I’m aware that many of ya’ll out there are big big fans of beans! Me too (despite not being a veg, I have found myself to be a HUUUUUGE bean lover)
With the growing controversy over soybeans, I’ve begun to experiment with other bean alternatives. Funny thing is, I didn’t realize that there was SO MUCH “beanage” simply from my regular (mostly Asian) diet!
For example, fermented soy beans have long been used by Chinese people to make sauces!
The Black Bean Garlic Sauce
Found in your local Asian grocer, this sauce is fantastic for stir-frying into seafood because of it’s pungent, salty, slightly spicy flavor. You don’t need to use more than 1 tablespoon to cook up a whole batch of Chinese eggplant!
This is black bean garlic lobster – a very traditional Cantonese seafood dish. My bf made this incredible homemade meal simply with the sauce, garlic, and spring onion. OMG…yumm…
You can read more about the sauce and how else you can use fermented soybean sauce on Wikipedia! (Surprise!)
Mung Bean Sprouts (aka Green beans)
The most under-appreciated bean in America! Mung Bean sprouts are sprouted green beans, and can found in all sorts of Asian cuisines. Click here to learn all about it. I love cellophane noodles made out of bean because it’s light, chewy, and pretty!
The sprouts themselves are so delicious stir-fried with garlic, simply raw, and incorporated into soup.
Most Chinese soups are broth-based, and this pork bone, tofu, tomato, and bean sprout soup is a family favorite!
I challenge you to make a dish with bean sprouts. muhahahha
Red bean(aka Adzuki Beans)
I found a new yummy ice-cream bar at the Korean grocery store Hmart the other day. These Red Bean bars come in a bag of 10 bars and they were on sale for $1! Check out the red beans studded throughout the stick. YUM!
Flavor: Milky, sweet, and definitely peanuty! It’s actually a lot less beany than some of the other bars I’ve tried. If you like coconut milk and a little bit of peanut butter flavor in your posicles, this is a GREAT one for you!
Ingredients: Milk, Red Bean, Sugar, Malt syrup, Cocoa Powder, Peanut, Corn starch, Vanilla, Salt, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan
Only 95 calories per popsicle!! I think it’s a great deal. 😛
I was incredibly fortunate to receive a box of samples from Fed by Chuck & Co.s line of “Crazy Camel Dessert Hummus.”
When I first heard of such a product, my first thought was, “Ooh. Kinda freaky. interesting!” Who ever thought of making hummus sweet? And wouldn’t it be really BEANY?? Let’s find out!
A couple stats: All the hummus is gluten free, vegan, dairy free, and made of only a handful of ingredients.
There is NO tahini in any of the products, which I find eliminates the beany, savory flavor. This results in a hummus that has only 1/2 the fat of regular hummus. They come in 6 flavors:
- Chocolate Mousse – INGREDIENTS: Chickpeas, Evaporated Cane Juice, Cocoa, Safflower Oil
- Peanut Butter – Chickpeas, Evaporated Cane Juice, Peanut Butter, Safflower Oil, Peanut Extract
- Maple Walnut – Chickpeas, Evaporated Cane Juice, Walnuts, Safflower Oil, Maple Extract, Walnut Extract
- Pumpkin Pie – Chickpeas, Evaporated Cane Juice, Pumpkin (canned, w/o salt), Molasses, Safflower Oil, Spiced (Pumpkin Pie Spice)
- Toasted Almond – Chickpeas, Evaporated Cane Juice, Almonds, Safflower Oil, Almond Extract
- Caramel Apple – Chickpeas, Evaporated Cane Juice, Dried Apples, Safflower Oil, Caramel Extract, Apple extract
The calories per serving (2 tbs) is 60 calories, except the PB flavor, which has 70.
Let’s start with my favorite – Maple Walnut
Flavor: This hummus has a really strong maple flavor thanks to the maple extract, which adds a ton of flavor. It is definitely the sweetest of all the flavors as most of the others have some sort of tartness, which cuts into the sweetness of the cane juice. You get a very subtle nuttiness from the walnut,along with small specks of walnut scattered throughout. NO chickpea flavor. (Phew)
Serving suggestions: I used mine on mini waffles as a replacement for maple syrup! It boosts the protein count AND acts as a sweetener. I also added a dab of vanilla yogurt over the top to make it more moist!
Definitely required pairing with something else with less sweetness, otherwise you’ll be overwhelmed with sweetness!
Next up, Toasted Almond Hummus
Flavor: This hummus has an overwhelming almond aroma. There were tiny bits of almond inside the mix and had an overall thick and nutty consistency. It wasn’t as smooth or moist as the maple walnut flavor, but did have a strong almond flavor. There was also a little bit of tartness that I didn’t expext. This flavor tasted so rich and sweet that it would be hard to overdo it.
Serving Suggestion: The crazy camel suggests the toasted almond + red grapes = tastes like maraschino cherry.
Then, the Caramel Apple Hummus
Flavor: It was tart and sweet at the same time. Definitely didn’t get too much apple flavor, but I did taste the bolder flavors of the caramel. To be honest it was kind of strange for me to imagine the thick gooey consistency of caramel, and then dipping a cracker into a nubbly, bean-textured dip.
Serving Suggestion: Dip apple slices in’em of course!
Then, the Peanut Butter Hummus
Flavor: A not-as sticky, not as fragrant peanut butter. Really. For me, this is just enough peanut flavor by itself. I think this hummus would be fantastic for the person who overdoes their PB (or would like to)! It’s got the flavor, but less fat and calories than regular PB. I’d definitely use it on toast and waffles and even on apple slices!
That leaves me with the chocolate mousse and the pumpkin flavor. Unfortunately, the pumpkin flavor ERUPTED while shipping and had gone sour in the box (ew). The chocolate flavor I’m planning to bring to a blogger potluck in a few weeks…so you’re just gonna have to be patient! 🙂
I hope I’ve offered some alternative ways to eat your beans! The idea is to think out of the box! You don’t need to eat the conventional soybeans and tofu ALL the time! What other crazy bean concoctions have you had recently??