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Beans, another staple Dominican food that happens to be a great addition to anyone’s diet. Though red (kidney) beans are the most popular in Dominican cuisine they are all rich in vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins as well as being loaded with soluble fiber so don’t be afraid to mix it up! Aim to eat a variety of beans at least twice a week.
To make sure you’re getting the most from your beans you have to take the time to prepare them properly:
- Soak them overnight, or for at least 8 hours. This not only helps decrease cooking time but also helps increase digestibility (the ease with which food is converted into useful substances for nutrition). First rinse beans thoroughly and cover them with fresh water – make sure the water is about two inches over the beans. You can add a one-inch piece of seaweed such as Kombu to the soaking water will further increase digestibility and reduce gas-producing properties.
- Once your beans have soaked, discard the soaking water, rinse them with fresh water and then add them to your pot of water with any aromatics you like. You can add back the piece of seaweed and hold off on the salt since it can make the beans contract and make them hard and unappetizing. Cooking the beans with seaweed will add extra nutrients such as iodine, which is missing in so many peoples diet and is vital to a good health.
- When your water begins to boil and your beans start cooking you will notice some foam forming at the top- make sure to skim it off since that foam can make you gassy if you eat it! Once the beans are very close to being fully cooked, or once they are, then go ahead and add some high quality sea salt to your taste. Once they’re done I like to take a few beans, some of the cooking water and any pieces of seaweed I can fish out and puree them in the blender. Once that is done I add the rest of the beans to it, a little olive oil and finish seasoning them with some finely chopped red onions and garlic. If you want to change it up you can even puree the whole thing and try a delicious bean dip. Enjoy!
Photo by @andreamonicahug on Instagram
Jacqueline Banks, who grew up in Casa de Campo, is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother.
Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and families healthy and happy. She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living.
Check out her website at: www.jacquelinebanks.com