Food of the month: Cannellini Beans


February 23, 2016

Care of Amy Symington:

Cannellini beans, otherwise known as white kidney beans, are making an appearance in even the most unsuspecting dishes today.  Their neutral, yet versatile flavour profile lends them to both savoury and sweet recipes. They go well not only in chillies, soups and stews, but sauces, dips, dressings and desserts too.

As they are a high fibre, low glycemic food, when beans are consumed on the regular they can aid in reducing your risk of heart disease, lower LDL cholesterol levels and stabilize blood glucose levels.  Due to their high fibre content, beans/legumes in general are also extremely satiating. This is great for maintaining or obtaining a healthy body mass which plays a key role in reducing our risk of all the major chronic diseases.

The insoluble fibre present in cannellini beans also aids in the promotion of beneficial bacteria in the gut assisting with gastrointestinal mobility and soothing bowl distress while simultaneously increasing the absorption of nutrients.

They are also rich in protein (containing 7g per ½ cup) and when coupled with brown rice or maize contain all the 9 essential amino acids. Moreover, they are a good source of folate, thiamin, molybdenum, iron, potassium and manganese!

When you are cooking dried beans from scratch ensure that you soak them for at least 8 hours beforehand keeping them in the refrigerator the entire time.  Once ready to cook, drain the liquid and rinse the beans. Refill your pot and then cook for at least 1-1.5 hours or until soft. Once cooked and cooled, they can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months following for quick and easy use.

As cannellini beans are so smooth in texture they work well pureed in all types of creamy concoctions from Alfredo sauce to mushroom risotto to coffee cake to “ice cream.” If you are still in need of some convincing about including cannellini beans in unconventional ways in your kitchen, try the life changing brownie recipe also included in the March 2016 issue of Toronto Veg News.

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