Cool Beans!

bullbrdframe-colorfulbeansDoes anyone know where the expression “cool beans!” ever came from? I don’t but I thought it would make a great title for this post.

I love beans of all kinds and dishes made from beans: hummus, refried beans, bean soups, baked beans, garlic beans, green beans almandine. Bean there, done that. (Sorry—couldn’t resist).

In the agricultural world, beans and legumes are known as pulses. When I read that, my inquiring mind wanted to know why so I looked it up. PulseCanada.com tells us that the word pulse is “from the Latin puls meaning thick soup or potage, pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family.” They go on to explain that:

“Pulses are part of the legume family, but the term “pulse” refers only to the dried seed. Dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses. Pulses are very high in protein and fibre, and are low in fat. Like their cousins in the legume family, pulses are nitrogen-fixing crops that improve the environmental sustainability of annual cropping systems.”

In my email today, I found a link to a site called FoodNavigator-USA that talks about the many ways that food manufacturing is using beans and legumes to make gluten-free flours that can then be made into any number of healthier processed foods. This is fabulous news for people like me who like the convenience of packaged foods but not the way most of them are processed with unhealthy, unsafe, questionable ingredients. FoodNavigator-USA tells us:

“Beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils are now appearing as added value ingredients in every part of the store, from chips and snacks to salads, soups, pastas, dips and baked goods. Non-GMO, gluten-free, high in protein, fiber and micronutrients, and low in fat, beans in particular are undergoing a PR renaissance among consumers, who have been eating them for years in tacos and burritos, but now see them as a more wholesome alternative to soy, rice, corn and potatoes in their snacks.”

I kind of like the idea of incorporating these uber-healthy little pulses into my own recipes. How about you?

A Bit of Nostalgia 

Who remembers this little ditty from grade school?:

Beans, beans, the musical fruit; the more you eat, the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you feel so why not eat beans at every meal?

Read all about this revolutionary food processing technique at FoodNavigator.USA.com