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15 Bean Fiber Frenzy

As a lacto/ovo pescatarian, I get most of my protein from a few sources – fish, yogurt, eggs, and legumes.   A lot of non-meat eaters think that being a vegetarian is instantly a healthier choice – but not when your diet turns in to choices from a typical “vegetarian” restaurant menu – fettucine alfredo, fried eggplant parmesan, or cheese quesadillas.

I’ll admit that it took me a while to get used to eating beans as a protein source – although they weren’t as foreign as tofu or tempeh, I still wanted beans to taste good.

Over time I became more skilled at working beans into different dishes – salads, stirfries, even baked goods – but a good Mexican black bean soup still steals my heart.  I’ve raved about the vegetarian soups at Au Bon Pain before, but $5 a pop adds up pretty quickly.  When I saw this bag of beans on sale at Aldi, I had to grab it.

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I remember from my previous cooking experience and food science classes that beans take forever to soak from their dried state, so I chose the “quick soak” option – which still took about 1.5 hours before the soup making even began!

In addition to the beans, I amped up the soup with a can of diced tomatoes, one sweet potato, three carrots, a red onion, a few cloves of garlic, chili powder, fajita seasoning, thyme, and a bay leaf.

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The soup cooked for about 2.5 hours before it changed from really thin to nice and hearty.

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Why are beans so great?  Not only do they provide protein, fat, and carbohydrate, but they are also a great source of fiber.  You all know the “magical fruit” rhyme – right?  Benefits of fiber include helping you feel full, lowering your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and helps to keep your bowel movements “regular”.  You don’t want to increase too quickly over time, or you can experience the negative effects that people often complain about.

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I have a strangely high intake of fiber (just based on my diet and lifestyle), but you want to increase slowly and try to keep your intake relatively constant over time.  As a general guideline, women should aim for 25g per day and men can shoot for 35g per day.  Drink extra water as you increase your fiber intake to help with digestion.

The soup was even better eating it for lunch the next day, after the flavors intensified.

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Monday’s fiber intake (just from higher fiber foods, there is a negligible amount in other foods I ate):

  • 2 clementines – 4 grams
  • 2 slices whole grain bread – 3 grams
  • 1/3 cup oats – 4 grams
  • 1 medium banana – 3 grams
  • 1.5 cups bean soup – 20 grams (!)
  • Total = 34 grams

Do you think you get enough fiber in your diet?  Are you afraid of beans?

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21 responses to “15 Bean Fiber Frenzy

  1. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance December 6, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I actually had a bag of this 15 bean soup mix on my shelf for a while, but by the time I got around to using it, little dust/dirt particles showed up inside the bag which creeped me out too much! I thought that they had gone bad 😦

    Anyway, you’ve inspired me to try again! This soup looks hearty and delicious, and I love the additions you made

  2. sprint2thetable December 6, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I don’t know if it get enough fiber… but I love beans! On a natural, plant-based diet I think you are more likely to get all the nutrients you need so I’m going to go with yes. I’ll track mine today to see!

  3. Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food December 6, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I love beans now! I used to ‘hate’ them and would complain when my mom would make any type of bean soup! I really had no reason to hate them…I think I was just being a bratty kid! I’ll have to look for that bean mix next time I’m at Aldi!

  4. emily (a nutritionist eats) December 6, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I’ve always been tempted to try those bag-o-beans!!! I think usually I get in a really good amount of fiber, I’m not afraid of beans!!!

  5. Paige December 6, 2011 at 10:51 am

    This sounds fabulous, Claire! I never think to make soups.

  6. kristina@beancakes ✭ December 6, 2011 at 11:35 am

    hi claire ~ i absolutely LOVE beans! and this soup looks nothing short of pure hearty deliciousness!!
    xx ~ k

  7. Lisa @ Healthy Diaries December 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Great job on the fiber! I ‘m usually pretty good at reaching my daily fiber intake goal. Your soup looks delicious! I’ve been wanting to make a batch of lentil soup for the longest time. I better get to it! 🙂

  8. Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife December 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Wahoo! Beans and fiber lovers unite!! I love fiber foods 🙂 I am weird, and like to do that too-count ’em up. It was once 58! Hah.

    Good job on staying with the protein sources!!

  9. IHeartVegetables December 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I loooooooove beans. Which is a good thing, since I’m a vegetarian 😉 I could eat beans at every meal, they’re so cheap, filling and healthy!

    Haha I did this $2 a day challenge for a week (it was for a church thing to raise money to feed people in other countries) which meant I ate almost nothing but rice, beans and banans!

  10. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I’ve never paid too much attention to the amount of fiber I eat, but i figure I get enough with all the fruit and veggies I eat!

  11. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate December 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I think I get enough because I never have problems pooping 🙂

  12. Baking Serendipity December 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Living in Phoenix, I haven’t made a good soup yet. It’s finally cold enough to do so and this one looks fantastic!

  13. Kris December 7, 2011 at 3:06 am

    Hahaha, ok, I eat beans, but YES I’m kinda scared of them 😉 They do bloat me right up….

    I was also advised by a medical intuitive {Caroline Sutherland} that beans and high vegan food causes pre diabetes because of the sugar conversion…true? Who the heck knows!

    I love me a good bean soup and dip! LOL

    xxoo

  14. teabagginit December 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    i get so much freaking fiber from all the plants i eat! i do love me some beans, though – especially beans & greens, such a great earthy/hearty combo!

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