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what are legumes?Types, Nutrition Facts, and More

 

Legumes are a member of the plant family Fabaceae. They are one of the oldest cultivated plants in human history and have been part of human diets since our earliest civilizations. 

In this article, you'll learn about all things legume-y — what they are, their nutritional profile, and how to integrate them into your diet for maximum health benefits! 

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What are legumes?

By definition, legumes are plants that produce a fruit in which the seed grows in a pod. The pod can be made of woody material or be pliable and filled with air. Legumes grow by means of a simple stem called a rhizome. 

There are three types of legumes:

            Seed crop legumes (the focus of this article) include beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas 

Forage crops — primarily grown as animal fodder

            Cover crop — used to protect the soil from erosion and excessive water loss

Legume fruits come in many shapes and sizes. Depending on the variety of the crop, legumes can be eaten in their pods, seeds or both. Cover crops are used to protect the soil and prevent erosion and water loss. 

Legumes tell us they’re healthy

The beans, peas and lentils that provide health from eating legumes are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. Legumes are a good source of fiber and protein, which is a good combination. They also help regulate blood sugar, keep cholesterol levels in check, and may even reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Legumes are an inexpensive and tasty way to add more healthy foods to your diet. They are most often used as ingredients in dishes like soups and stews or used as side dishes. Legumes can also be eaten on their own, such as beans and rice (also called burritos or tacos), which is popular in Latin American countries like Mexico and Puerto Rico. You can also find legumes at the center of vegetarian meals like veggie burgers or veggie loaves.

 

what are examples of legumes?

The following are examples of just some the legumes you probably already have in your pantry:

            Beans: black, kidney, pinto, navy, lentils

            Peas: black-eyed peas, chickpeas (garbanzo), split peas

Legumes can also be salted and used as flavor enhancers in soups and vegetables. 

Are legumes good for you?

Legumes are one of the oldest types of food crops. Today they provide a wide range of food products such as dry beans, canned beans and peas and peanut butter. The seeds or seedlike fruits of many plants in the pea family that have pods are referred to as legumes. Examples include soybeans, alfalfa and clover. Peas and beans are often referred to as pulses. 

The seeds of some plants, when eaten as a whole or with the pod, are called beans. Examples include lima beans, soybeans, fava beans and lentils. Other beans, such as lupin beans, are pods that look like small green peas. There are many types of legumes; you can select the ones you like based on your personal preferences, ease of availability in your area and your culinary skills.

haitian legume:

la haricot or haricot (in French pronounced like the English word "herring") is a common dish in Haiti served with rice and pikliz. Haricots are made with coconut milk, and are served with a sauce called "ragoût", which is commonly made of tomato, onion and green peppers. 

cooking:

The beans should be washed to remove any foreign matter. Then they can either be soaked overnight, using three to four quarts of water per pound of beans. Drain the water off before cooking, then add fresh water to cover and cook at a slow boil for 1 hour if using fresh beans from the store. Alternatively, they can be soaked using hot water and cooked fresh, using 8 cups of water per pound of beans. You can serve Haricots with or without the sauce. 

is coffee a legume?

coffee is a seed (technically a seed-like fruit) – it's not actually a legume. However, it does fall under the "beans and pulses" category - coffee beans come from a coffee plant (Coffea arabica). The term "bean" is used to describe the fruit that surrounds the seeds of many plants including coffee plants.

 

is peanut is alegume?

Peanuts are legumes, not nuts. They are members of the family Aracaceae, and like other legumes, they have a pod that contains the seed. Peanuts differ from other types of legumes in many ways. Most notably, they grow underground and produce their own fertilizer while other legumes require fertilizer and pesticides to produce good yields.

It's also important to note that peanuts are not identical to hazelnuts or almonds - although they may look similar, they're not related at all and come from completely different plant families. More importantly though, peanuts are not nuts as nut allergies are rare in children under 6 years old. 

are beans legume?

Beans are a type of edible seed known as a legume. They come in many varieties and are eaten all around the world. Beans are high in fiber, making them an excellent choice for people who want to eat a healthy diet and control their weight or blood sugar levels, since they help us feel full and stave off hunger for longer. Most types of beans contain very little fat and sodium, but some do contain more than others (especially baked beans). 

are cashews legume?

Cashews are not considered to be true nuts, but rather seeds from the fruit of an evergreen tree that grows in tropical climates. They belong to the same family as pistachios and almonds. 

What are some sources of fiber?

There are many other sources of fiber - fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds - that can be eaten. Eating a balanced diet with a variety fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes can ensure you get enough fiber for your needs. Although most foods contribute some amount of fiber to the diet, legumes are among the most concentrated sources of fiber in the food supply. Legumes can be an excellent source of fiber for people following a vegan or vegetarian diet. 

What are some sources of protein?

Protein is one of the most complex components of food. It's made up of 21 different amino acids, and your body needs all of them to stay healthy and build new tissue. There are other sources that can provide some protein, such as nuts, seeds and certain grains, but they don't contain all the amino acids your body needs. Foods that contain high-quality protein that also provides all the essential amino acids are considered "complete" proteins. Legumes are an excellent source of complete protein. 

Can legumes cause gas?

Legumes naturally contain carbohydrates and sugars that are not completely digested by the human body, which is why some people experience gas after eating beans or other types of legumes. However, you can reduce your chances of getting gas by preparing legumes properly in a slow cooker. Slow cookers help the bacteria in your digestive tract break down these sugars, reducing flatulence-causing elements. 

How are chickpeas pronounced?

Chickpeas are pronounced "keen-WHAH" and their original name comes from the Arabic word (al-khick'fer), which means "chickpea.

They are also known as garbanzo beans, and are sometimes referred to as the "breadfruit of the Middle East". 

What is the nutritional value of lentils?

Lentils are one of the best crops for human consumption because they remain largely intact without cooking. Lentils contain all six essential amino acids, which cannot be produced by your body so you must get them from food. Lentils can be a great source of protein, fiber and iron in your diet.

 

How do I eat kidney beans?

Kidney beans can be eaten whole like a bean or split in half (sometimes called "Frenching") and mashed. Kidney beans can also be split and soaked overnight in water before pressure cooking. They can also be dried and stored in a cool, dark place or freeze-dried. 

What is a chili powder?

A chili powder is a blend of chilies that have been ground into powder form. This makes it easier to use and store, but also means that some are hotter than others. When buying chili powders, look for ones with low amounts of salt so you have the most flavor options. Chili powders are added to foods like stews and soups for their unique flavor. There are even chili powders that are used to flavor oils for cooking. 

What are the sources of protein and fiber in a legume?

Legumes are not without their nutritional challenges, however. They contain a great deal of carbohydrate and fiber, but they don't provide any protein or complete protein. As such, beans need to be combined with other sources of protein and complete proteins to ensure the body gets all the amino acids it needs for its health. Legumes can also be combined with grains to make them more filling. Popcorn has some fiber, but no protein or complete protein, so combining it with popcorn allows you to get both a serving of popcorn and some additional nutrition from the whole grain kernels. 

How is navy bean different from navy bean?

Navy beans come from the common pea family and are named for their small size, but they are usually red and white in color. They're not related to peas at all and come from the Fabaceae or Leguminosae plant family. 

What are some sources of calcium?

Calcium is an important mineral needed for strong bones, teeth, heart and muscle function. Most people get adequate amounts of calcium in their diet because the body uses some for bone growth. Some legumes may be high in calcium, because the nutrients are stored with starch during storage or preparation. 

legume recipes:

1. Beans and Rice Casserole

2. Bean Dip

3. Beans in a Blanket

4. Black Bean and Corn Soup

5. Black-Eyed Pea Stew with Lemon and Feta Cheese

6. Crockpot Red Beans and Rice

7. Easy Black Bean Soup with Salsa Verde

8. Five Bean Salad Recipe on the Grill or in the Oven

9. Fresh Spring Pea Soup with Asparagus and Dill Vinaigrette (Spring)

10. Golden Lentil Curry over Basmati Rice (Lentil Recipes)

11. Marinated Bean Salad (Marinating Beans)

12. Pasta with White Beans, Arugula, and Tomatoes

13. Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

14. Vegan Chili with Black Beans and Quinoa

15. Warm Bean Salad with Pesto Dressing & Grilled Bread

16. White Beans with Butternut Squash, Spicy Tomato Sauce and Toasted Garlic

17. Yellow Lentils & Red Lentils Curry (Lentil Recipes)

Legumes have a wide variety of uses and can be used in many recipes. Many popular dishes are created from legumes, such as chili, hummus, soups and cream based pasta dishes. Legumes can easily substitute for meat in many recipes, as well. If a recipe calls for ground beef or chicken but you're looking for a way to reduce the fat and calories, legumes are a great option that provides much of the same texture and taste. Legumes can be used to replace meat in casseroles, tacos or stews.

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