Back To School Beans

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Tamar Genger MA, RD
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back to school beans

Some people get the back to school blues.  You know, the feelings of worry and nervousness before the first day.  The stress of getting back into or starting a new morning routine to get everyone off to school and work on time.  I like to beat the blues with beans.

Beans are one of the best sources of vegan protein.  They are also a carbohydrate that is packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body and mind will benefit from.  Beans are satisfying and take longer to digest so they keep you full longer.  This way you won't be distracted by hunger pains too early in the day.

The real trick to combatting the blues is being prepared and beans are an easy addition to any brown bag lunch.  My kids love plain canned chickpeas or black beans so I always keep cans in the pantry, just in case.   You can mix black beans with some leftover rice and send it in a thermos for an easy lunch idea.  Throw some beans and cheese in wrap.  Or mash up some beans and send it as a dip.  If you are up for a little more prep time then I have a new bean to share that comes to us from Greece.

gigantes plaki  greek baked beans

Gigantes are a large Greek bean you can find in some specialty markets or online, dried.  They are almost double the size of lima beans and taste very different in my opinion.  They are a little pricier than regular beans, but when you think about it is a meal substitute for meat it is still affordable.  They are prepared very simply with tomatoes, garlic and onions.    Gigantes are perfect for school or work lunches because they are really good hot or cold. They are super filling on their own or can be served in a salad, with some bread or with some cheese.  They don't spoil and everyone loves them.

Along with getting your kids to bed earlier for the whole week leading put to the first day of school, planning for breakfasts and lunches ahead of time and talking to your kids about their fears and nerves try this new recipes for Greek Baked Beans, Gigantes.

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