Oct 15, 2009

TOT Thursday - Save some beans!

Beans, beans, the magical fruit...the more you eat the more you....SAVE!

Silly, yes...but oh so true! Beans are the frugalista's magic wand when it comes to making meals that satisfy AND save money.

They are incredibly good for you - high in fiber, low glycemic index, and even full of antioxidants and vitamins! Beans also become a complete protein when combined with grains or dairy. Adding beans to your diet is equally good for your wallet - canned beans can be found for under $0.80 in almost all areas (one can is about 3.5 servings, $0.23 per serving). If you're REALLY resourceful, you can cook dried beans in your crockpot for around $0.08 per serving!

Don't like beans? My husband was a bean-ophobe because he didn't like the texture or the skins of some of the bigger bean varieties. Black beans are the least "intrusive" bean that I've found - the skins aren't thick and they have a very mild flavor, pleasing even to his picky palate! If you're more adventurous, do a quick search on Recipezaar.com or AllRecipes for bean concoctions and experiment with kidney beans, black eyed peas, fava veans, butter beans and chickpeas!

Some practical ideas to incorporate beans this week:

- Mash up some rinsed black beans and mix with your ground beef in any recipe. It will make the meat stretch further AND add healthy fiber to your dish!

- Toss chickpeas or kidney beans in your salad along with sesame seeds or shredded cheese instead of meat - the combination makes a complete protein.

- Make a super cheap dinner of beans (red or black) and rice - four servings will run you about $1.75!

- Just about any broth- or tomato-based soup will benefit from the addition of beans, they add flavor and heartiness! Or break out your crockpot and find out how easy it is to make great chili! Substitute half the meat with beans (I prefer kidney or black).

- Have beans for breakfast - peanuts are a legume! PB on toast is a super healthy way to start your day.

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