Kidney beans are a wellness trend you need to watch in 2020. Market trends show that Americans are consuming beans at a higher rate than ever before, up 73% in the past five years. The rise of kidney beans is the result of several consumer trends, including the increasing number of those following vegetarian diets, and those looking to replace wheat-based flours.
High in protein and other vital nutrients, kidney beans deserve their moment in the spotlight. They’re easy to incorporate in many recipes, make an excellent stand-alone side dish, and give your body the fuel it needs.
Kidney Beans Fast Facts
Before we dive into market trends and consumer behavior, here’s a quick overview of the nutritional value in kidney beans, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Per One Cup (8oz) Serving*:
- 613 calories
- 1.5 grams of fat (2% of total daily value)
- 0mg of cholesterol
- 44mg of sodium (1% of total daily value)
- 2,587 mg of potassium (73% of total daily value)
- 46 grams of fiber (184% of total daily value)
- 43 grams of protein (86% of total daily value)
- 26% total daily value of calcium
- 83% total daily value of iron
- 35% total daily value of vitamin B6
- 64% total daily value of magnesium
- 12% total daily value of vitamin C
*Total daily values are based on a typical 2,000 calorie per day diet.
Kidney Beans and Plant-Based Diets
As individuals become more conscious about the effects that meat has on the body, they are erring towards more plant-based diets. Whether they are cutting down on meat consumption or making the switch to exclusive vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, one thing is for sure. People are looking for other, less traditional sources of protein. Kidney beans are an excellent solution.
For those looking to increase their protein intake without upping the amount of meat in their diets, kidney beans offer nearly an entire day’s worth of protein per cup. Most individuals require a daily intake between 46- and 56 grams of protein a day.
Kidney Beans and Market Trends
Surveys show that kidney beans are one of the most popular beans, mainly because of their significant nutritional value coupled with their low cost. For those looking to eliminate significant sources of cholesterol in their diets, people with diabetes, fresh food advocates, and more, kidney beans are quickly becoming the go-to.
Market trends show that the rise of health-conscious purchasers looking for foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties has significantly driven the demand for kidney beans. The beans help regulate blood glucose levels, making them an excellent meal addition for people with diabetes, and organic kidney beans are the most popular in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
How to Cook with Kidney Beans
The GR8 thing about kidney beans is that you can add them to virtually any recipe. Throw them into healthy recipes for your slow cooker, add them to soups, or boil and season them with your favorite herbs as a side dish.
If you’re looking for more unique ways to get kidney beans into your diet, try the following:
- Add cooked kidney beans to a food processor and use the paste as a spread or dip.
- Add them to salsa or healthy nacho recipes.
- Sprinkle them on top of your salad.
- Use a kidney bean puree as a flour substitute, or purchase a kidney bean-based flour.
- Add them as a pizza topping.
- Add them to meatballs or burgers.
- Add them to quinoa or rice pilafs.
- Incorporate them in tacos.
There are endless ways to eat kidney beans, and none of them have to be boring. Gone are days of the past when eating beans was unappealing, dull, or lacking in flavor. Today, kidney beans are exciting. And as the trend continues, cooks around the world are coming out with new ways to work them into dishes daily.
Note: Eating raw or undercooked kidney beans can be toxic, so be sure to follow all directions on the packaging.
Making Kidney Beans More Flavorful
You may have memories of your childhood where you would avoid beans at all costs. They didn’t have enough flavor. With today’s kidney bean trend, you can kick it up a notch. You (and your kids) may not even notice you’re eating kidney beans at all.
Some of the best seasonings and spices to use with kidney beans include:
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Chili powder
Others like to add flavor to kidney beans by cooking them with oils, including:
- Peanut oil
- Sesame oil
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
Don’t be bound to these recommendations, though. Get to experimenting in the kitchen with your favorite flavor combinations and find the one that you love most. You’ll renew your love for kidney beans, and once you find that perfect culinary combination, you’ll find yourself craving the healthy legume when you least expect it.
Another major bonus with the kidney bean trend is that there are many ways you can prepare them. You can cook canned beans in the microwave or a crockpot. You can boil them, or sauté and bake them once they’re cooked through. For dried kidney beans, you will need to soak them overnight as per the instructions on the bag.
And, once your beans are cooked, they have a decent lifespan for leftovers. Cooked kidney beans can last in the fridge for up to five days if they are packaged and sealed correctly in Tupperware, or you can freeze them to cook later. They never have to go to waste.
Who Should Eat Kidney Beans?
You don’t have to be a vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, or have high cholesterol to get in on the kidney bean trend. If you’re looking to eat cleaner, get your nutrients in, or switch up traditional recipes, kidney beans are for you.
As a parent, if you’re looking for ways to get your kids to eat healthier foods, incorporating kidney beans into some of their favorite recipes is an excellent way to do so.
So go ahead, get to the grocery store, and pick up some canned or dried kidney beans on your next shopping trip. Get to cooking, find your flavor balance, and get creative. They’re a GR8 food.