Beans Nutrition: One cup of cooked dry beans (like kidney beans) provides about 11 grams of fiber, or 45% of the daily recommended intake of fiber. One cup will also provide 225 calories, 15 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbohydrate, and less than 1 gram of fat. Beans are a good source of several vitamins and minerals -- most notable are folate and molybdenum. A cup of beans provides 57% of a day's worth of folate, and 177% of a days' worth of molybdenum.
Beans are good sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber has been shown to help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber can help to regulate digestion.
You can find beans year-round in your regular grocery store, either canned or dried in many varieties, such as: black beans, light and dark kidney beans, white beans, pinto beans, chick peas, and many more. If you buy canned beans, look for ones that are labeled low or no-salt. Dump the cans out into a large strainer, and rinse well under running water before use. If you are using dried beans, follow the directions on the bag for both quick and traditional methods for soaking the beans to rehydrate them. I find that dry beans remain tough if you cook them with any salt before they are rehydrated. This is my method for soaking and cooking dry beans: Place them in a strainer and run them under water to rinse, picking out any beans that look bad. Then put them in a large pot and cover them with water -- about four times as much water as beans. Leave them to soak overnight. In the morning, rinse the beans and discard the water that they soaked in. Then dump the beans into a crockpot with 1 diced carrot, 1 diced celery, 1 diced onion, 1 bay leaf and 6 cups of water. Cook for six hours on high, and they'll come out nice and soft. If you're making soup, then discard the bay leaf and add all the other soup ingredients. If you're making beans as a side-dish, then skip the celery and carrots in the crockpot and just cook the beans in the water and onion. After they cook for 6 hours, dump the beans and onion into a strainer to drain off the water, and then put the beans and onions into a skillet and add other ingredients -- garlic, cumin, oregano, apple cider vinegar, etc.; whatever the side-dish calls for.