Tag Archives: healthy

California Beans Winter Giveaway!

Enter to Win Winter 2017-1

Winter Giveaway Time!

What’s Your Favorite Way to Eat Beans?

Enter to win a free $400 Amazon gift card from California Beans.

It’s easy! Just head to our Facebook page, follow the arrow on our cover photo to the Sign Up button, click and choose what way you like to eat beans!

Please share this great giveaway with your friends! Contest ends December 15th and you may enter once a day (must be over 18 years of age)!

Meet our Featured Dietitian Mary Parsons!

Mary Parsons

Mary Parsons of Flavorrd is a food enthusiast and registered dietitian. Biology was her field of choice in college, but her experiments in the kitchen led her to combine her love of science and food in a master’s degree in nutrition. This Florida native is now living in San Diego and working for Healthy Dining doing nutrition analysis and consulting for restaurants. She maintains her website, flavorrd.com, in her free time.

“As an RD, I have been trained to appreciate eating from a scientific perspective,” she says. “Like all things in life, food and nutrition are infinitely complex, and there will always be something new to discover.”

She hopes her website will become a place where others who share her passion for food can come to share ideas, get inspiration, and discuss nutrition and the struggle to nourish our bodies and spirits.

Mary feels most Americans don’t eat enough fiber — and beans are an excellent source of this nutrient. Fiber is a critical fuel for friendly gut bacteria, and a diet deficient in fiber can lead to imbalances in the digestive system that can be a significant source of chronic inflammation.

She loves black beans because she grew up in Florida, so Latin cuisine is a comfort food for her. Plus, the deep color is a giveaway that they’re an especially rich source of the antioxidant anthocyanin.

Her advice for people who experience digestive symptoms when eating beans: Start with small amounts and gradually increase the proportion of legumes and other vegetables in the diet — it can take some time for the gut to adapt to changes. Also, soak dried beans before cooking to improve digestibility; oligosaccharides (which are difficult-to-digest starches associated with beans’ reputation as a “musical fruit”) leach into the soaking water, which can then be discarded before cooking with fresh water.

Mary graciously shared her recipe for Curried Chickpea Wraps with us!

photo courtesy of Mary Parsons

photo courtesy of Mary Parsons

Curried Chickpea Wraps

Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 3

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
salt to taste
2 cups cooked chickpeas or one 14.5 oz. can, drained and rinsed
1 Roma or other small tomato, chopped
To serve:
pita bread
plain yogurt
fresh cilantro
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for several minutes, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown. Add the spices and salt, and allow to cook while stirring about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes, and cook for about five more minutes. The tomato will soften, and the chickpeas will begin to crisp.

Serve the curried chickpeas on a warm pita bread, topped with yogurt and cilantro.

Be sure to follow Mary on social media!

Meet our Featured Food Blogger Alyssa!


Alyssa Brantley develops delicious recipes that are easy to master. Not only is her website, Everyday Maven, filled with amazing dishes, but she has conveniently categorized them so you can find exactly what you need — beans, diet, points, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, nut free, and more!

Each dish is coded with little green allergy icon that makes it easy to find a meal that fits your allergy diet. The recipes are made with real food and don’t involve overly processed ingredients.

Alyssa grew up in a family where unexpected guests were welcome anytime to share in the family meal. Her mother’s attitude was, “Don’t miss dinner, just bring your friend.”

Now living in the Pacific Northwest, this young mom of two boys hopes that she can create the same welcoming table for her sons. I predict that there will be a lot of friends coming to dinner in the future to enjoy her delicious food!

As the weather gets colder, this Italian Meatball Sausage Soup with Cabbage and White Beans will be perfect for lunch or dinner.


photo courtesy Alyssa from Everyday Maven

When you do make dishes from Everyday Maven, make sure you take a photo of the dish and post to your social media with the hashtag #everydaymaven. Alyssa loves to see her recipes come to life in your kitchen!

Be sure to follow Alyssa on her social media!


Baking with beans isn’t weird!

bite of cake

Does baking with beans sound weird to you? What if I told you that you can cut the fat and up the nutritional value of your baked goods without sacrificing flavor?

It’s easy to do: Just substitute pureed beans in a 1:1 ratio. Still aren’t sure about this new trick? You can get started by substituting half of your recipe’s oil or butter with pureed beans.

For best results, use black beans for chocolate recipes and white beans in other baked goods. I have substituted black beans in brownies and people were shocked to learn they have this secret ingredient in them. I now get requests for those “bean brownies”!

If you have a sweet tooth, you can make treats more nutritious by using beans to ease your guilt. I have used pureed beans in bread, pancakes, waffles, and a variety of baked items. Not only is using beans nutritious, it’s also economical!

Here are a few recipes from our website using different varieties of beans.

BlackbeanbrowniesBlack Bean Brownies

pieceofcakeDark Chocolate Cake

Photo courtesy of Nutrition Twins

Photo courtesy of Nutrition Twins

Chickpea Blondies

Bean Banana Bread 1Bean Banana Pecan Bread

Meet our Featured Food Blogger Jaclyn Bell!


If you’re looking for recipes to inspire your breakfasts, dinners, and beyond, you must bookmark the Cooking Classy site! Jaclyn Bell is a young wife and mother who started her blog to share her love of good food and to perfect her photography and writing skills. This self-taught cook and photographer loves comfort food such as pizza and enchiladas. Taking a stroll through her recipe library is like looking at a beautiful cookbook — it just makes you want to get in the kitchen and start cooking! Try her 7-Layer Dip, Three Bean Salad, Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Lime Crema, or her Bean and Bacon Soup … and that’s just to get started. This delicious Kale White Bean and Sausage Soup is perfect for autumn’s colder weather.

photo courtesy of Cooking Classy

photo courtesy of Cooking Classy

Kale White Bean and Sausage Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces beef Polska Kielbasa Sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices (I used Hillshire Farm and really liked it)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (about 3)
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 (14.5-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces kale, thick ribs removed, chopped (about 1 1/2 bunches, or 5 ounces if using pre-cut kale)
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded parmesan cheese, for serving

Check out this link for the rest of the recipe.

Be sure to follow Jaclyn on all her social media!

Do You Know Your White Beans?


Navy, Great Northern and cannellini beans are often confused for each other — but luckily, no matter which bean you choose, you’ll wind up with a tasty dish! These white bean varieties can be interchanged in recipes. Here’s a quick guide.

  • Great Northern beans are twice the size of navy beans and have a mild flavor and powdery texture.
  • Navy beans received their current name because they were a staple food of the U.S. Navy in the early 20th century. These mild, dense, smooth beans are popular in the United Kingdom and the United States and are used in baked bean recipes.
  • The cannellini bean is also known by the names white kidney and fazolia and is often mistaken for the Great Northern. This smooth-textured bean cooks down to a creamy consistency and nutty flavor. It’s a favorite in central and southern Italy, particularly in Tuscany. This bean is great in pasta dishes and soups.

Our recipe library has a great variety of white bean recipes for you to try. Here are just a few!

WhiteBeanBananaBreadWhite Bean Banana Nut Breadcod1Cod with Chorizo and White Bean Potato Pureewhite beans and scallopsWhite Beans and Seared ScallopsmuffinPumpkin Bean MuffinsIMG_3911Pancakes

Meet our Featured Dietitian Carlene Thomas!

View More: http://ashleyfinkphotography.pass.us/dietitianboard2017

Carlene Thomas’s Healthfully Ever After website is a feast for the eyes! Carlene is a dietitian nutritionist, and along with her husband, Chris, they develop recipes and take amazing photos of food.

Carlene finds that beans are incredibly satisfying, an excellent source of fiber, and are a crop that helps to give back to the environment. She loves chickpeas but also thinks cannellini beans are amazing and blends them for texture to make soups thick and creamy without added fat.

When cooking beans, Carlene thinks about presentation — and it’s especially evident in this recipe, Winter Bean Salad with Herb Lemon Dressing. She made an entire salad of beans because they look great together!

Photo courtesy of Healthfully Ever After

Photo courtesy of Healthfully Ever After

Make sure to follow Carlene on her social media!

So many delicious bean recipes!

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

Have you ever thought of adding beans and chorizo to macaroni? How about hummus with a Greek twist, or using butternut squash and beans on a tostada? Our April featured food bloggers Allie and Dan of Love and Risotto are always posting delicious dishes on their website. We are delighted that they offered to share with California Beans!

This first dish, Tex Mex Chorizo Macaroni, uses ingredients that are readily available. Not only is it easy to prepare, but it would be great to serve when the weather gets chilly.

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

photo courtesy of Love and Risotto

Tex Mex Chorizo Macaroni


  • 1 pound shell pasta
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 oz. pork chorizo
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Boil water in a large pot and add elbow pasta. In a medium-sized pot, heat milk until it starts to bubble and then reduce the heat. In a separate pot, add the butter. When melted, slowly whisk in the flour. Whisk continuously for about 3 minutes. Add the milk slowly into the flour mixture and whisk continuously. Whisk mixture for another 3 minutes.
  2. Combine cheeses, taco seasoning, and salt and pepper to the mixture and stir. Add the cooked pasta and stir for 5 minutes.
  3. In a skillet, heat the chorizo until fully cooked. Add to the macaroni. Garnish the macaroni with kidney beans, tomato and cilantro. Enjoy!

Sun Dried Tomato & Feta Hummus would be perfect to take to a tailgate party this fall! I would slice up a baguette or make some pita chips to dip into this hummus.

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

Sun Dried Tomato & Feta Hummus


  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 3/4 cup-1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato spread
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes


  1. In a small food processor, add the can of garbanzo beans and half of the oil and mix until smooth. More oil can be added if the mixture seems too thick. Add the sun-dried tomato spread and blend it in the processor, adding more oil if it seems paste-like. When smooth, pulse in the feta cheese. Serve with more oil on top and crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

This recipe would be perfect for a do-it-yourself tostada bar for a party!

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

Butternut Squash Tostadas


  • 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 package tostada shells
  • 1 can refried black beans
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup roasted salsa


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle the butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper in a Pyrex dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned.
  2. Warm the tostada shells in the oven for about three minutes. Top with black beans, avocado, cilantro, and feta cheese. Before adding the arugula, coat the leaves thinly with oil, salt and pepper.
  3. To make the sauce, simply combine the salsa and sour cream in a mixing bowl. Drizzle over the tostadas. Enjoy!








Meet our Featured Food Blogger, Holly!


Type in the word “beans” on Holly Nilsson’s website, Spend With Pennies, and you will find pages of recipes using all varieties of beans! Holly is a mother of four almost-grown children, a wife, blogger, recipe creator, photographer and force behind the website.

Browse through Spend With Pennies and you’ll quickly conclude cooking is her passion. She creates recipes for the everyday cook that are easy, imaginative, and great! Not only are her recipes fantastic, but you will also find household tips, time-saving ideas, and so much more — such as storing dry beans!

Holly has graciously let us share her Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili recipe with us.

Photo courtesy of Holly Nilsson Spend with Pennies

Photo courtesy of Holly Nilsson

Make sure to follow Holly on her social media:


Meet Lindsay, Our Featured Dietitian!


Lindsay Livingston is a full-time mom and a registered dietitian from Columbus, Ohio. She believes healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive — and beans fit perfectly with her philosophy.

Lindsay’s website, The Lean Green Bean, has delicious, easy recipes for your whole family to enjoy. She has found that beans aren’t just delicious — they’re for the whole family. They are a perfect finger food for her eight-month-old daughter because they help her practice her hand-eye coordination while also being a source of nutrients and fiber.

Substituting beans for meat helps to add more protein and fiber to dishes. Plus, beans are easy to blend and add to things like dips, baked goods, and desserts.

Lindsay is a huge fan of black beans, and her love of Mexican-style dishes tends to pair well with that variety.

photo courtesy of Lindsay Livingston

photo courtesy of Lindsay Livingston

The recipe she chose to share with us is one of her favorites, White Chicken Chili. It’s lighter than a traditional tomato-based chili, is packed with protein, and tastes great in both winter and summer. You can easily make it as spicy as you want to and top it with goodies like cheese and avocado.

Make sure to follow Lindsay on her social media!

Check out her ebooks: “Ultimate Guide to Food Prep” and “Table Talk: Tips and Tricks for Feeding Young Children.”