6 Ways To Leverage Legumes

What is a legume?

The google search definition is:

. a leguminous plant (member of the pea family), especially one grown as a crop.

. a seed, pod, or other edible part of a leguminous plant used as food.

More research lists the following as legumes:

Adzuki bean                                                   Green or yellow peas

Black bean                                                     Kidney bean – red or white

Black-eyed pea                                              Lentils – brown, green or red

Black turtle bean                                            Lima bean

Broad bean                                                     Navy bean

Cannellini beans                                             Pinto bean

Chickpeas                                                       Small red bean

Fava beans                                                     Snow pea

Great northern bean                                      Sugar snap pea

Green bean                                                     Soybean

Green or yellow peas                                     Wax bean


I bet you never realized there were so many legumes!

If you have eliminated animal-based sources of protein then legumes should be part of your diet. Containing protein, iron, fibre, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins legumes pack a powerful nutritional punch. But, what to do with them?

If you are unfamiliar with legumes here are 6 ways to eat them:

  1. Make a spread like hummous from chickpeas or black beans and use as a dip.
  2. Add beans or lentils to soup and stews instead of meat
  3. Turn them into burgers. Check out www.lovethycarrot.com for recipe ideas.
  4. Top salads with a cup of beans or lentils.
  5. Add black beans to brownies. See recipe below.
  6. Make a Sheppard’s pie or ‘meat’ loaf with lentils. Check out www.lovethycarrot.com for recipe ideas.


Black Bean Brownies

1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained and well rinsed

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup quick oats

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips

1 tbsp espresso powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor and blend until completely smooth.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips and then pour into a greased 8×8 pan.
  4. Cook for 15-18 minutes and then cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.

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