(PCM) January 6th is earmarked as National Bean Day. This may have to do with Gregor Mendel, the famed geneticist who used pea plants to study trait inheritance – or that may just be a theory. In any case, Mendel passed away on January 6, 1884. To commemorate his contributions to modern science, why not contribute some beans to your menu today?
No, coffee beans aren’t really beans (they’re seeds), but you could try a Tex-Mex inspired bean omelet for breakfast. For lunch go for a hummus wrap, or maybe bean sprouts in your salad. Or how about a PB&J – peanuts are legumes, so that has to count, right?
Pinto, navy, Northern, red kidney and black beans are the most popular dry beans in the United States. Dry beans can be reconstituted by simmering them in water for several hours – or, if you’re a planner, by soaking them overnight. Canned beans are good too, and cheap – just be sure to rinse them before serving (to avoid excess salt).
Chili (with or without carne), beans and rice, refried beans (you only have to fry them the once, actually) or a side of spicy black eyed peas are all classic dinner ideas. In honor of National Soup Month, you might also consider tossing some of your favorite legumes into the cooking pot; you can add them mashed to thicken soups and stews, whole for texture or a mix of both. Try a variety to maximize your bean experience.
Beans are an excellent, low-fat source of fiber, protein, and nutrients. They’re also delicious, and great for rounding out any meal. They’re also good for quickly tracking genetic traits across generations – so there’s that, too.