Hiding Beans: How to get protein from a food you don’t like (yet)
Since my last post was about protein, I’ll go on with a little post about beans. Throughout the years after explaining how I get enough protein with a vegan diet, many have replied by saying it wouldn’t work for them because they “don’t like” the high protein plant products, specifically beans. Now I don’t really understand this sentiment because I love every type of bean I’ve ever tried. But even I have had days where I don’t want a plate of full beans but I know I need the protein. So here are some tips on how to hide your beans.
My most useful tip is bean mashing. Mashed beans are thick and have a creamy consistency. If you throw them in the blender with water, you can create a creamy base for broth. All you have to do after you have successfully liquified your beans is add seasoning. Try a bouillon cube, garlic, salt and pepper, onion, mushroom, whatever you would usually use for gravy. This gives you a creamy texture that you may not always get in vegan cooking and still provides you with some protein. This is an especially good base for mushroom sauces or sauces that include pieces of soy-sub ground meat.
Sneak your beans in to the party. The best way to learn to like a food is starting by eating it when you can’t tell it’s there. This is similar to the mashed bean method, but they don’t necessarily need to be mashed. Put just a teaspoon of white beans in to a veggie packed salad, casserole, or tomato sauce. You can even bake your beans into foods like biscuits. Start slow and eventually you might find yourself adding more and more.
When all else fails, reach for the Cholula. Hot sauce has been used for generations to mask the taste of foods we don’t like, and damn me if I don’t love my bean burritos covered in the stuff.
Extra tip for all of you bean haters out there. Baking your beans gives them a totally different flavor. I don’t mean necessarily “Baked Beans”, like the kind cowboys and picnic goers eat. I mean any bean you got, baked in the oven. Take your beans straight from the can and throw them in the oven for 5 - 10 minutes or until you see the top is getting dried out. To get a great flavor out of your beans, try adding garlic, tomato, celery, onion, a little bit of thyme and/or oregano, and bay leaf.