Tag Archives: folate

Flora’s seasonal recipe: comforting lentils

9 Nov

One of my favorite foods growing up was lentils (yes, it’s true!).

My mom used to make lentils with olive oil, sprinkle of parmigiano regiano and a dash of salt. I always treasured the times that she made this dish, as it always made feel great.

Eating these lovely legumes on a cold fall or winter day, warmed me up, and lifted my spirits. It made me feel calm, centered and healthfully full.

Every time I ate a bowl of lentils, I could feel my iron levels increase dramatically, as my mom would always tell me how high in iron they were. Popeye and I had some things in common! Women need a good amount of iron, and I always turned to lentils instead of taking an iron supplement.

Little did I know that lentils not only contained high level of iron, they also contain protein, fiber, folate and magnesium which are great for building muscle, improving digestion, strengthening your nervous system, and improving blood circulation. Go lentils!

A bowl of lentils is one of the easiest recipes out there, so get excited for these very short directions! To make the meal more balanced you can always mix it up with some brown rice, quinoa or add it into tomato sauces, and pastas.

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

Directions:
Bring your water to a boil, add lentils. Lower to a simmer, and cook for 30-40 minutes (depending on the lentils you use). Once cooked, and water fully absorbed, add your lentils to your favorite bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, then mix. Top with fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese, a dash of salt. Sit and savor each bite.

“Let things taste of what they are.”
-Alice Waters

our love affair with beans

2 May

8035456049_0801afba3fHere at Butter Beans, we truly love our beans!

You may have wondered where we came up with the name Butter Beans? Our co-founder and CEO, Belinda grew up in North Carolina on a farm and used to shell butter beans with her grandmother. This experience stood out to her as one of her fondest food memories. Butter beans are extremely nutrient dense and delicious, and were one of Belinda’s favorite foods she enjoyed as a child. Now these beans have come to embody our mission of feeding children nutritious foods at lunch-time, teaching children about nutrition, and the skills to cook up homemade meals for themselves and their families.

Beans are an excellent source of protein, are filled with fiber, vitamin B, folate and minerals like iron, potassium and zinc. Eating beans helps keep your heart, circulation, blood pressure and digestion strong! They make a great addition to most dishes; mixed into rice or quinoa, tossed into salads, blended into dips, sculpted into patties, stewed in soups, and spiced up to make a tasty chili.

Buying them in a can is great for saving time (always rinse the beans in a colander after opening the can to remove some of the sodium, and look for cans that are BPA free), however, buying them dry then soaking and cooking them on your own can save you money and time too (say thank you to your freezer)!  Soaking your beans also allows for easier digestion, and contain a lesser amount of sodium than canned beans.

Here’s how you can make your very own delicious beans at home:

Add 1 cup of dried beans to a bowl (they get bigger when you soak them, so with 1 cup of dried beans you end up with 2.5-3 cups depending on the bean), add water to cover the beans and place on your countertop or in your fridge for at least 8 hours. Rinse your beans off in a colander, and place in a pot. Add water to cover your beans by at least 2-3 inches, bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes- 1 hour (they are pretty low maintenance). Like you would when cooking pasta, taste a few beans to make sure they are cooked to your desired texture.

Use your cooked beans for lunch, dinner or even breakfast (huevos rancheros, yum). With your leftover or extra beans, place them in freezer bags or glass containers and place in your freezer for later use.

Photo courtesy of tonrulkens