Erin Shaw

Dietetic Intern Visit Erin's website →

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Going Beyond Hummus: How to Incorporate More Legumes into Your Diet

Challenge yourself to add one new serving of legumes to your day!

Legumes are a class of vegetables including beans, lentils and peas. There are countless reasons to love legumes. For starters, they are nutrition powerhouses, rich in protein, fiber, iron, potassium and folate – all of which are important nutrients that our bodies need to function well. Legumes have one of the lowest carbon footprints of all the food groups and require about 19 times less water to produce than meat, making them a more earth-friendly option to add to your plate. Legumes are also very affordable with a serving of lentils costing just $0.10! And most notably, legumes are a very versatile food group. Utilize the tips below for ideas on how to include different legumes in your meals and snacks!

Here are some ways to include more legumes in your diet:

  • Try a bean burrito for breakfast, wrapped in a whole grain tortilla with avocado, salsa and sautéed veggies.
  • Add red lentils to pasta sauce – they cook to a soft consistency and your kiddos won’t even notice they’re there, they also thicken sauces for a heartier meal.
  • Create a chickpea salad by combining mashed chickpeas with a little vegan mayonnaise, mustard, chopped celery, carrots and spices of choice and you’ve got an easy lunch.
  • Use green lentils as a substitute for ground beef in your favorite recipes – try lentil sloppy joes and classic tacos!
  • White beans provide a creamy foundation for soups and more – blend with a little water and you’ve got a versatile “cream” to richen things up.
  • Throw leftover beans and lentils into the slow cooker with canned tomatoes, peppers, onions and chili seasoning for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
  • Use dried spilt peas, chopped vegetables and spices to make a spring-inspired soup.
  • Try a variation of hummus by substituting red lentils for the chickpeas and adding a dash of cinnamon and cumin. Or mash black beans with paprika and lime juice for a fun dip.

Challenge yourself to add one new serving of legumes to your day! And don’t forget to leave a reply below with your favorite ways to use legumes or any questions about including more legumes in your diet!