Poor beans. The unsung super food. I encourage my patients to eat 1 cup of beans per day. Some accept the challenge. Others look at me befuddled, "Did she really say 1 cup of beans?!" Yes, I did. Not sure how you're going to get there? Everyday? Make this split pea soup. Its' simple, hearty, and the mild flavor will please the not-sure-I-like-beans bunch. Now I'm looking at you befuddled, "How can you not like beans?!"
Ok, I get it...some people avoid beans because they are concerned about gastrointestinal upset. The gas is caused by intestinal bacteria breaking down the natural sugars found in beans. The more often you eat beans, the more bacteria your body will produce to break down the sugars smoothly. So, eat beans regularly (like, 1 cup per day) and your body will adjust. I promise!
Split pea health benefits:
- soluble fiber to help control cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar
- 1 cup cooked split peas has almost twice the amount of potassium as 1 banana
- high in folic acid (1 cup provides 31% for most adults), which helps reduce inflammation in artery walls
- 1 cup cooked split peas has a third of the protein requirements for most healthy adults
- rich in thiamine to keep your memory sharp (how many beans should you eat a day? :) )
Split Pea Soup
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup carrots, sliced or chopped
5 ribs of celery, sliced
5 large white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups (1 16oz bag) dried split peas
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth 2 cups water
1. Heat olive oil in pressure cooker or large soup kettle. Saute onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the chopped carrots, celery, mushrooms, and green pepper. Cook additional 2 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients to pressure cooker or kettle.
For stove-top: After all ingredients are in kettle, bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours - 2 hours until split peas are soft and break apart slightly when stirred. You will need to add 2 more cups of fluid (1 cup broth/1 cup water).
For pressure cooker (my method of madness): Once all ingredients in the pressure cooker, seal and bring to high pressure. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. If you want them even softer, replace lid, seal, and cook additional 1-2 minutes.
For crockpot: Combine all ingredients and cook on high 4-5 hours or low 10-11 hours. Add more water/broth if you prefer a thinner consistency.