Friday, May 29, 2009

Beans, Beans, good for your Bones!

This may be surprising but it is true. Beans are a source of calcium! This is great news especially if you think that it is difficult to enough calcium in through your diet...well it is not. There are plenty of plant based sources of calcium that not only assimilate into the body much easier than animal sources (such as commercial dairy ) - but also have many other health promoting benefits.

So I used beans as the first example, because this was my lovely appetizer of my "Calci-Yum" cooking class last night. The theme was based around non-dairy sources of calcium that are supportive to your bones and long term health. I also wanted to highlight the cute little radish on top - because it was grown in my very own backyard organic garden - which is so very exciting.
My garden has yet to provide me with an array of wholesome organic veggies that will become the foundation of my cooking class recipes over the summer months - it doesn't get more local than that! So make sure to come to a cooking class, enjoy the recipes and check my garden out. (check back soon, as I will be writing about my organic garden in a few weeks!)

Okay, now back to calcium rich foods and recipes that were prepared last night. For starters calcium can be found in a slew of foods that usually would not come to mind for the average person. They are found in green veggies (tall dark leafy ones like: kale, collards, beet greens, chard, bok choy, spinach), nuts and seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sesame and sunflower seeds), soy products like tempeh, miso and tofu (organic of course), carob powder, sea vegetables, tahini, avocados and quinoa. That is just a taste as these items were the foundation of the delicious menu last night, which included: Mixed Bean Salad, Arame Pomegranate Orange Salad, Steamed Greens with Scallion "Butter", Maple Marinated Tempeh, Roasted Root Veggies with Cinnamon Glaze, Red Quinoa with Broccoli and Pinenuts and Carob-Fig Frozen Fudge for dessert. Now that is what I call a healthy, calcium rich and balanced meal!

To top the night off, I had the wonderful distributors, Linda and Dale of Natural Calm (natural magnesium) attend my class last night. Which was the perfect compliment to the class. What good is calcium in the body without magnesium? Calcium absolutely needs magnesium to be assimilated into the body. For more information on the benefits of magnesium please read this page.

Learning about healthy plant sources of calcium and the power of magnesium and their natural abilities to protect, heal and support the body made for a wonderful, delicious and informative evening.

To complete this post, I will give you the recipe to make a nutritious bean salad of your own. This is a great recipes to have on hand for simple lunches, a great snack, a side dish for a dinner party or a morning brunch.

Zesty Three Bean Salad with Fresh Mint


1 can each eden canned organic black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans (you can also soak and cook all of your beans)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½-1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ extra virgin olive oil
3 red radishes, small dice
3 scallions, minced
¼ cup parsley, minced
¼ cup fresh mint, minced


1. Rinse and drain beans in a colander until all the residue and foam is rinsed off.
2. Strain any excess water and pour beans into a large bowl.
4. Whisk together the next five ingredients and pour over beans.
5. Then toss together with radishes and fresh herbs.

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