Today is the first day of winter! I don’t know about you; but, the first food I reach for, when it’s cold outside, is a big bowl of soup. This year, I’ve been giving my Instant Pot a workout, with tons of new soup and stew recipes I’ve created for you. My first recipe was Instant Pot Spiced Meatball Vegetable Soup!
So, yes, I have officially added beans back into my diet. After successfully reintroducing kidney beans, I thought I’d give other beans a go. My first recipe is this one, Instant Pot Chicken with Black Beans and Gravy. I’m sure I’ll have have many more for you, as I expand my bean-eating experience.
In the spirit of broadening my diet to include more healthy foods, you will be seeing me add some previously taboo foods to my recipe collection. When I started to think about the foods I missed most, beans (especially red beans) was at the top of my list. The last time I had red beans and rice was in October 2013, right after my lupus diagnosis. At the time, I was visiting New Orleans, where my sister, Alyssa, had just given birth to my nephew, Grayson. My other sister, Alaina (yeah, they’re twins), had made me a big pot of red beans and rice, to celebrate my visit back home. I hadn’t made the switch to paleo yet, only gluten free. The fact that I remember that story, in such detail, makes red beans the perfect choice for me today.
Now, beans can be a tricky food to reintroduce into your diet. How many of us have experience the gas, bloating, and indigestion that can come from eating a nice big bowl of beans? I think we would all like to skip that part of enjoying beans. So, I set out to reduce those unwanted symptoms.
Beans contain anti-nutrients, like phytic acid, which produce the ill effects, such as gas. By soaking dried beans for 24 hours or more, we can remove most of the anti-nutrients from the beans. I recommend soaking your beans for at least 24 hours, in a bowl of filtered water and a teaspoon of baking soda, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. If possible, rinse and change water at least once while soaking. When soak time is over, thoroughly rinse beans before cooking. For some reason, kidney (red) beans seem to be “dirtier” than others. Make sure you change the water and rinse completely, at least a couple of times.
The ingredients I’ve chosen to add to the beans, also aid in removing any leftover toxins or anti-nutrients in the beans. Celery, parsley and garlic are all anti-inflammatory. They contain nutrients, vitamins, compounds or minerals that can bind to toxins, to safely remove them from the body. This can help our bodies to digest beans more effectively, and draw out nutrients in the beans, for our bodies to use.
Having a healthy gut, before you enjoy a bowl full of beans, is also key in not having any ill effects. Taking digestive enzymes or pre- and pro-biotics before your meal can help your gut process foods better. It’s well worth it to use all of the tools available to us. More tools = less toots!
Hope y’all enjoy these Healthy Instant Pot Cajun Red Beans. It may take longer to soak and prepare your beans; but, you….and those around you, will thank me later. LOL!
Don’t have an Instant Pot yet? Treat yourself on Black Friday or Cyber Monday! I’m sure you’ll be able to get a great deal!
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