They ain't purdy but these little beans are versatile and delicious!

The humble pinto bean is a staple in my diet. I love the mild flavor of pinto beans as an easy side dish that blends well with anything I serve. Most people are familiar with pinto beans because of the ubiquitous refried beans served at Mexican restaurants. I use them in Mexican recipes, vegetable soup, chili, blended into bean gravy, straight from the can over a baked potato or along side some sautéed spinach.
Not So Humble
One cup of these power-packed disease-fighters can be eaten as an entrée because they contain 12g protein, 11g fiber, 19% DV of iron, 10% DV of calcium, 401mg Omega 3 fatty acids, 36% DV of folate, and 19% DV of thiamin. With a respectable showing of three other B vitamins and 10-29% of every mineral, pinto’s are fit for a body builder’s diet. With 209 calories per cup they are perfect for any diet!

Carb Friendly

Pinto beans, and all other beans, peas, and legumes, contain a resistant starch that is not easily absorbed by the body, therefore it does not raise blood sugar like other starches. Just compare the glycemic load of beans to potatoes. A 150g serving of pinto beans has 22g carbs and a glycemic load of 10 . The same amount of baked potato with skin has 30 carbs and a glycemic load of 33. Not all carbs are created equal!
Reduce Cancer Risk 50%

The starch in beans digests slowly and ferments in the large intestine into amino acids that kill cancer cells. It also feeds beneficial bacteria living in the colon. I read in a recent newsletter by Joel Fuhrman, MD that a study of 32,000 people over 6 years revealed a 50% reduction in colon cancer risk in those who ate beans just twice a week. Imagine how much lower the risk if we eat them everyday?!!

Budget Friendly Dried Pintos
It is easy to find dry pinto beans for less than $1 per pound. Pick up some from the store, rinse them in a colander and look for the rocks. That’s the way I like to think of it. Just assume they are in there and rinse and swish them by hand until you find the rock or rocks. Then cover them with water plus 2 inches in a giant pot overnight. The next day drain them and re-cover with water plus 1 inch and bring to a boil. Once they start to boil, reduce the heat to simmer and leave the lid ajar. Simmer for about an hour or until they are tender. Cooking time depends on the age of the beans, so just check after the first hour, add more water if needed and cook longer if needed. I cook them without salt or seasonings the first time, then season them when I reheat them. After they have cooled, place them in freezer containers and freeze. They will be ready for your next side dish or Mexican feast.
Canned Pintos
I also like to keep canned organic pinto beans on hand. They cost more than dried but are still cheap and convenient. To prepare the canned ones, I just empty the whole can into a small saucepan and add about 1/4-1/2 cup of chopped onion. Simmer with the lid on until the onion is translucent. Sometimes I spice them with ½ cube of “Not Beef” bouillon too.
Canned Pinto beans also make delicious gravy. One of my dinner guests, Madison, said it was the best gravy she had ever had! Just cook the canned beans with ½ “Not Beef” bouillon cube until warm then blend with a blender or immersion blender until smooth.  Add a little water if they are too thick and serve over mashed potatoes or rice. A meal of mashed potatoes with bean gravy, lentil and rice neat loaf, and green beans makes me forget I’m a vegan!
Pinto’s are so easy and delicious they don’t need a recipe but if you insist, here ya go.
Thick and Hearty Pinto Bean Chili

Dried chiles and unsweetened cocoa give this chili a deep, rich taste. If you can't find dried chiles, try substituting 1 cup of vegetable broth plus a tablespoon or so of chili powder. Increase the chili powder to taste.
3 large dried New Mexico chiles (see note above)
1 1/2 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce (no salt added)
3 cups cooked pinto beans (or 2 cans, rinsed and drained)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
cayenne or other red pepper, to taste
Remove and discard the stems from the chiles. Place them in a small saucepan and pour the water over them. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Put the chiles and the water into a blender and puree until well-blended. Pour into a strainer, pressing lightly on the pulp to get out all the flavor. Throw the pulp away and reserve the liquid. In a large non-stick pot, sauté the onion in a little water (1 tablespoon to start) until it's beginning to brown. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and a little more water and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add the reserved chile sauce, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans,
cumin, oregano, black pepper, and paprika and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder with 1/4 cup hot water until it is well blended. Add it to the chili. Taste for seasoningsand add salt and red pepper to taste. If it seems bitter add sugar. Cook on low for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
Makes 4-6 servings.
For 4 servings (including all optional ingredients): 256 Calories (kcal); 1 g Total Fat; (4% calories from fat); 14 g Protein; 50 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 568 mg Sodium; 15 g Fiber
Copyright 2008 Susan Voisin and Fatfree Vegan Kitchen
Serve Versatile Rice Cakes at Your Next Get Together, TeeHee

I discovered dark chocolate covered rice cakes in Germany a few years ago and brought a suitcase-full home. Although still hard to find, they are available here now and I found some the other day. friend came over the other night and before she got here I put one on a napkin and placed it by her chair before she arrived. When she came in I offered her a beverage and we sat down. About 20 minutes later I noticed she had her drink sitting on top of her rice cake! I said, "That's not a coaster! It's your rice cake!" We laughed until we cried.

All the best,

Psalm 65:9 (NIV)

9 You care for the land and water it;
    you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
    to provide the people with grain,
    for so you have ordained it.

Healthy Living

Pinto Beans​

Kristi Whitley