Beans, beans, the magical fruit… or so the saying goes. There’s a reason Jack climbed a beanpole to another kingdom! And when we’re talking about local heirloom beans, well — they’re just that much better. Beans are full of protein, they’re low-impact when it comes to environmental health, and they come in so many diverse varieties.
They’re beloved as a staple across the entire planet — especially in areas designated as “Blue Zones”, where residents have longer and healthier lives. Some Blue Zones include Okinawa, Japan and Sardinia, Italy. Blue Zone Diets are characterized by lots of fruits and veggies, BEANS, fish, and moderate consumption of alcohol. There are lifestyle components as well — people who live in Blue Zones typically cook meals at home, eat slowly and with company, and get out for a little exercise every day, even if it’s just a walk.
Beans aren’t just good for you, they’re also something that will keep for a long time. So if you’re in quarantine right now, it’s entirely possible that you have some dry beans waiting for you on your shelf. Canned beans will suffice, too, though there’s something really lovely and meditative about taking the time to soak, cook, and eat (of course) dry beans!
So, without further ado, let me present…. Blue Zone Beans! Inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, these beans are delicious, protein-packed, and full of bright, fresh flavor — perfect in a salad, a side dish, or just as they are!
I got my beans from my Spring Time Farm CSA, but use any kidney or pinto-esque bean! You could even use chickpeas if you want to up the creamy quotient.