Legumes have a reputation for being slow to cook and bland. However, tinned legumes are one of the easiest and most useful foods to have in your cupboard. Gentle in taste, they’re full of nutritional goodness – being high in protein and fibre, and with small quantities of iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Studies show that legumes are associated with an improved life expectancy and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
To use canned legumes – which are generally in the tinned-vegetables section of the supermarket – simply crack open the can, drain and give them a quick rinse. It’s easy to add a tin of chickpeas, beans or lentils to a soup or casserole. I often mash white beans with garlic and lemon juice, then spread this paste on toast. Top with some rocket or other leafy greens, and it’s a delicious breakfast or lunch.
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