Beans, Beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat…

…the more you put in your grocery cart!

If you don’t eat beans on a regular basis, you really should consider doing so. Wonder why? It’s because they really are very good for you! So, that song you may remember about beans from your childhood was spot on, (depending on the version you heard, anyway *snickers*) they really are good for your heart! There are some other things about beans that make me quite fond of them; they are high in protein, virtually fat-free, have lots of fiber, and are very filling!

Eating beans regularly (the USDA recommends eating three or more cups per week) has been shown to have great health benefits, some of which may include:

-improving cholesterol levels

-lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers

-help manage diabetes

-cut risk for high blood pressure

-help in losing weight

To find out how good for your heart they are, check out this web site:  http://americanbean.org/bean-facts/

The following recipe is a great way to get beans into your diet, especially if they are not a food you’re too keen on eating plain, as they are well incorporated with the other ingredients and create a “meaty” consistency.

Black Bean Croquettes with Fresh Salsa

adapted from Eating Clean

Image

Serves 4, 2 croquettes and ½ cup salsa each

Ingredients

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs, divided ( I like to use Ezekiel bread and make my own)
2 cups finely chopped tomatoes
2 green onions, sliced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil ( I use grapeseed oil)
1 avocado, diced

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mash black beans, garlic and cumin with a fork or potato masher in a large bowl until no whole beans remain. Stir in corn and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Combine tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir 1 cup of the tomato mixture into the black bean mixture.
  3. Mix the remaining 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder in a small bowl until the bread crumbs are coated with oil. Divide the bean mixture into 8 scant 1/2-cup balls. Lightly press each bean ball into the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake the croquettes until heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir avocado into the remaining tomato mixture. Serve the salsa with the croquettes.

Nutrition

Per serving: 405 calories; 12 g fat ( 2 g sat , 8 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 61 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 16 g protein; 16 g fiber; 438 mg sodium; 621 mg potassium.

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