Thursday , December 2 2021

Healthy Eating – Beans Good for the Heart


By Betsy Bruns

Beans, beans, they’re good for the heart…the more you eat…the more you lose.

Traditionally, this time of year, many people embark on a weight loss plan in an attempt to release excess pounds. You may know where I’m going with this, as I’ve written previously about the many incredible benefits of a plant-based diet.

According to The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, plant-based diets can help you lose weight and keep it off because they are packed with fiber, which helps fill you up, without adding extra calories. Eating 40 grams of fiber each day will keep you full and energized.

Did you know that beans are a fiber powerhouse?

According to a meta-analysis published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, beans, lentils, chickpeas and other legumes help with weight management. Researchers reviewed 21 articles encompassing 940 overweight or obese participants on the impact of eating legumes on body weight, body fat and waist circumference. One serving of beans each day resulted in about half a pound lost after six weeks, compared with those who did not consume a daily serving of legumes. Legumes are not only high in fiber and protein, they increase satiety with fewer calories.

Who doesn’t want to lose weight by adding food into their diet?

A dramatic increase in fiber and bean consumption can make life more “musical” if you know what I mean. See the guide from the Physicians Committee to learn how to make the switch with more ease and less wind.


A simple appetizer that is a party in the mouth. I was never a fish egg caviar connoisseur, but this vegan version tastes luxurious and satisfying for a fraction of the cost.

½ cup black beluga lentils

2 cups water

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons minced capers, packed in brine

2 tablespoons brine from the caper jar

¼ cup vegan cream cheese

1 tablespoon white miso

2 scallions chopped, for garnish

16 to 20 water cracker rounds, or your favorite cracker

Rinse the beluga lentils and put them in a small pot with the water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Drain the cooked lentils and place them in a medium bowl. Add the salt, capers and caper brine. Mix well and refrigerate for at least two hours. Mix the vegan cream cheese with the miso in a small bowl.

For serving, spread a thin layer of vegan sour cream cheese onto cracker rounds. Add one-half to one tablespoon of caviar to each and top with chopped scallions and additional capers, if desired.


Makes Six Servings

These burgers are an exotic twist of flavors and healing ingredients. I’ve gotten rave reviews from students in my PCRM cancer workshops.

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

¼ cup potato flour

½ teaspoon salt

teaspoon cayenne pepper,
to taste

½ teaspoon ground coriander

or cardamom

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoons curry powder

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ cup cooked bulgur or brown rice

1 can (or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas) drained and rinsed

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1 stalk or ½ cup celery, finely chopped

1 small carrot or ½ cup finely chopped

1 small onion or ½ cup finely chopped

Vegetable oil spray

Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet until they begin to pop and become fragrant. Grind the toasted sesame seeds in a food processor or blender,

then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic.

Chop chickpeas in a food processor, using an on/off pulsing action, or by hand using a potato masher, leaving some chunks. Add chickpeas to vegetable mixture, along with bulgur or brown rice, soy sauce, curry powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne and salt. Mix thoroughly. Stir in enough potato flour to form a stiff dough. Knead for 30 seconds, then form into six patties.

Lightly spray a nonstick skillet with vegetable oil spray. Cook patties over medium heat for about two minutes until the first side is lightly browned. Then flip and cook the second side for another two minutes until it is lightly browned. Enjoy these burgers hot from the skillet. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator. Leftover chickpea burgers will keep for up to three days.

* Recipe and photo by Betsy Bruns

** Recipe and photo by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)

Betsy Bruns is a plant-based health coach, “Food for Life” instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (, and an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner. When she isn’t making healing food taste like comfort food, or helping clients tap away stress and cravings with EFT, she’s soaking up nature and dreaming of ways to make life more delicious for all beings. Visit


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