Lovin’ On Legumes

By Katie, 5:04 am

Yesterday I posted about Loving Little Katie (I can’t thank all of you enough for your supportive comments and emails! It means so much to me!). So today I thought I’d go a little lighter and shower some love on something else entirely: LEGUMES.

I have to come clean about my reason for wanting to post about legumes: I had no idea what they were. Well, not no idea, but only a very vague one. And I figured a blog post would be a great way to educate myself!

I think my confusion started when I learned in my high school French class that the word for vegetable in that language is “légume.” So I then assumed that our word “legume” also simply meant “vegetable.” But no, it’s a little more narrow than that.

Apparently, the English word “legume” refers specifically to plants that bare their fruit in their seed pods, which split along both sides when ripe. That clears the confusion right up, now doesn’t it? :-?

It’s easier to understand by example. Here are some common legumes:

  • black beans
  • chickpeas
  • green peas
  • green beans
  • soy nuts
  • peanuts
  • lentils
  • kidney beans
  • sugar snap peas
  • lima beans
  • black-eyed peas

According to this Baltimore Sun article, legumes pack a pretty powerful punch. On average, a single serving (usually 1/2 cup) provides at least 20% of our daily need for fiber, folate, and manganese. They also give at least 10% of our daily need for protein, potassium, iron, magnesium, and copper. Not to mention they are CHEAP (because who isn’t on a budget right now?) and they store well for long periods of time.

So if you’re ready to get your legume love on, here are some of my favorite recipes featuring this awesome cast of characters.

Corn and Black Bean Pizza

Chunky Red Bean Spread

Maple Baked Beans

Lentil Salmon Salad

Chickpea-Spelt Burgers

Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Did you know what legumes were? Do you have a favorite legume? Black beans might be my favorite, although I do love edamame and hummus a whole lot!

40 Responses to “Lovin’ On Legumes”

  1. I love making burgers out of any kind of legume! I’m partial to the consistency of cannelleni beans, they are so creamy and blend up awesome! :)

  2. I did know what legumes were but it took me a while to realize that peanuts were one and not an actual tree nut.

    And, with that, I’d have to say peanuts, love me some peanut butter.

  3. I love black beans, but I think lentils are pretty delicious too. I’m really not picky about legumes, I love them all.

  4. Lauren says:

    Beans are a vegetarian’s super food! :) I love them and try to eat more and more. My favorite is probably chic peas. Roasted chic peas are amazing. ;)

  5. amanda says:

    I didn’t know what they were either. I love hummus!! I also am a huge fan of blackbeans since they go great in Mexican style dishes

  6. Yum! I love beans!! I have them almost once a day, ha!

  7. this time of year i crave legumes so bad – i just made a massive pot of beans the other day and have been loving eat off of it since then!

  8. I had been under the impression legumes were just beans…guess I wasn’t entirely correct, and was leaving out a lot! Especially if peanuts are considered a legume. That said…I love pretty much any kinda beans and peanut butter…so legumes are pretty awesome :P

  9. Candice says:

    I have a new found love for beans. For a long time, I was scared of them. But then a co-worker made chili with black beans and shared some with me. I was in love at first bite and haven’t looked back. I’ve tried numerous beans, but I’m still scared to try pintos- they look a bit funny. I will try them soon.

  10. Lentils are my favorite by far, but black beans are a close second. I never thought of peas as a legume because they dont have a high protein content but I learned something new today!

  11. Tina says:

    I can honestly say I didn’t know specifically what a legume was either. I love them though!

  12. Stacy says:

    I knew what a legume was, and I love saying it! :) It’s such a fun work, I think anyway. By far my favorite and new obssesion would have to be maple baked beans. So delicious! I love hummus, but if I eat it too frequently I get burnt out on it quickly. Edamame is so good, especially with a little sea salt :) Oh, and kidney beans in chili of course.

  13. Sarah says:

    I’m a big fan of legumes, too (and the look of every.single.recipe you posted!). Especially chick peas (in pretty much any common form), black beans, and peanut butter.

  14. Since I stopped eating red meat, I’ve become a huge fan of legumes as a way to get iron. I love black beans and chickpeas in cold salads!

  15. My favorite is definitely black beans. That casserole looks pretty good!

  16. It’s so funny you wrote this post because I will admit that I struggled with legume or vegetable haha. I always knew beans were but certain things confused me. It’s good to know I wasn’t alone in my confusion!

  17. Hope says:

    To me, legumes have always equaled beans. :)

    That tortilla and black bean cassarole looks delish! :)

  18. Nicole, RD says:

    I knew what most legumes were…but green peas and sugar snap peas threw me for a loop! Glad I’m set straight!

    I think lentils are my favorite legume. Or black beans! Love them both!

  19. christina says:

    that black bean casserole looks amazing. i’m checking it out now!

  20. Heather says:

    I love legumes! We used to eat re-fried beans from the can late night in college. I would have to say these days my favorite is hands down lentils. I want to try and make that lentil salmon dish soon!

  21. I love black beans! Tonight I was actually going to make a pizza with black beans/pinto beans/salsa/cheese :)

    Thanks again for your great post yesterday!

  22. Kate D says:

    Mmm peanut butter is my favorite, although I’m partial to the chick pea. I have a yummy curry recipe that calls for a can of chickpeas to be added in.

  23. I’m a huge fan of beans but whenever I think of legumes I always think of lentils and I am not a huge fan of lentils. I’ve only ever tried the brown ones so I can’t say I hate them all but the brown lentils had too much of a peppery taste for me. Do you recommend any other types? I’m just afraid to buy them again lol

    • Katie says:

      I’ve actually only ever had the brown ones too! But I’ve heard the red ones are the best, so they might be worth a shot.

  24. Christine says:

    Love, love, love legumes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. My favorite is probably the chick pea… speaking of which, the chick pea spelt burgers sound interesting!

  25. I love legumes! They always make something heartier. That last pic of lasagna looks delicious.

  26. LeanneRBF says:

    Hahahahaha I just read where you said you thought legume was a vegetable (because of french school) and my automatic thought was “you mean, its not??”

    We’re two peas in a pod. Or I guess, two peas in a legume ;)

  27. Mo says:

    I was in French Immersion in elementary school (long story short – half of the day was spoken entirely in French, every day) and took French in middle school. I definitely thought that when one spoke of a “legume” they were just being pretentious and meant “vegetable”. ;) It was when my mom told me that one should eat a whole grain and a legume for a complete protein and I was like, “yeah, but a lot of vegetables don’t really have that much protein…” that I learned what exactly a legume was. :P

    My favorite legume is probably the peanut. Which is kind of weird because the ONLY way I enjoy peanuts are ground up with salt. I don’t like salted peanuts, but I like peanut butter that’s been lightly salted. o.O I think it’s a texture thing for me. I’m not a huge fan of whole, raw nuts (I know, I know, the peanut isn’t a nut! Bear with me.) for that reason alone. My second favorite is definitely cannellini beans. So good!

  28. Legumes are a staple in our house! I love black beans and lentils, and my husband will eat anything. My son is not far behind…he is a hummus monster! :)

  29. I looooove me some legumes :) Adding them to just about any dish makes for a more filling and delicious meal. I’m about to add some to my dinner, in fact!

  30. I am a legume lover too. In addition to being versatile they are such a great source of fiber. If I had to choose a favorite it would be peanuts but also love peas, black beans and chick peas.

  31. Black beans and kidney beans (on a salad or in pasta salad) are my faves.

    I made your lentil salmon salad recipe tonight and it was a major hit with everyone! :) We ate it in wrap form.

  32. That pizza with the black beans looks crazy good! I think it might be pushing black beans to the top of my legume list :)

  33. I didn’t know much about legumes until I heard peanuts were legumes (NOT nuts!) and did a little research. I love their versatility and nutrition profile! However, I have to be careful not to consume too many, if you know what I mean ;-)

    The black bean tortilla casserole looks cheesy delicious!

  34. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the recipes … I am looking for some which might blend beans … I’m not a huge fan of their texture but I would like to increase my bean intake. Any other suggestions?


  35. Becca says:

    I love legumes! My favourite is just to eat any kind of legumes cold with a olive oil and lemon juice dressing, and mashed cannelini beans are so delicious!!

  36. BikiniMama says:

    Mmmm black beans are my favorite. That pizza looks amazing, as well as the cassarole!

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