7 Ways to Add Beans to Your Diet

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK/PGOODIE76

Beans, beans the magical fruit I’m sure we have all heard this saying before, but beans really are a magical food, in a sense. They are the only food that can count as a serving of starchy vegetables or protein (but not at the same time), and depending on the type, beans contain 5 to 8 grams of fiber per ½ cup serving. Beans also can help reduce cholesterol, blood sugar levels and improve gut health.

Here are just a few ways to add beans to your favorite foods, increasing the amount of protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate and iron in your diet, and much more. 

Mix Beans Into Breakfast

You can add hummus made with chickpeas to an egg sandwich or avocado toast. Eggs, black beans, guacamole and salsa also make a great combo for a savory morning!

Put Them in Pasta

Try adding white beans to pesto pasta or to your tomato sauce.

Stir Them Into soup

Beans are a great addition to any soup from chicken noodle to chili. Add your favorite type of bean to your next batch.

Spread on Sandwiches

Hummus tastes great and is so easy to add to just about any food, especially sandwiches. It’s a great substitution for mayo or other high-calorie spreads.

Top Your Salad with Beans

Try topping your salad with different beans like chickpeas, black or kidney beans or edamame. You also can make a blended white bean dressing.

Bake Them in Dessert

Substitute flour with a can of pureed black beans in brownies or try different bean flours to add to any of your favorite baked goods.

Roast Beans for a Delicious Snack

Roasted chickpeas are a low-calorie option to eat by themselves or add to your trail mix.

I hope you have realized just how versatile the bean really is. For me, being a bean enthusiast has been easy, and with these ideas you can become one, too!

Katie Cook
Katie Cook graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, in 2016 and is now attending The University of Memphis for their combined dietetic internship and master’s program in clinical nutrition. When not working, you can find her outside hiking, rollerblading, playing volleyball or dancing.