beans and Protection" returned 2, 006 hits -- I didn't know what beans might prevent -- so I thought well 'prevention' might be a place to start -- bingo! second abstract says:

"CONCLUSIONS: Individuals who reduced added sugar intake by the equivalent of 1 can of soda per day or increased fiber intake by the equivalent of a cup of beans showed improvements in key risk factors for type 2 diabetes, specifically in insulin secretion and visceral fat. Improvements occurred independent of group assignment and were equally likely to occur in control group participants."
PMID: 19349560

You may notice that many of the studies are not done in America -- it's because we ARE a world community -- and weather or not you are for or against "BIG PHARMA" - they are the ones doing the research to find what PART of a bean or of Aloe Vera is responsible for doing good things for your body. And while America does good research, all of the research done here is honest, real science, and is published in real journals -- the standards for scientific research are universal, so any study done in India, or China, or Turkey, or Spain, or Zaire, or the Congo, or Bolivia (one of the 'origins' of the bean) they are just as valid as any study done in England or America or any other English speaking country -- scientific standards are the same.

I was listening to NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross this morning (13 may 2009) and in the last half hour segment she was speaking with a former FDA commissioner David Kessler. He mentioned how 'fast food' sets down a neural pathway that imprints itself on the brain and that it is this neural pathway which makes it so difficult to just stop eating when we are full. Specifically the ingredients responsible for this neural level craving for 'more', even after we are full, are Sugar, Salt, and Fat. He mentioned that because it is a biological part of our brain, children 'learn' it, and can't ever forget it. And gave some examples of restaurant food that might sound healthy, but is really [paraphrased] "fat on fat with sugar on sugar sprinkled with salt". So I did a quick look at recipes here at various amazon sites, and then thought through some of my 'secrets' of makeing a 'good' meal -- and with NO exceptions found that ALL contained what might be excessive amounts of fat, sugar, and salt. An example is I use a pressure cooker a lot -- "grandmas micro-wave" -- and find that when I cook rice or beans I'll always put in a bit of olive oil to keep the 'foaming' down and all the safety valves functional. All that's really necessary is a tiny spash to break up the bubbles in the foam. I'll put down a puddle a few inches across and it it's a simple multi-bean dish -- say something like Anazai and mung and black beans, I'll sneak in a little pat of butter and a pinch of large grained salt to really bring out the flavor - if I use tomato sauce, my Italian Grandmother had always taught me that if you put a pinch of sugar in the sauce it really mellows that acid flavor some tomatoes get and brings out the 'real' tomato flavor - and heck, I GROW my own tomatoes! -- and a favorite salad at the table was:
1-2 cups cooked and rinsed Cannellini ('white pinto' or 'Italian White Bean')
red onions,
sweet white onions,
sliced tomatoes of various sizes and colors,
pealed and sliced cucumber,
1 large leaf of very coarsely chopped Basil for each tomato.

You marinade it in 2 parts sweet apple cider vinegar and 1 part red wine vinegar (REAL red wine, not fake as in white vinegar with food coloring and preferably a Merlot or Sauvignon wine vinegar) to half the volume of a fresh extra virgin olive oil (so it still has the 'peppery' taste to it) and add one and a half pinches of sugar for every pound of tomato you use and a pinch of large grained salt for every tomato. You make enough marinade sauce to just barely cover the ingredients perhaps by about a quarter of an inch. The salad is 'prefect' when the beans absorb enough marinade to swell just enough to break through the top of the marinade sauce. (They would make it in a glass Jar on it's side and gently roll it every so often, and would store it in a cool cellar or a 'water box' where a spring overflowed) -- and marinate it in the refrigerator for at least four hours, turning it (GENTLY) in a plastic bag. She would often let it set longer, up to overnight -- and there was rarely any left to store, but with the vinegar, I would give it many days of storage, but the vinegar will also start breaking down the crispness of the cucumbers and onions and mush up the tomatoes because of it's acid content).

When serving use two DROPS of balsamic vinegar on each plate, one drop placed on 2 slices of tomato that are on opposite sides of the plate (and here we are talking REAL 12-20 year old Balsamic vinegar that says "Traditional" (in Italian) on the label. (and yes, expensive at $30+ a bottle, but you are using only 8 drops for 4 entire reasonably large plates of salad.)

It's pretty darned good on a warm summers evening. It's almost a complete meal right there: beans, onions, tomato, cucumber (and I've also seen it made with strips of celery, and fresh Italian wax beans (green, yellow, and purple). But look at what you have done: you have added FAT (olive oil) SALT, and SUGAR -- and because you marinate them, you are putting these things INSIDE the beans, tomato, onion, and cucumber. I never realized that until I started to think about Judy's bean salad - (really no offense Judy, just an example) it has sugar in it -- and just as the sugar in the salad above that SOUNDS VERY healthy -- there they are -- the Tri-lateral paring of fat-salt-sugar -- and I'll bet Judy's salad tastes as amazing as the salad I make from my Italian Grandmother -- who came to America in her mid 20's back in the late Teens. So even as far back as her grandmother we were makeing the salad using fat-salt-sugar -- and of course you serve some of the sauce that's been created through the osmosis of marinating over the salad before you put on the balsamic vinegar. Notice how everything is based around the tomato as a unit of measurement. And now wonder if fast food is just what we want and crave on a biological and neurological level only fast food has super-charged the fat-salt-sugar so that it imprints that much more on our brains -- and thus our waist lines! -- So I do it too Judy -- and I'll be a lot of us do, and don't know why -- I never knew that those things were hard-wired into our brains -- No WONDER my favorite 'comfort food' is slightly over cooked in heavily salted water pasta shells with olive oil AND butter AND salt AND fresh ground coarse pepper AND a hard goat chesse grated over it -- salt with fat and fat and salt and more fat with salt on starch! YIKES!!!!

like my tag line says: The more you learn, the more you want to scream! (said to me by a very bright schizophrenic student when he left my lab after a particularly difficult day).

thanks for letting me use you for an example Judy -- I used me too -- this is a place to learn a lot -- and suddenly today a LOT of information came together!!! -- and like the commissioner said: it's hard wired into our brain at a VERY early age, but then fast food just super-charges it -- and makes the cravings even greater -- so when we eat, we often eat more than what fills us and what tastes good needs fat and salt and sugar to make it that way!

I'm mostly a veggie -- and last night I put on some beans and rice to go with some winter greens I have left in the garden and are bolting -- so I got hungry and made a hamburger out of some meat i feed my dogs pills in - I was STUFFED before I finished the hamburger -- and I was using our local IGA's super lean version of their hamburger the only fat is in the meat, they cut it ALL away from the outside before they grind it -- and honestly I had to give it to my dogs to finish with no room for a bowl of rice and beans and winter greens! POWERFUL stuff that fat-salt-sugar combination! Take the bean and if you supercharge it - say with a smoked or BBQ'd ham hock -- it's a darned good tasting, quite powerful meal!!!

Posted on May 13, 2009 1:58:27 PM PDT
Judy S. says:
Hi Paul. I rinse the beans after soaking them because once I find a recipe that works, I stick to it like glue; and this one works. I've seen comments here that say rinsing washes away nutritients, so I might (just might) depart from that next time... :)
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