You’ve all heard of them and probably had them on your plate at one point or another. Legumes are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber with no added fat or cholesterol! They also account towards your daily vegetable serving! Legume family includes: Kidney beans, peas, soybeans, peanuts, green beans, lentils, chickpeas and alfalfa.
So why should you introduce legumes into your daily diet??
1. High in Protein
Legumes are a great source of plant-based protein. For example a cup of Chickpeas contain up to 15 grams of protein and white beans contain 19 grams!! If your goal is weight loss, eating enough protein can also encourage satiety and keep you feeling full while increasing your metabolism and the amount of calories you burn after a meal!
2. Boost Your Heart Health
Legumes have been shown to decrease cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation.
3. Stabilizes your blood sugar
The high amount of fibre in legumes works to slow the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream and maintain blood sugar levels.
Don’t like the taste or idea of eating legumes? Well here is a delicious recipe that uses legumes in a sneaky way!!
Chickpea Protein Bars
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup packed, very soft dates (about 6-8)
¼ cup peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter, e.g. almond, sunflower seed, tahini)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
⅔ vanilla protein powder
⅓ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), toasted
⅓ cup dried cranberries
1. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with baking paper
2. In a large food processor, process the chickpeas, dates, peanut butter, vanilla and salt until smooth, stopping and scraping the sides of processor bowl.
3. Add the protein powder, pepitas and cranberries. Pulse until very well combined and mixture looks like a dough ball (if not, add a bit more protein powder).
4. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan.
5. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or freeze 1 hour until firm. Remove from tin and cut into bars, Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (or freeze for up to 2 months). ENJOY!!