Apr 7, 2009

The Magical Fruit

Sing along with me--beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you feel. So let’s have beans for every meal!

I’m pretty sure I’ve known this song just as long as I’ve known my ABC’s. It must be a rite of passage into youth in my family because I remember numerous family members singing or humming this tune whenever beans were being cooked. I have no doubt that I will pass this on to my children. But “magical fruit”?? I understand that it rhymes, but why fruit?!
I’ve always known some veggies are really fruits. Like tomatoes, for instance. But what about beans? Is the song just a clever ploy to confuse & entice eaters? After all, aren’t fruits supposed to be sweet and juicy?

Fruits are classified as being the ripened and seed-bearing ovaries of flowers. Beans are considered a dry fruit. Apparently there are many fruits in the botanical sense but when it comes to culinary uses and descriptions they fall into the vegetable category. Beans are one of those. Think of them as one of the many cross-dressers in the food world. Now I like them even more!

Types of beans you can find EASILY at any grocery store, canned or dry:
~chickpea (also known as garbanzo bean)
~kidney bean
~black bean
~pinto bean
~mung bean
~azuki bean
~lima bean
~fava bean
and the list goes on

You can enjoy these delicious protein & nutrient packed little morsels in numerous ways. They can be added to salads, soups and can be the sole ingredient in a standalone bean dish. They can be served hot or cold. But when devouring them don’t forget to hum the tune and remember you are really secretly eating a fruit :)

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