Tasty and easy to preserve, legumes are a source of protein, carbohydrates, natural fiber, vitamins and minerals. They offer many possibilities in the kitchen, since both are used in stews or salads and purees.
It is known as legumes seeds of leguminous plants. Cultivated and consumed for centuries, these seeds contain many nutrients and low in calories and are essential to maintaining a balanced diet. They are characterized by their high protein content, which may exceed that of meat, fish or eggs, although the quality of the nutrient that comes from legumes is lower, except for the protein with soy. When combined with cereals, in dishes such as lentils with rice or noodles chickpeas with a complete protein intake, such as that provided meat products, with the advantage that the vegetables do not contain saturated fats and cholesterol gets himself food of animal origin. Being a good source of protein alternative to meat, are especially important in vegetarian diets.
Legumes are rich in carbohydrates, which provide lots of energy to the body so that it can adequately perform all their functions. These foods have a low glycemic index, which means that after ingest, increases slightly the level of blood glucose, and thanks to the high amount of fiber they provide, the passage of glucose into the blood is slow so of great interest for diabetics.
This food group is also a source of vitamins B and E, in addition to providing minerals such as calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. While the lentils are reputed to be the most iron containing all pulses provide this mineral. To promote the assimilation of iron, it is advisable to supplement the intake of vegetables rich in vitamin C products, such as green pepper, tomato and citrus.
Legumes are rich in fiber, which provides a high satiating power and can help control weight. Fiber also helps to reduce the levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in the blood, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Its regular use promotes good bowel movement and prevents the development of colorectal cancer. The high amount of fiber in these foods also have other less desirable effects such as gas and bloating. To reduce flatulence after consuming vegetables, you should add cold water to boiling water to cook. Another trick that may be useful in these cases is to take them mashed or passed by the Chinese to remove the skin. To get a good digestion of legumes is also advisable to limit seasonings. Moreover, their introduction into the diet of children should be undertaken with caution because of the risk of allergies involved.
Nutritionists recommend taking pulses, at least two or three times a week for its high nutritional value
By providing energy intake, can be taken as a complete single dish. Recipes such as stew, stews or braised lentils are part of our culinary culture, but are not the only ways to prepare vegetables. There are plenty of dishes, from the most sophisticated to the simplest, allowing introduce these foods in your diet without falling into monotony.
Although legumes are known to be energy foods and thus contribute to weight gain, do not have to fatten nor be excluded on a diet to control weight if you avoid adding ingredients caloric, like chorizo, morcilla or bacon, and cooked lightly in (stew with vegetables, salad, etc.). Nutritionists recommend eating vegetables, at least two times a week otres. There are different types of vegetables, but the best known and consumed are:
- Lentils. Of all the legumes, lentils is easier to digest and more tender. Depending on the color and size of seeds, there are different varieties such as lentils verdina pardina or Spanish blonde, among others. Its high iron content helps prevent iron deficiency anemia. As a source of potassium, help regulate blood pressure, while phosphorus containing helps maintain healthy bones and teeth. Lentils hide great possibilities in the kitchen, then, alongside the classic preparations (stewed in cream or mashed), modern kitchen offers innovative recipes including them in salads or as a garnish.
- Chickpeas. These pulses provide complex carbohydrates, slowly absorbed, which provide energy. Its high nutritional value and culinary versatility make an indispensable product chickpeas in pantries. Chickpeas are a staple of the diet of the Mediterranean countries. Are the main ingredient in dishes like stew or chickpea stew with cod and spinach, ideal in winter, while in the warmer months, you can opt for dishes such as hummus or cold salads.
- Beans. White beans, pinto, black, butter beans, faba …. In our market there are many varieties of beans, coming from different places. Regardless of the variety, the beans must always have a smooth, supple and glowing skin. To facilitate cooking and not be harsh, beans should be the year as if older than lose quality. The beans absorb well the taste of the ingredients that accompany them during cooking, so you are suitable for the preparation of stews and soups. If you do not want to cook beans, and cooked selling facilitate and reduce the cooking time of the stew. Provide fiber, which helps the intestinal transit, regulate digestion and reduce cholesterol levels.
- Peas. Although often erroneously considered a type of vegetable pea is a legume. On many occasions are the easiest way to get kids to eat vegetables. In season, it’s best to enjoy fresh peas, but outside it, can consume frozen peas, dried or canned. With this vegetable can do all sorts of dishes, from traditional creamed peas to known peas with potatoes and sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil or peas sauteed with ham classics. Also included routinely in rice and paella, providing complete protein, mixing grains in the same dish.
- Soy. It is not a usual vegetable consumption in our country, but it is becoming better known, and its consumption is increasing. This product is a food oriental origin of that variety of products is obtained: flour, oil, lecithin, soya milk, tofu, fermented with salt (tempeh) and other products such as soybeans. A feature of soy isoflvonas is your content that can help women to relieve symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flashes, insomnia and loss of bone mass. Compared to other legumes, soybeans provides more calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus in addition to folic acid and other vitamins such as B1, B2, B3 and B6.
OPTIMAL CONDITIONS TO STORED IT
The pulses are kept in optimum conditions, approximately one year, though, as time goes by, their organoleptic characteristics are decreasing and take longer to cook. For stored tightly, must be stored in a cool, dry and protected from moisture, direct light and insects instead. Therefore, it should keep them in containers with seals. If you buy packaged, it is preferable to keep them in their own container, respecting the conditions specified therein. If salads are acquired, it is important to note the date of minimum durability and no dents or dings. If the vegetables are purchased in bulk, it is advisable to put them in an opaque container which allows light to avoid rusting and discoloring.
Once cooked, can be stored for several days in the refrigerator in an airtight container or can be frozen for months. If any frozen and cooked, slow thawing recommended in the bottom of the fridge before eating. When cooking is important not to mix different varieties or new vegetables together with other older. Cooking times differ from one another, and it may take some much happen and others, however, remain raw.
DID YOU KNOW?
Being dry products must moisturize legumes before cooking, by soaking the day before. To do this, you must fill with water that is not too cold, and never with hot water, because you might lose some of their vitamins. By absorbing part of the soaking water, fold reach at least its initial size. Those beans that float in the water after soaking should be discarded. When cooking, cooking should be soft to not skinned. The salt is added at the end, when they are tender.