White Beans and Kombu for a Healthy Spring

Where does a vegetarian or vegan get their protein? From delicious and wonderful beans. Ranging from 17 to 25% in protein, beans can also help reduce cholesterol and are very high in fiber. They also contain many anti-cancer properties. Isoflavones help prevent heart disease and cancer. The phytochemical diosgenin appears to inhibit cancer cells from multiplying. Known for strengthening the kidneys and adrenal glands, beans promote physical strength.

To get the full health benefits of beans, you should always cook your beans with the sea vegetable kombu. Sea vegetables are the most nutrient dense food on the planet and are very high in minerals and trace minerals, several B vitamins, iron, calcium, iodine, and protein. But what makes kombu the special sea vegetable to cook with beans is its ability to help you digest the beans by strengthening your intestinal tract, and also helps eliminate gas when eating beans.

When cooking for spring, remember to make your dish colorful. Spring is when we see many beautiful colors emerging in nature–and we eat first with our eyes! This soup has many colorful vegetables and the white beans.

White Beans and Greens Spring Soup
9 cups water
1 (4 inch) piece kombu (soaked and cut up in small pieces)
9 scallions (Sliced thin)
1 lb. asparagus (cut in 1/2 inch pieces)
20 green beans (cut in 1/2 inch pieces)
2 carrots (diced)
1 yellow summer squash (diced)
1/4 cup minced kale
1 cup corn
2 (15 oz.) cans white beans (drained)
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. sage

Bring water to a boil in a large soup pot. Add the kombu, scallions, asparagus, green beans, carrots and yellow summer squash. As you add each vegetable, let water come back up to a boil before adding the next vegetable. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the kale, corn and beans. Continue simmering for another 10 minutes. Turn heat off and add spices. Serve hot.

Valerie Wilson

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About the writer: Valerie Wilson

Valerie Wilson is a chef, author, counselor, and host of "Healthy Cooking with Macro Val" on BMSRadio. She teaches macrobiotic, vegan cooking classes in Westland, Mi.

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