Annie and LJ just finished savory tofu, mango, and black rice salad and were enjoying the lull in their busy schedules when a text showed on his phone. He said, “Allen and Rene are thinking of coming for a visit this weekend. Since they’re vegans, we’ll have to make meals that fit their diet.” “How about some legume dishes?” “What exactly are legumes, Annie?” “Sorry, sweetheart, legumes are a global term for a dry fruit contained in a pod. So beans are legumes. Hey, what about making your Mom’s favorite black bean recipe? We like the dish, too, and different condiments can be added to really expand the meal.” “Okay, said LJ, why don’t you check out a couple of other legumes just to be sure that black beans are the best. By the way, I enjoyed this salad, but I’m not sure I want to go completely meatless.” Annie smiled and said, “Thanks for being a good sport. I’ll get back to you with my bean research.”
Following her search, Annie learned that there are about 60 different beans and peas that are legumes, and they are a good source of fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, calcium, folate, B vitamins, magnesium, and iron.

“Well, my love, apparently black beans have the edge on red and kidney beans because they’re higher in fiber and magnesium and are lighter in carbs and fat than pintos!” Annie said laughingly. “So it appears that we will once again make a delicious and nutritious dish! LJ thoughtfully paused and said, “I’m not so sure about beans or legumes as you call them because they cause gas and gas…….” “LJ flatulence from beans happens when canned beans are not rinsed before cooking. Do you know how the liquid bubbles when you do rinse canned beans? That’s what’s going to happen in your stomach if you don’t rinse them. A better way is to buy dried beans and soak them for at least eight hours in water that has a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar. Then before you cook them repeatedly, rinse to remove the starches that dissolved in the soaking water. By the way, the starchy content of beans has a prebiotic effect on the digestive system, promoting good gut bacteria.” “Okay, Annie, I’ll make a black bean soup since you did all of the research. What else should we serve?” “We have the fermented vegetable medley we made a few weeks ago, and that goes well with legumes because they help with digestion and reduce the gas-producing action. Also, we have our famous homemade sourdough rolls, so how does that sound?” “LJ laughed and said, it sounds like Allen and Renee are going to have a nice visit with lots of homemade goodness added in.”

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