[print this page]

Dry Beans and
November 23, 2005

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 encourage most Americans to eat fewer calories, be more active and make wiser food choices.  The Northarvest Bean Growers Association added three pages of information and advice to "The Bean Cookbook" to help people follow the "bean" recommendations in the new dietary guidelines. This article references that new information from "The Bean Cookbook."  If you don't have a copy of the cookbook, you can order one from the Northarvest Bean Growers at 50072 East Lake Seven Road, Frazee, MN 56544, 218-334-6351, Email:  The cookbook is free to Northarvest members.  All others remit $4.



Cooked dry beans are a part of two food groups, Vegetables and Lean Meat and Beans. 

Vegetables Group:  The new message is that the Guidelines and use five vegetable subgroups to encourage variety and wiser food choices.  Dry beans are part of the Legume subgroup.  The guidelines recommend eating more dry beans like pinto and kidney beans.  Adults consuming 1800 - 2400 calories daily should eat 3 cups or 6 servings each week.  One adult serving is ½ cup.  Try the following ideas to get extra beans in your meals:  add a can or two of beans to a pot of soup, top a salad with a handful of black or garbanzo beans, add a can of pinto beans to a casserole, eat beans as a hot vegetable with your main dish.

Lean Meat and Beans Group:  Vary your protein routine.  Eat lean or low fat.  Choose more beans (wise food choices, again).  One-quarter cup cooked dry beans is a one-ounce serving of protein, so a ½ cup serving = 2 ounces of lean protein.  Adults who eat 1600 to 2000 calorie diets should eat 5 to 5.5 ounces of the lean meat and beans group daily.  Dry beans are naturally low fat.  Choose fat-free ingredients, recipes with less fat and meat, and add beans to your recipe until each serving includes ½ or 1 cup.  Taste the dish and increase the seasoning in the recipe enough to keep the original flavor.  Write the change and amount on the recipe so you can easily do it again.

Example:  Taco Burrito Filling (page 60 of the cookbook) 1 can chili beans, regular shredded cheese:   

1 taco = 1/8 cup beans, 1 ounce protein, 265 calories, 40% calories from fat per taco

Three months later:  Change Taco Burrito Filling recipe, 2 cans chili beans, fat free cheese:

1 taco = ¼ cup beans, 2 ounces protein, 305 calories, 32% calories from fat per taco

Using The Bean Cookbook

The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 and encourage eating: More dark green and orange vegetables, legumes-beans, fruits, whole grains and low-fat milk and milk products AND less refined grains, total fats (especially cholesterol, and saturated and trans fats), added sugars, and calories.

With those healthier goals in mind:  How can I possibly eat 2 ½ or 3 cups of cooked dry beans each week?  Turn Musical Fruit into Magical Fruit.  Teach your body how to digest beans without discomfort.  Slowly add beans to your meals, eat 1 tablespoon of canned beans each day for a week.  Add another tablespoon each week for eight weeks.  Two months later, you're eating 3 cups a week, goal accomplished!

Beans count as a Lean Meat and Beans (protein) or Vegetable serving.  You choose which food group to count the beans.  Canned or cooked dry beans supply substantial amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals with relatively few calories.  One-quarter cup of beans counts as one ounce of protein.  Vary your protein routine.  Choose more beans, tofu, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, fish, poultry and lean meat to meet your protein requirement.


Recipe Serving


Your Favorite Canned Fat Free Baked Beans


½ cup beans (1V or 2 ounces LMB)


Potato Scallop, page 18


1 serving (¼ recipe) = ½ cup beans


Buckaroo Beans, page 19


1 serving (1/6 recipe) = 1 cup beans (2V or 4 LMB)


Baked Beans, page 20


1 serving (1/6 recipe) = 1 cup beans


Bean Dish, page 21


1 serving (¼ recipe) = ¾ cup beans (1V, 1LMB)


Calico Beans, page 22


1 serving (1/12 recipe) = 1 cup beans


Bean and Sausage Casserole, page 23


1 serving (1/12 recipe) = 1 cup beans


Bean and Cheese Enchiladas, page 32


1 enchilada = ¼ cup beans (1 LMB)


Bean and Cheese Burrito, page 34


1 burrito = ½ cup beans (2 LMB)


Apple Bean Bake, page 40


1 serving = ¼ cup beans (1/2 V or 1LMB)


Zesty Beans, page 41


1 serving = ½ cup beans



Other Headlines

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust


Northarvest Bean Growers Association | 50072 East Lake Seven Road | Frazee, MN 56544
Ph: 218-334-6351 | Fax: 218-334-6360 | Email: