Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Beans, Rice & Corn (SRS Meeting - November 6th 2008)

Black Beans

Complete Protiens

In general, animal proteins (meat, fish, poultry, milk, cheese, and eggs) are considered good sources of complete proteins. A complete protein or whole protein is a protein that contains all of the essential amino acids.

Vegetable proteins (grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and other vegetables) are incomplete proteins because they are missing, or do not have enough of, one or more of the essential amino acids. By combining foods you can create a self-made complete protein.

When combining foods like beans with rice or corn at the same meal (or separately throughout the day), your body receives all nine essential amino acids.

There are other combinations as well. Beans and seeds, beans and nuts, and beans and grains You can combine the following vegetable proteins to make complete proteins.

Beans and Rice is a great way to get a complete protein when meat is scarce. Other examples are Peanut butter on whole-wheat bread, Whole-wheat bun with Humus, Rice and Bean soup and a roll, Rice cakes with peanut butter, Tofu-vegetable stir-fry over rice or pasta.

Information from: www.fitsugar.com & www.bodyforlife2.com


The good news is that rice is a healthy food. The USDA recommended allowance of rice and other grain-based foods is 6 to 11 servings daily.

Interesting Nutrition Facts about rice: White Rice contains 103 calories per half-cup and 108 calories per half-cup serving of brown rice It is cholesterol, sodium, and gluten-free. It has only a trace of fat and is a complex carbohydrate.

Brown Rice
Rice from which only the hull has been removed is called brown rice. When cooked, it has a slightly chewy texture and a nut-like flavor. Brown rice is a natural source of bran. It cooks in approximately 40-45 minutes. Brown rice can only be stored for 6 months, the higher fat content can make it go rancid if stored for too long.

White Rice
White rice has been completely milled and polished, removing the bran layer. Vitamins and minerals are added for enrichment. It cooks in about 15 minutes

Information from: www.usarice.com


Polenta is made with ground yellow or white cornmeal, (ground maize). It can be ground coarsely or finely depending on the region and the texture desired. As it is known today, polenta derives from earlier forms of grain mush commonly eaten in Roman times and after. Early forms of polenta were made with such starches as the grain farro and chestnut flour, both of which are still used in small quantity today. When boiled, polenta has a smooth creamy texture due to the gelatinization of starch in the grain, though it may not be completely homogenous if a coarse grind or a particularly hard grain such as flint corn is used.

Polenta was originally a peasant food. However, since the late 20th century, polenta has become a premium product. Polenta dishes are on the menu in many high-end restaurants. Many current polenta recipes have given new life to an essentially bland and common food, invigorating it with various cheeses or tomato sauces.

Black Beans

Research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry indicates that black beans are as rich in antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins as grapes and cranberries, fruits long considered antioxidant superstars.

When researchers analyzed different types of beans, they found that, the darker the bean's seed coat, the higher its level of antioxidant activity. Gram for gram, black beans were found to have the most antioxidant activity, followed in descending order by red, brown, yellow, and white beans. most antioxidant activity, followed in descending order by red, brown, yellow, and white beans.

Overall, the level of antioxidants found in black beans in this study is approximately 10 times that found in an equivalent amount of oranges, and comparable to that found in an equivalent amount of grapes or cranberries. So eat up!

Information from www.whfoods.com

Beans Tidbits:
  • A pound of beans measures about 2 cups.
  • Beans triple in volume when soaked and cooked.
  • A cup of dry beans yields 3 cups cooked.
  • A pound of dry beans yields 6 cups cooked.
  • Use 3 cups of water per cup of dry beans for soaking.
  • Simmer each pound of beans 2 hours after soaking.
  • A pound of dry beans makes about 9 servings of baked beans.
  • A pound of dry beans makes about 12 servings of bean soup.
  • A one-pound can of cooked beans measures about 2 cups.

Tortillas Yesterday & Today

According to Mayan legend, tortillas were invented by a peasant for his hungry king in ancient times. The first tortillas, which date approximately 10,000 years before Christ, were made of native corn with dried kernel. Today, corn tortillas are made from either corn cooked in a lime-based solution or by using corn flour, producing a dough, forming it like a pancake and finally baking it in an oven. Among native Mexicans, tortillas are also commonly used as eating utensils. In the Old West, "cowpokes" realized the versatility of tortillas and used tortillas filled with meat or other foods as a convenient way to eat around the campfire. Thanks in part to the widespread popularity of Mexican and Southwestern cuisines, Americans love tortillas. In fact, tortillas are more popular today in the U.S. than all other ethnic breads, such as bagels, English muffins and pita bread.As testament to their popularity, the Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) estimates that Americans consumed approximately 85 billion tortillas in 2000 (not including tortilla chips).

Information from: www.tortilla-info.com

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