You’ve fit in more fruits and vegetables! You’ve increased your water intake! Now, it’s time for a challenge you may not have expected.This challenge will allow you to feel more full and better regulate your appetite, increase your vitamin and mineral intake, and support your gastrointestinal health.
This week, starting Monday January 16, I challenge you to eat one serving of legumes each day.
What are legumes? Essentially, any beans and lentils, but also fresh peas, snap peas, green beans etc. I recently posted about pulses (protein & prebiotic powerhouses) but rather than have the challenge just about them, I am making it a tad easier by making this a legume challenge. Pulse Canada did a great job with this infographic on the difference between legumes and pulses:
One catch though, you can’t include peanuts or peanut butter as your serving! Please, continue to eat them, but broaden your horizons with this challenge – I’d love for you to get used to the high nutrient profile of the pulse group and edamame/soy!
I’m excited for this challenge because aside from some lupini beans that were part of an appetizer, garbanzo beans, and tofu a couple of times, my legume game has not been strong while away these past 9 days. Typically they’re part of my everyday diet!
One serving is 1/2 cup cooked.
I cook my beans and lentils from dry most of the time, but keep some low sodium BPA-free canned ones in my pantry when I need them in a pinch. Do what will make this challenge work for you!
How can you squeeze them in?
Here are 20+ Ways to Eat Legumes!
- Make a pizza crust or flatbread with garbanzo flour
- Add beans or lentils to a salad or on top of a sweet potato
- Have roasted broad beans or roasted chickpeas as a snack
- Make a bean or lentil soup
- Make a lentil loaf instead of meat loaf
- Make your own hummus
- Swap cheese for white beans in this spinach and artichoke dip
- Whip up some bean sliders
- Cook a 3 bean chili (and freeze for later)
- Make some lentil sloppy Joe’s (I like to serve over mixed greens)
- Cook a lentil bolognese
- Make a ragu for spaghetti squash
- Celebrate taco Tuesday with black bean or lentil tacos
- Have these sweet potato black bean burgers
- Make a pea pesto for spaghetti squash or whole grain spaghetti
- Try a bean pasta like this one with squash, peas and sage
- Make these crispy honey mustard tofu sandwiches
- Have chickpea flour banana muffins for a snack or with breakfast
- Cook some lentil burgers
- Have some southwest style spaghetti squash
I hope you enjoy some new dishes and easily amp up your fiber, plant protein, and nutrient intake this week. Remember as you increase your fiber intake to increase or keep fluid intake up, too! If you’re already into these foods like me, comment with your favorite way to eat them below!