It is best to prepare the beans yourself by soaking them overnight (12 to 24 hours) in order to reduce the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors and make them more digestible – you will be able to absorb more of the nutrients and have less chance of bloating, gas, heartburn, etc. (The precooked method is faster but does not removed as much of the “anti-nutrients.”)
Canned beans are good in a pinch, but I try to use them as little as possible. Most canned beans are stored in cans with a plastic liner, some of which gets absorbed by the beans. Instead, you can cook up a large batch of dried beans and freeze them in measured quantities for future use. I like to freeze them in 2-cup, pint-size jars.
Kale and White Bean Soup (Chicken)
1 lb. dried white beans such as Great Northern or Navy
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. coconut oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups chicken bone broth (or veggie broth)
2 qt. water
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb. cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (optional)
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb. kale (preferable lacinato kale) without stems, coarsely chopped
Prepare the beans by either (1) soaking dry beans overnight covered with water by two inches and some apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, drain in a colander, and rinse or (2) precook dry beans by covering with water by two inches in a pot and bring to a boil, let stand uncovered for one hour, drain in a colander, and rinse.
Sauté onions in oil, in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook an additional minute. Add beans, broth, carrots, one quart water, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Let simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 60 minutes. Stir in kale, chicken, and remaining quart of water. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until kale is tender, about 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper as needed.
This article was written by Sharon Harmon, founder of Life Design for Health. She has a passion for helping people find their way back to optimum health. Please contact her if you would like to know more. There is a great deal of health-related information in her blog articles and on her website.