Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Adventures in Food - Beans and Legumes

I haven't blogged about food in a while, I just realized. Fortunately, we still have two very good eaters! When I place the girls in their high chairs, they go on high alert, trying to figure out what they're about to eat. They usually kick their legs and lick their chops excitedly. 

They have been really enjoying beans and legumes. This is great news for Jenn and me because we love them ourselves and eat them frequently. By themselves, beans are pretty boring. I've been adding vegetables and lots of spices to their bean mixtures. 

Canned Beans - Salt & BPA
If you look at the nutrition label and ingredient list of most canned beans, you'll notice that they have quite a bit of added salt. Babies do not need any added salt in their diets. Excess salt can put a lot of strain on their fragile little kidneys. BPA (Bisphenol-A) has been in the news quite a lot in recent years. It has been used in plastics for over 50 years. BPA is an environmental estrogen and is therefore a hormone disruptor. This isn't great for adults but it is especially concerning for the developing bodies of children. It can interfere with a child's physical and behavioural development. Parents are now strongly encouraged to buy BPA-free bottles, cups, toys etc. for their children. Almost all canned products contain BPA (in the can itself). Making a BPA-free can is very expensive for companies. Eden Organic is one of the few companies that does make BPA-free cans. They also does not add salt to their beans. The black beans have a small amount of kombu seaweed added, which is perfectly safe for babies.

When I made the girls lentils, chick peas and kidney beans, I purchased dry beans. Dry beans require some planning. They need to be soaked overnight (for at least 6-8 hours). In the morning, they usually need to be boiled in water for a good hour (sometimes more). I know that these are vague instructions but it depends on how much you're making. Remember that one cup of dry beans will roughly equal three cups of cooked beans. 

I didn't get my act together to buy dry black beans and really wanted to give them to the girls today. They got canned Eden Organic black beans instead. Here's what I did with them:

T & Q's Mexican Black Beans
1 can of Eden Organic black beans
Approximately 1/4 of a mango
1 clove of garlic
Squirt of lemon (or lime)
Ground cumin, coriander and paprika (seasoned to your liking)
Approximately 1/4 cup of water

Add all ingredients to a pan. Warm and then mash up or put in a food processor and blend to baby's liking. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to have to try this one out! Thanks for sharing your recipe.