Ultra Nutritious Bean Smoothies

Did you know you can turn beans into smoothies?   This is something I hadn’t explored until recently when Myra sent me some recipes.  Thank you Myra. 

But when you think about it, it shouldn’t sound that strange.  After all beans make creamy dips, ever heard of White Bean Dip?   So, it stands to reason that beans will make creamy smoothies.  You can use either white beans or black beans.  White beans pair well with yogurt, bananas and other fruits, while black beans go well with dark colors, such as chocolate. 

Nutrition

Beans are one of the most ancient of foods and also one of the most nutritious.  They are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber.  All beans pack a high dose of folate, B vitamins and iron which makes them an inexpensive and virtually fat-free source of protein.  Beans also contain lignans, phytoestrogens that may reduce the risk of cancer.  Recent studies have shown these legumes are also especially effective in preventing pancreatic, colon and prostate cancers.  They contain loads of fiber (both soluble and insoluble) which helps to lower blood sugar levels.  Researchers have found that eating beans is one of the secrets to a healthy, long life.

Dried or Canned?

You can use either dried or canned, provided the can is PBA free.   Cooking dried beans from scratch will give you the best results in your smoothies, but they do require extra time and planning.  Which is why having the canned variety in your pantry is a wonderful time saver when you are pushed for time.  Just remember to soak the beans first in a colander under cold running water.  Canning liquid contains a lot of sodium so you need to wash this away.

Buying and Storing

When buying dried beans look for beans that are largely unbroken and buy from a source that has a high turnover.   Once home, store them separately from older ones.  The older they are the longer they take to cook.  When stored correctly, in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place, they will stay fresh for up to a year.

How to Prepare Dried Beans

  1. First you need to soak your beans.   Rinse under cold running water then place in a large bowl.  Pour in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches.   Then leave to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.  Drain and rinse thoroughly.

  2. Place the soaked beans in a large pot and add fresh cold water, enough to cover the beans by about 2 inches.   Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until the beans are tender.   Your beans are cooked when they are easily squashed with your fingers.

  3. Once cooked your beans need to be stored correctly.  Cooked beans will keep for up to four days in the refrigerator or they are easily stored in the freezer.

How to Freeze your Beans

  • Once cooled, spread the cooked beans out on a cookie sheet covered with baking paper. 

  • Then place the tray in your freezer.  Once the beans have frozen, remove and seal them in individual freezer bags.

  • Cooked beans will keep for 12 months in your freezer.

Vanilla Bean Smoothie

vanilla bean smoothie

Ingredients

½ cup white beans
1 cup Greek-style yogurt
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons maple syrup

How to Make

Add the beans, yogurt, almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup to your blender.  Blend until all ingredients are smooth and creamy.

Pour into 2 glasses.


Mango White Bean Smoothie

mango and white bean smoothie

Ingredients

½ cup white beans
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 banana
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

How to Make

Place the white beans, frozen mango, banana, coconut milk and shredded coconut into your blender.  Turn your blender on and blitz until all the ingredients become creamy and smooth.

Pour into 2 glasses.


Cantaloupe Bean Smoothie

Cantaloupe Smoothie with white beans

Ingredients

½ cantaloupe, chopped
½ c white beans
½ c Greek yogurt
½ c almond milk
1 tablespoon grated ginger

How to Make

Cut the cantaloupe in half, remove the skin and chop into chunks.  Combine the cantaloupe, white beans, Greek yogurt, almond milk and grated ginger in your blender.  Blend on high until the ingredients are thick and creamy.

Makes two glasses.


Black Bean Chocolate Smoothie

black been chocolate smoothie with blueberries

Ingredients

½ cup black beans
½ cup frozen blueberries
½ cup almond milk
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon cacao
½ teaspoon cinnamon

How to Make

Put the black beans, frozen blueberries, almond milk, yogurt, cacao and cinnamon into your blender jug.   Blend until the frozen fruits are blended, then turn up to high and blitz until smooth and creamy.

This makes one large glass.  Double the ingredients for two.




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