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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Spain & Portugal / March's Tag Game ~ Las Legumbres ~ Dry beans
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    March's Tag Game ~ Las Legumbres ~ Dry beans

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    Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:21 pm
    Forum Host

    ~ Dry Beans are classified as legumes (or legumbres, in Spain) in the Fabaceae plant family and are among the oldest cultivated crops known to man. Beans were an important source of protein throughout Old and New World history, and remain to be so today as well. The oldest-known domesticated beans in the Americas were found in Guitarrero Cave, an archaeological site in Peru, and dated to around the second millennium.

    Dry Beans come from both Old World varieties of broad beans (fava beans) and New World varieties (kidney, black, cranberry, pinto, navy/haricot). Beans are a heliotropic plant, meaning that the leaves tilt throughout the day to face the sun. At nighttime, they go into a folded "sleep" position.

    ~ Beans are quite low in fat and loaded with nutrients, and they remain a staple ingredient in traditional Spanish cuisine throughout all regions of Spain. In Spain the dry variety of legumes are everywhere, which includes dry beans of many colors, sizes and shapes. Go to any market and you will find them sold fresh, either dried in calico sacks, in glass jars preserved in salt and water, or freshly steamed in large bowls.

    Dry Beans in Spain might be white, red, brown, pink or black—but never orange. And it doesn't matter which part of Spain you find yourself, you’re certain to find a variety of dishes on the menu using a wide variety of legumes (beans, lentils or chickpeas). They are the ultimate comfort food that’s healthy and quite beneficial to the human diet. The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture states there are more than twenty varieties of beans grown in Spain. White kidney beans are the most popular type of bean, though large, flat white beans such as the faba asturiana are now very much in demand. It even has protected status. Using these beans in a broth or stew (cocido) provides stupendous results and health benefits.

    Gastronomic author Luis Bernavides Barajas stated, "You might have thought that the likes of chickpeas and beans would have vanished from shops and markets in these modern times. But that is not the case. They are still very popular today and, with an economic downturn, sales of simple foods are on the increase. The fact is that by using lentils, beans or chickpeas a Spanish family can consume filling food that is good for you.”

    Cooking With Beans

    ~ Beans are a very versatile staple ingredient that is often prepared as a protein-rich meat substitute that can be added to soups and stews, salads, and pasta or rice dishes. Also, beans can be served as a light side dish or a hearty main dish.

    Dry Beans often require hours (often overnight) of soaking or pre-cooking in order to soften the beans enough for eating. But the extra time required is well worth the effort.

    Equivalents for most beans: 1 pound dried beans = 2 cups dried beans = 4 to 5 cups cooked beans.

    Beans in Spanish Cuisine

    There are many traditional Spanish regional dishes that include beans, some of which include:

    Fabada Asturiana (sometimes called Fabada) is a rich Spanish stew that includes large white beans. It stems from the Asturias region of Spain, but is widely available in most regions throughout Spain.

    Cocido Montañés (meaning Highlander stew or Mountain stew), is a rich and hearty stew stemming from the Cantabria region in northern Spain which contains large white beans (soaked overnight), cabbage or collard greens, and pork. It is a hot dish that originated in the 17th century to fight the cold, wet climate of the Cantabrian mountains. More recently, some versions of this dish use red beans, though traditionally Cocido Montañés is a white bean stew.

    Moros Y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) is a nutritious dish of rice and black beans, often served with meat or chicken. Sometimes it’s simply called Moros or Arroz Moro.

    Paella, often referred to as the national dish of Spain, is a rice dish that originates in the Valencian region of Spain but is available throughout all of Spain. Many, many versions of Paella can be found which can include a wide variety of other ingredients including beans, particularly vegetarian versions of Paella.

    Roscón de Reyes (King’s Cake) is a Christmas cake popular in both Spain and Portugal (though in Portugal it is called bolo Rei) which is usually eaten to celebrate the Epiphany. Baked inside the cake are toy figures (usually of Jesus) and a dry fava bean. Tradition states that whoever finds the figure is crowned as “king” or “queen” of the party, and whoever eats the slice that contains the bean must buy next year’s cake.

    Nutrition and Health Benefits

    ~ Beans are high in protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, folate, iron, and antioxidants. One cup of cooked beans provides between 9 and 13 grams of fiber—nearly half of the recommended daily dose for most adults. Beans are also a recommended protein-rich meat substitute in many diet plans. In addition, studies suggest that beans may aid in disease prevention, too.

    Beans are comparable to meat when it comes to calories, but they really shine in terms of fiber and water content, two ingredients that make you feel fuller, sooner (and for a longer length of time). So adding beans to your diet helps cut calories without feeling deprived. Plus, beans are low in sugar, which prevents insulin in the bloodstream from spiking and causing hunger. When you substitute beans for meat in your diet, you get the added bonus of a decrease in saturated fat. Meat, on the other hand, contains no fiber at all. This difference in fiber content means that meat is digested fairly quickly, whereas beans are digested slowly which keeps you satisfied longer.

    We would be remiss in avoiding the mention that beans are quite infamous for being loaded with enzymes that result in the rather unpleasant side effect of creating excess gas in the intestines. Though one cannot totally eliminate this natural process, there are steps one can take to help significantly reduce this rather unpleasant side effect. For instance:

    ● Change the water from time to time while soaking or cooking beans, as pouring off the water helps gets rid of the indigestible complex sugars that are responsible for creating the excess gas in your intestine.

    ●Cook beans thoroughly, until they can be easily mashed with a fork.

    ● For a full and robust flavor, most cooks prefer dried beans over canned beans. However, some cooks rely on canned beans (which don’t have to be pre-soaked and are therefore a time-save as well) as an option for reducing intestinal discomfort, though there will is likely to be an increase in sodium level and often a marked flavor loss.

    …………….....................……………TAG GAME

    ~ For this month’s tag game, we have selected an array of Spanish (and other) recipes from the site’s database that include dry beans as an ingredient. You are free to tag one of the recipes we found, or you are free to pick any other recipe in the database that includes beans as an ingredient. And there is no limit; you can tag as many recipes as you can make and review before the end of the month.


    ~ Cape Cod Portuguese Kale Soup by Nana Lee
    A Portuguese recipe certain to delight, with flavor boosts from fresh kale and plenty of nutritious dry beans.

    Sopas / Soups and Stews

    Easy Black Bean Soup
    Caldo Gallego
    Chickpea and Spinach Stew
    Chorizo Stew
    Spanish Chickpea Soup
    Mediterranean White Bean Soup

    Ensaladas / Salads

    Antipasto-Style White Bean Salad
    Garbanzo Salad
    Spanish Citrus Salad
    Spanish Tapas Bean Salad
    Black Bean and Rice Salad
    Antipasti Di Tonno E Fagioli

    Entrees / Main Dishes

    Vegetarian Paella
    Chickpea Burgers
    Mediterranean Style Beans and Vegetables (Crock Pot)
    Chicken With Fennel and Red Peppers
    Lamb With Garlic & Fava Beans
    Chilli and Lime Veggie-Burger

    Side Dishes

    Spanish Cristianos Y Moros ( Beans and Rice Sidedish)
    Habas Con Jam�n (Broad Beans With Ham) - Spain
    Basque Beans (Including Crock Pot Version)
    Cannellini Beans With Rosemary
    Catalan Chickpeas
    Portuguese Style Beans

    Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:22 pm
    Forum Host
    Participants' Bean Recipes:

    Elmotoo’s Bean Recipes
    Beans! etc.

    NorthwestGal’s Bean Recipes
    Zydeco Soup #486161
    Spicy Beef and Bean Soup With Oven Roasted Peppers #468434

    Sharon’s Bean Recipes
    164 Beanilicious Recipes
    How to Sprout Chickpeas

    Last edited by Lalaloula on Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total
    Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:23 pm
    Forum Host
    The Tags:

    icon_arrow.gif Portuguese Style Beans #371043 by threeovens
    icon_arrow.gif Habas Con Jam�n (Broad Beans With Ham) - Spain #228465 by Annacia
    icon_arrow.gif Lentil Soup With Chard #300142 by dicentra



    icon_arrow.gif Chickpea Salad Sandwiches! #170555 by LittleSpoon

    Last edited by Lalaloula on Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total
    Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:35 pm
    Forum Host
    wave.gif I'm always looking for new & exciting bean recipes!! should i gather up my own, too?
    xo Bethie
    Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:47 pm
    Forum Host
    Elmotoo wrote:
    wave.gif I'm always looking for new & exciting bean recipes!! should i gather up my own, too?
    xo Bethie

    Yes, Bethie! List your bean recipes here, and I'll get them added above.
    Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:53 am
    Forum Host
    Here are my 164 bean recipes! I must like beans.

    I'll be back to pick a recipe.
    Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:06 pm
    Forum Host
    Here they are! Beans! etc.

    xo Bethie
    Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:31 pm
    Forum Host
    I'll tag Portuguese Style Beans #371043 by threeovens & Habas Con Jamn (Broad Beans With Ham) - Spain #228465 by Annacia. icon_biggrin.gif
    Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:32 pm
    Forum Host
    computer freak out double post!
    Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:16 pm
    Forum Host
    I'm gonna make Chickpea Salad Sandwiches! #170555 by LittleSpoon.

    Oh, and I just posted this recipe How to Sprout Chickpeas, which I might use for this recipe.
    Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:09 pm
    Forum Host
    Dinner tonight: Lentil Soup With Chard #300142 by dicentra icon_biggrin.gif xo Bethie
    Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:14 am
    Forum Host
    Good Morning ladies! wave.gif

    Thank you so much for playing with us this month. Im so excited to see your bean collections. icon_smile.gif
    The recipes you chose all sound so good and I cant wait to peruse your bean recipes to see if I can find another treasure for my bean keeper cookbook. I LOVE dried and fresh beans and especially chickpeas. icon_smile.gif yummy.gif


    ~updated to here~
    Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:22 pm Groupie
    I eat beans almost every day. I'll jump in and tag Antipasto-Style White Bean Salad
    Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:57 pm
    Forum Host

    I have made & reviewed both threeovens' Portuguese Style Beans & dicentra's Lentil Soup With Chard.

    both were FAN-TAS-TIC!

    xo Bethie
    Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:58 pm
    Forum Host
    I have made and enjoyed Chickpea Salad Sandwiches! #170555 using sprouted chickpeas. This was very good! icon_smile.gif
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