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Stay Full of Beans for Longer and Lose Weight

Really helpful for filling up on fewer calories, beans (aka legumes) can also truly be described as a superfood – providing enhanced protection against heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Packed with good for you stuff like fibre, folate and antioxidants beans form an important part of the diets enjoyed by some communities boasting a longer, and healthier, life. (Jamie Oliver’s raving about them in his Superfood programme.)

Fuller for Longer

Beans are a special bonus for those of us trying to lose weight.

Not only do beans make a relatively low calorie meal satisfying, they also keep you feeling fuller for longer and help to regulate blood sugar. This means you’ll be less likely to feel the need for a sugary snack within an hour or two of eating lunch or dinner.

Protein is considered to be the number one food for making us feel full, with fibre coming in a close second.

Most beans are packed with both.

The majority of people in the UK don’t get the recommended amount of fibre in their diets. The NHS recommends aiming for 30g a day – most of us only manage around 15g!

A recent study published in the Journal of Food Science, showed that while protein intake releases appetite suppressing hormones, the beneficial effects of fibre on appetite include slowing down the digestion process and helping control blood sugar levels.

How to Get Your Beans

WLR’s three best bean recipes include power-packed black beans, red kidney beans and borlotti beans. All are easy to make and delicious, take your pick from:

Black Bean Soup and Salsa

Spicy Bean No Meat Meatloaf

Nutty Bean Chilli

Black Bean Soup and Salsa

by Weight Loss Resources

This soup is tasty, easy and takes less than 20 minutes to make. Use parsley instead of coriander if you don’t like/can’t get fresh coriander.

Black Bean Soup

Ready In: 20 mins

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins

Calories Per Serving: 210 kcal

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 red onions
2 tsp cumin
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
2 x 400g cans black beans
1 vegetable stock cube
2 medium tomatoes
25g Fresh Coriander

How to Make Black Bean Soup and Salsa

  1. Finely chop the onions and crush the garlic.
  2. Gently fry one of the onions in the oil until translucent. Add the garlic, stir fry with the onion for a minute, then stir in the cumin and chilli powder.
  3. Add one of the cans of beans to the pan (including liquid), then fill the can with water and add that to the pan. Stir and bring to a simmer.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and blend the contents with a hand blender, or transfer to a blender.
  5. Add the second can of beans to the blended mixture in the pan, and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. In the meantime, chop the tomato and coriander and mix with the remaining chopped onion to make the salsa.

Serve the soup in bowls with a little mound of salsa in the middle of each.

This soup freezes well in individual portions.

You can add this recipe, and a choice of thousands of other low calorie recipes, to your food diary in WLR, try it free

Spicy Bean No Meat Meatloaf

by Weight Loss Resources

This is great to eat hot or cold. Keep leftovers in the fridge for a tasty sandwich filling.

Spicy Bean No Meat Meatloaf

Ready In: 1hr 15mins

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hour

Calories Per Serving: 328 kcal

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
2 sticks celery
1 medium carrot
1 small sweet red pepper
1 clove garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
1 400g can of black beans
1 400g can of kidney beans
2 tsps lemon juice
15g tomato puree
1 medium egg
80g breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make Spicy Bean No Meat Meatloaf

Preheat the oven to 180/gas mark 4, and line a loaf tin with baking parchment - with a 4cm overhang to make it easier to get the loaf out after cooking.

  1. Finely chop the onion, celery, carrot and red pepper, and gently fry in the oil until onions are translucent.
  2. Add the crushed garlic, cumin, coriander and chilli and stir over the heat for about a minute, then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
  3. Drain both cans of beans and add around two thirds of each type to a food processor (reserve the remaining beans).
  4. Add the tomato puree and lemon juice to the processor, and process until smooth. Season to taste.
  5. Stir the fried vegetables and remaining whole beans into the mixture, along with the breadcrumbs and the lightly beaten egg.
  6. Put the mixture evenly into the prepared loaf tin. Bake in the oven for about an hour.

Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before taking out and slicing up to serve.

This is nice with the accompaniments you would normally have with fajitas: a dollop of low fat Greek yoghurt (instead of sour cream), some fresh tomato salsa and (if you can spare the calories) a little guacamole. Yum!

If you’d like to put your own twist on this recipe, you can add it to ‘My Recipes’ in WLR, make your tweaks and get the calories per portion calculated for you as you add and subtract ingredients - you can try it out free

Nutty Bean Chilli

by Weight Loss Resources

The walnuts add texture and taste to this quick and easy chilli. Adjust the amount and strength of chilli powder you use to suit your preferred heat level.

Nutty Bean Chilli

Ready In: 50mins

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins

Calories Per Serving: 421 kcal

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 medium red pepper
1 medium yellow pepper
1 medium green pepper
1 tsp dried cumin
1 tsp dried coriander
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dried oregano
100g raw walnuts
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
10g tomato puree
0.5 tsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 400g can borlotti beans, drained
1 400g can kidney beans, drained
1 pint made up vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make Nutty Bean Chilli

Preheat the oven to 180/gas mark 4, and line a loaf tin with baking parchment - with a 4cm overhang to make it easier to get the loaf out after cooking.

  1. Chop up the onion, garlic and peppers and gently fry in the oil for about 5 minutes. Keep them moving so they don’t burn.
  2. Finely chop the walnuts.
  3. Add the cumin coriander and chilli, to the pan and continue to cook gently for another minute.
  4. Stir in the walnuts, oregano, tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice and both (drained) cans of beans. Add about half of the vegetable stock and bring the pan to a gentle simmer.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more vegetable stock if required.

Serve with rice or flour tortillas, and a simple salad of chopped onion and tomatoes.

Caution

If you’ve been eating the typical UK diet – relatively low in fibre – increase your fibre intake slowly, over a period of weeks, to give your body a chance to adjust. You’ll probably find yourself a little more ‘windy’ as you increase your intake!

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