Vegan Great Northern White Beans & Be Smart Do the Research

This week, Cooking For You My Love is serving up a simple pot of vegan great northern white beans with a side of Irish Soda Bread. Last week I promised I would be turning you onto Pesto Soup from my French, Dining with the Impressionist Cookbook by Helene and Didier Gans. Well, I forgot, until five minutes ago when I re-read last week’s blog… sometime this week I’ll make it, and report back…

And when you read the nutritional value and benefits of white beans I researched, you will be excited as I am. I might add, I’ve been told I make the best; (granted the person who told me is eight years old, and my granddaughter Sydney, who has already demonstrated she has great taste 🙂 ) … So onward…

Vegan Great Northern White Beans Ingredients

Serves: 4 Adults

Soak time: Overnight

Cook time: 2 hours

  • 16 oz. (1lb.) bag of Great Northern Beans
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lg. onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 ribs of celery with leaves minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs. minced fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Minced parsley for garnish

Vegan Great Northern White Beans Recipe

  1. Wash and sort the beans. For 1 lb. bag of beans cover with 6-8 cups of cold water. Let stand overnight or at least 6-8 hours.
  2. Drain soak water and rinse beans.
  3. In a large soup pot, at medium low heat olive oil and sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, until onion is translucent.
  4. Cover with 6 cups of water, bring to boil.
  5. Add the rosemary, and bay leaves, then cover with lid and turn to simmer, for two hours or until beans are creamy.
  6. If they are too watery, leave the lid askew
  7. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of minced parsley.

You know you’re getting a wonderful hearty dinner as the aroma fills the air. But once you realize the benefits of this simple dish and legumes nutritional value, it will become a staple in your diet. It has ours. Here is some invaluable information I found while researching our humble beans. It’s fun and sometimes surprising to look up what it is I’m about to put in my mouth and feed to the people in my life.

FYI: Healthline.com has become my go-to.

Nutrients in white beans

White beans are a nutritional powerhouse, as they’re packed with fiber and protein and a good source of numerous micronutrients, including folate, magnesium, and vitamin B-6.

      •  1-cup (170-gram) serving of cooked white beans provides:
      • Calories: 242
      • Protein: 17 grams
      • Fat: 0.6 grams
      • Carbs: 44 grams
      • Fiber: 11 grams
      • Copper: 55% of Daily Value (DV)
      • Folate: 36% of the DV
      • Iron: 36% of the DV
      • Potassium: 21% of the DV
      • Thiamine: 17% of the DV
      • Phosphorus: 28% of the DV
      • Magnesium: 26% of the DV
      • Zinc: 22% of the DV
      • Calcium: 16% of the DV
      • Vitamin B6: 12% fo the DV
      • Riboflavin: 6% of the DV
      • Selenium: 4% of the DV

As you can see, white beans are particularly rich in copper, folate, and iron.

Copper primarily aids energy production and iron metabolism (don’t you just love knowing that?) While folate is utilized in DNA synthesis (I’m not even trying to explain). Iron has numerous important functions, including producing hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout your body.

What’s more, white beans are high in polyphenol antioxidants; which combat oxidative stress in your body. Yet, white beans aren’t a complete source of protein on their own, meaning they don’t contain all nine of the essential amino acids your body requires. 

Thus, pair them (either at the same meal or during the same day) with grains like rice, barley, corn and wheat, which provide the other essential amino acids. Combinations of legumes and grains, such as beans and rice, are often referred to as complementary proteins. (I have never been served at my mother’s house or my dear grandmothers, beans without tortillas. It just occurred to me, Ricks mom served her beans with cornbread. I’m calling it the instinctual brilliance of women cooks through the ages)

Another benefit is monetary: beans don’t cost very much. I spent $2.39 cents on a 1 lb. bag the other day. We have had two dinners, and Rick just said, one more dinner would be fine with him. (love him) So, I’ll do the math: 2.39 divided by 2 people = 1.19 divided by three dinners = approx. .40 cents a night for a delicious bean dish. Counting the bread let’s round up an even $1.00!

In last week’s blog; A Vegan Provencal Stew with Potatoes and Artichokes, I included the recipe for Irish Soda Bread. It was so fabulous that I made it again to serve with the white beans. Though, this week I veganized the recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook. I’m going to include that recipe here for you today, because you definitely want to add this gift from the Irish into your fall/winter meal plan. With caraway seed distinctive taste, in a way imparts the flavor of the old world.

“Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures. It is not a coincidence that we say that bread is the staff of life.” – Lionel Poilane

Clio’s Irish Soda Bread Ingredients

  • 1 loaf, 6 portions (if you cut the wedges smaller you can get 8 portions)
  • 6 tbsp. vegan butter (I use the Smart Balance Buttery Spread)
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener
  • 1 cup currants or raisins
  • 1 ¾ cups dairy free milk with 2 tsp of vinegar added
  • 2 tbsp. flax seed meal 4 tbsp. water (egg replacement)
  • 1 tbsp. caraway seeds or powder ( this is the key to it’s rich flavor)

Clio’s Irish Soda Bread Recipe

  1. Smear 2 tbsp. of the vegan butter evenly in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Line the ‘buttered’ skillet with a circle of wax paper.
  2. Melt 2 more tbsp. ‘Butter’ in a separate pan and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven 350 Degrees
  4. In a small dish cover the flaxseed meal with 4 tbsp of water.
  5. Add the vinegar to the dairy-free milk to curdle
  6. Sift together dry ingredients. Add currant or raisins to dry ingredients and toss well to coat.
  7. Whisk together the milk, flaxseed mixture, melted butter. Add to the dry ingredients, along with the caraway seeds. Mix until blended. Don’t over-mix.
  8. Spoon batter into prepared skillet and smooth top gently with spatula. Dot with the remaining 2 tbsp. ‘Butter’.
  9. Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 60minutes. Cool slightly, remove from skillet and cool completely on a rack, or
  10. serve warm from skillet.
  11. Cut into wedges.

We were so hungry and exhausted I didn’t think of taking pictures of this wonderful meal plated. Though here is a picture of our varietal wine grape juice 2020 Syrah.

Ibuprofen works! I ended last week’s post with telling you about Rick’s recovery and how well he was doing. He was feeling so good, he stopped taking the three ibuprofen every five hours, instead just one in the morning and one night  even forgot. That’s how good he was feeling. Hah! We learned a huge lesson: the Ibuprofen was working as an anti-inflammatory and really helped with the pain from the radiation treatment; which left him with third degree burns in his innards.

And why am I telling you this? Because if there is someone in your life who is going through radiation treatment for prostate cancer, knowing this might help you help them. He felt so good (Ibuprofen was working) he started taking daily walks (where he runs usually, lot’s of hills) and working in the yard. He thought he had this in the bag, or in the rear view mirror; that  lasted about 2 days. And has been couch bound ever since. Back to taking a therapeutic dose of Ibuprofen around the clock, which I give him with some vegan yogurt with it’s healthy probiotics. BTW; the yogurt helps replace the gut flora wiped out by the radiation. Today he had a dollop of the stuff over a cubed watermelon. Delish!

I sort of think it was the Oakland A’s painful loss to the Houston Astros. We’re passionate about our team. Within seconds after that last out, Rick had his A’s flag rolled up and tossed back into the closet until next year and new season…For love of God will 2020 ever end!!

Ciao for now!!!


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