Rainbow Beans (vegan, gluten free)

Rainbow Beans with Gluten Free Cornbread

"Beans, beans are good for the heart..." Why, yes they are because they are full of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber may reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol because it absorbs it during digestion.  Regulating the speed of digestion can help stabilize blood sugar spikes and reduce metabolic syndrome, too. (For more on soluble fiber, see this article at Livestrong.)

"Beans, beans the economical fruit..." A pound of mixed beans will cost about $2, and even less if you buy in bulk. I confess that I like canned baked beans. I like them a lot, but they contain an awful lot of sugar and salt and most have that dreadful porkish thingie at the top. Making them yourself provides a healthy, inexpensive meal that can be as low in salt or sugar as you want it to be.

Rainbow Beans is what G-man calls the mixed soup beans. You have colourful lentils and beans in various shades and sizes. The result is a pot of beans with varied textures and a broader mix of amino acids.

For the basics:

1 lb mixed soup beans
6 cups cold water
8 oz unsalted tomato sauce
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 tsp onion powder (or 1/4 cup chopped, sauteed onion)
1/2 tsp garlic
salt to taste

[optional: 1/2 cup brown sugar or honey. We can get away with leaving this out, then drizzling a bit of honey over the kids' plates.]

Look the beans over for impurities such as bits of gravel. Rinse the beans by covering them with water, giving them a gentle stir and pouring the water off.

Put the beans, water, molasses, and seasonings into the pot. Cook on "Low" for about 12 hours. Salt to taste, adding about a teaspoon at a time.

Notice that I did not soak them first? With the crock pot, cooking and soaking can be a combined step. You can leave for the day and come home to the aroma of fresh baked beans. 

I shared this post with Fight Back! Friday

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