As we approach cold weather and the holiday season, you may be looking for healthy soup and hearty meal options that don’t include meat as the main source of protein. Look no further than legumes for your answer! Legumes are a type of vegetable with a seed pod, which include beans, lentils, peanuts, and peas. Not only are legumes an excellent source of protein, they are also naturally low in fat and high in fiber. Beans and lentils contain phosphorous, iron, zinc, calcium, and selenium, making them a nutritional powerhouse when added to any soup dish. When looking for recipes, choose dishes with grains such as rice or corn to make the dish a complete protein. Beans can be purchased dry, though it does require soaking; you can avoid the added sodium of canned vegetables. If the convenience of canned beans is appealing to you, just remember to look for no salt added and rinse them before cooking. With all of the different varieties, the possibilities are endless! Try a traditional corn and bean soup, or a split pea and lentil soup. As the New Year approaches, you may even way to make a big pot of black eyed pea soup for family and friends. Enjoy and have fun creating your favorite soup!
-Posted by Lauren Shadle, intern at Stacey Schulman Nutrition