Field to Fork

Accessibility


| Share

Beans: the Magical Fruit

The more beans you eat, the more you can improve your health.

Dry beans are a popular crop to grow in North Dakota. In fact, North Dakota farmers lead the nation in growing all dry beans. Most of North Dakota’s dry bean acres are in navy and pinto beans.

Dry beans are related to green beans, which are grown in home gardens. Dry beans are the dried seeds found inside the pod.

Eating beans can provide many health benefits due to their rich nutrient profile.

Beans can be categorized in the vegetable group or the protein group in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food groups. These nutrient powerhouses are high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B.

Eating a serving of beans can help you feel full longer and can slow the rise of blood sugar levels.

Regularly eating beans may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease and colorectal cancer, and help with weight management. Remember to drink more water when increasing fiber in your diet.

Bean varieties commonly grown in this area include black, pink, cranberry, dark red kidney, navy, pinto, light red kidney, small red and great northern.

Beans can be purchased dried, then soaked in water and cooked, or purchased as canned goods.

They often are used in soups, stews, salads, casseroles, dips, desserts, side dishes and bean flour.

Dry beans are one of the specialty crops that can be grown in North Dakota. Visit the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s Field to Fork website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/fieldtofork for more information about growing and using a variety of specialty crops, including dry beans.

Here’s a sweet bean recipe to try.

Peanut Butter Black Bean Brownies

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
3 eggs
3 Tbsp. canola oil
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 c. peanut butter chips
1/4 c. dark chocolate chunks
Crushed peanuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat an 8- by 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Put black beans in a strainer and rinse thoroughly, then place in food processor with oil and process until smooth/creamy. Add eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, peanut butter, baking powder and salt; process until smooth. Add half the amount of peanut butter chips and pulse the food processor to mix in the chips. Repeat with the remaining chips, along with the chocolate chunks. Put the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Top with chopped peanuts if desired. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan. You can test the center by inserting a toothpick. If the brownies are done, the toothpick will come out clean. Let brownies cool for 10 minutes, then cut into 2-inch squares.

Makes 16 servings. Each serving has 130 calories, 6 grams (g) fat, 4 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 115 milligrams sodium.

###

Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension Service food and nutrition specialist, and Allison Benson, Extension program assistant. The creation of the materials is part of a project funded by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture through grant 14-SCBGP-ND-0038 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

This project was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant 14-SCBGP-ND-0038. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.