With no oil, no added salt, and no refined sugar, it’s protein-rich, easy to put together and full of flavor. Perfect for potlucks, parties and busy weeks.
Some research indicates that taking in large quantities of raw lectins, which are found in beans and other foods, could have negative health effects. Read more as we share the facts…after sharing the recipe.
First of all, we give a huge shout out to Cathy Fisher and her blog, Straight up Food! Cathy creates recipes without salt, oil, sugar, animal foods, and uses very few processed foods. Her focus is on a diet that promotes excellent health.
We’ve adapted this classic four-bean salad from Cathy.
The salad is typically made with canned green beans. We’ve yet to meet a canned green bean we like, so we blanch fresh green beans in simmering water for about 4-6 minutes, until crisp tender.
The beans are then quickly removed and plunged into ice water to stop the cooking process.
You’ve got plenty of options for this salad: butter beans, lima beans, yellow wax beans, black-eyed peas, or navy beans. Just be sure to use green beans for some color and texture.
Starting with the vinaigrette, place chopped roma tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, pure maple syrup or raw honey, ground cumin, and garlic in a blender, and blend until smooth.
In a large bowl, add green beans, peas, chopped red onion, black, kidney, and garbanzo beans. Pour in the vinaigrette and toss gently to combine.
A little chopped Italian parsley is also nice in this salad.
Just What Are Lectins?
Lectins are naturally occurring proteins that are found in most plants. They serve a protective function for plants as they grow.
Some foods that contain higher amounts of lectins include beans, peanuts, lentils, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, fruits, and wheat and other grains.
The Mayo Clinic tells us that some research seems to indicate that taking in large quantities of raw lectins could have negative health effects. The amounts you’d need to consume each day to get to that level, however is much higher than a typical diet would include.
Studies have shown that lectins break down when processed or cooked, so the risk of adverse health effects arising from lectin-rich foods that aren’t raw is not cause for concern.
Besides, bean consumption is associated with a myriad of health benefits. Beans are packed with fiber, folate, and phytates, which may help reduce the risk of stroke, depression, breast and colon cancer.
No wonder the cancer guidelines suggest you fit beans into your daily meals!
For more information on the benefits of beans and the myths of lectins check out:
Have you been on the website, NutritionFacts.org? It’s run by Michael Greger, a physician, author, and professional speaker on public health issues. He delivers the latest in nutrition research in easy to understand videos, blog posts, and podcasts. Check him out. He’s awesome!
Four Bean Salad
Yield 2 quarts
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
Perfect for potlucks, parties and busy weeks.
2 roma tomatoes, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp pure maple syrup or raw honey
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp minced garlic
3 cups precooked green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (see recipe notes)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, soaked in ice water for 15 minutes, then drained (see recipe notes)
3 tbsp chopped parsley, optional
- For the vinaigrette, place tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup or honey, cumin, and garlic into a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside in refrigerator.
- For the salad, place the green beans, black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, peas, onions, and parsley into a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the beans and toss gently to coat.
- You can either steam or blanch the green beans. For blanching, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and simmer for 4-6 minutes, until crisp tender. Quickly remove beans from water and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Soaking chopped onions in ice water for at least 15 minutes mellows their flavor. The cold water keeps the onions super crunchy, while the sulfur compounds that give onion its pungent, harsh flavor will dissipate in the water.
We've adapted this classic four-bean salad from Cathy Fisher's blog, Straight up Food! Cathy creates recipes without salt, oil, sugar, animal foods, and very few processed foods. Her focus is on a diet that promotes excellent health.
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