Do you remember this popular schoolyard rhyme? There are several variations on the ending and you can’t help but giggle every time you recite the lyrics. Fun-loving bean fanatics that we are, we decided to use Beans, Beans the Magical Fruit as the theme of our recent healthy eating and cooking demonstration tour.
In July, Rolling Fields with the help of Active Aging, embarked what we are calling “The Magical Bean Tour of 2014”, Registered Dietitian, Allyson DeVantier and I, Community Liaison and bean novice, traveled to Senior Centers in 6 cities within 24 days, reaching out to over 150 audience members and sharing our love for legumes.
Every presentation was broken into two parts, beginning with a bean education. It’s amazing how a single food category can have so much influence over the human body. Beans can lower the risk of serious cancers and diseases. It can control your cholesterol levels, diabetes and even help you to lose weight. Beans are quite powerful!
And, speaking of the power of beans, Allyson was sure give pointers on how to control the side effects that can accompany beans.
Top two tips:
1. Add beans to your diet slowly. Don’t go from only eating beans once per year at the July 4th picnic to eating the full recommendation of 3 cups per week. The results could be level 5 toxic odors, dangerous to your family and friends who have to sit next to you. Instead, lean into adding beans to your menu and gradually work your way up to the recommended amounts: (Women need 21-25 grams per day and Men need about 30-38 grams per day).
2. Drink plenty of water. Not getting enough water when adding beans to your diet will bind you up and make you angry at beans, possibly tossing them out all together.
Bonus Bean tip that we learned from an audience member: when you are soaking dry beans overnight, add a few tablespoons of baking soda to the water. This will help to break down the sugars that give beans their gas-powered effects.
Part two of the presentation is the cooking demonstration–YUM! Allyson, as I mentioned earlier, is a Registered Dietitian and oversees the fantastic Culinary Team here at Rolling Fields. Her knowledge in food science and useful cooking tips were shared with the audience while the room filled with the scents of garlic, onions and peppers, as she prepared Black Bean Burgers for everyone.
For dessert, we served a chocolate cake made with garbanzo beans instead of flour. It was so delicious and moist, you could make this cake, serve it to your family and no one would be the wiser that they had just eaten a serving of beans.
We delivered this presentation six times and I learned something new at each location. I love engaging with an experienced senior audience because they have so much practical knowledge to share. I had a blast on The Magical Bean Tour of 2014 and can’t wait until 2015! We invite you to join us on a new adventure of sharing food science, our love of cooking and discussions on the power of food in our lives.
To obtain a copy of the Beans, Beans The Magical Fruit Brochure and recipes, please comment below and I’ll send them to you.