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I created this Cool Beans infographic for the World Pulses Day 2020 call for art - the more I dug into interesting bean facts (did you know the US is 6th in the world in bean production and exports 20% of their beans to help feed other countries?), the more the age old song started playing on repeat in the back of my mind.
Beans beans the magical fruit...
Did you know beans gained popularity during World War II because they're such an inexpensive but nutritionally complete food?
The whole part of the song talking about beans as a fruit was always confusing to me as a kid, but during this project I learned any food that develops from the flower of a plant is considered a fruit. Beans and pulses (dry beans) grow from the fruit of the bean plant, making them a fruit!
I have so many rad bean facts to share, I also reformatted my infographic into a vertical orientation for easy sharing on social media - you can check it out here:
Adzuki beans are used in Japan to make a sweet red bean paste called Anko. Anko can be used in many traditional Japanese sweets. Growing up, adzuki treats of all kinds were always my favorite. This is my memory of my kitchen table growing up, the adzuki bean treats with the smell of fresh tea brewing.
This is a typical Catalan recipe, easy to cook but very tasty. Here you can see the ingredients and the way they are cooked and also a map with a sign pointing the country I am referring to and a person, ready to eat who is wearing the typical hat of the region.
This is a Greek Cypriot dish called Louvi. This is made with black eyed beans and spinach. Once in your bowl you add lemon juice and olive oil and it is great with fresh bread. This reminds me of my childhood days visiting family in Cyprus! Kali orexi - Enjoy!
Beans Around the World. The area known as "The Southwest" is home to the coolest flora and fauna around. And, wow! those amazing skies. But, it's hot, so you will definitely want a tasty lunch that doesn't melt you. To the rescue: black bean and corn salad! All the quintessential southwestern ingredients in a delicious combination. You can even add cheese if you prefer, but do not forget the avocado!
A traditional Bulgarian soup made of beans, onions, carrots, olive oil, herbs and spices cooked over low heat in a big clay pot.
The recipe is simple and easy to find on the internet. The magic is that each family has its own unique combination of spices and the recipe is passed on from generation to generation.
In the past it was the bean soup that gathered the family together after a hard day's work on the field.
Nowadays it is often served for dinner and loved by everyone.
Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are a nutritious staple of many diets. With a buttery flavour and smooth texture, garbanzo beans can be blended to create hummus, mashed to used as a flour replacement and even roasted to use as a caffeine free coffee alternative.
This is one of my favourite beany recipes. Suitable for vegetarians also, this recipe is a great family meal. You can really use whatever beans you like, I've just illustrated a few of my favourites. (you could even use baked beans!)
Beans, Beans, Glorious Beans!! The unsung hero of the kitchen - packs such a powerful punch in every pod. My playful take on some cool bean facts - always looking for ways to make learning a little more visually appealing - especially for kids!
Beans around the world! This recipe is super quick to make, easy and also full of flavour. You can use it as a vegan pate in your sandwiches and also as a healthy snack dipping your favourite chopped veggies like carrots, peppers, celery or cucumber it goes well with everything. Perfect for a vegan potluck or any party where you have to bring some food.
You can also use it as a base and make some variations including some of the following options:
Turmeric and pepper
Caldereta is a super spicy goat stew from the Philippines. Some replace the goat meat with beef or chicken, or add cheese and wine. It's a flexible recipe, just like Filipinos! I really miss Filipino food because I've been away from home so long. I love that the ingredients of this recipe are easy to find anywhere, so when I feel homesick I can whip it up easily and taste the heat of the islands. What makes this different from our other tomato-based stews? Aside from the goat meat, it's the chilies and garbanzo beans. It's a fancy dish usually served at fiestas. On the left side of the illustration is "caldereta" in the native script of the Philippines called baybayin. It is a style of writing that was almost lost but rediscovered and enjoying a resurgence among scholars and hobbyists. I hope someday our ancient writing will be just as ubiquitous as the ingredients for caldereta!