Tinned beans and lentils are not only affordable and practical, they are also incredibly nutritious! One serving of legumes (around ½ a cup) contains a whopping 7-9g of dietary fibre and as much as 8g of protein. They also contain close to zero saturated fat and are a source of B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese and zinc! (1)
If the nutritional information is not enough to convince you to add some beans into your life, then maybe the research regarding the health benefits will. Growing bodies of research suggest that including legumes as part of a balanced diet may have a protective role in regards to chronic disease development, with higher intakes associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Their high-fibre component also makes them a great choice for those with blood sugar stabilisation issues and may also help to support satiety and weight management. (2)(3)
Examples that you can find in your local supermarket include: chickpeas, brown lentils, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, butter beans and four-bean mix. Yes, you can of course buy the dried legumes yourself, soak and then cook them but for many people this process is intimidating, so tinned varieties are a great alternative for the time-poor.
So, how to use these little powerhouses? Here are 8 simple ways with tinned legumes:
Add some plant-protein to your soups.
Love a veggie soup but find it doesn’t keep you full? You’re not alone! Adding a tin or two of rinsed legumes is an easy way to up the protein content. Simply blend them in once the soup has cooked for an instant boost.
Whip up some home-made hummus.
Making your own hummus at home is incredibly easy and also cost-effective. Try our Paprika Hummus.
Bulk up your bolognaise.
If you are making a bolognaise, a pot of chilli con carne or a curry, why not add a tin or two of lentils? This will help to increase the fibre content whilst adding bulk = more serves = more meals for the freezer!
Enjoy them on toast.
Our graphic designer Zoë is always sautéing some beans to have on toast for lunch. Her favourite combo: butter beans, red capsicum, shaved Brussels sprouts and a little bit of curry powder. Sauté it all together and serve on top of a crusty slice of sourdough. Goat’s cheese optional, but delicious.
Make a one-pan dinner.
We love our one-pan dinners here at JSHealth and legumes certainly make an appearance. Try our One-Pan Cumin Chickpea & Tzatziki or our One-Pan Moroccan Eggplant, Zucchini & Lentils.
Stuff your sweet potatoes with lentils.
There’s just something so comforting about a cooked sweet potato, filled with wholesome lentils, smashed avocado and soft, melted goat’s cheese. Get the recipe here.
Make a nourish bowl – Mexican style.
Black beans are super delicious and are the perfect addition to our JSHealth Mexican Bowl.
Enjoy a vegetarian curry.
Looking for a plant-based curry? You can find our Lentil & Cauliflower Curry in the JSHealth app. It’s an office favourite!
1. Polak R, Phillips E, Campbell A. Legumes: Health Benefits and Culinary Approaches to Increase Intake. Clinical Diabetes [Internet]. 2015;33(4):198-205. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4608274/
2. Mudryj A, Yu N, Aukema H. Nutritional and health benefits of pulses. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 2014;39(11):1197-1204.
3. Kim S, de Souza R, Choo V, Ha V, Cozma A, Chiavaroli L et al. The Effects of Dietary Pulse Consumption on Body Weight: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Canadian Journal of Diabetes. 2015;39:S58.