Are refried beans really fried beans, fried again?

Nope. and Nope.

Refried beans, a staple side dish at Mexican restaurants, are really just cooked pinto beans sauteed in with some flavorings (onion/garlic/spices) and fat (oil or lard..or whatever is on hand), and then mashed. Simple!

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Refried beans. Picture taken from http://www.seriouseats.com

The word “refried” seems to conjure up images of deep frying something..twice. But refried beans are anything but.

Refried beans comes from the Spanish words frijoles refritos, which means well-fried beans. Usually the prefix “Re” in English means “again” or “repetition”, so we get confused and think that Re-fried means fried again. However in Spanish, refritos it means “well” or “very” fried. The beans are actually only “fried” once. And by that we mean that the beans are added to a pan of onions which are sauteed or cooked in some oil.

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Nutritionally, refried beans are amazing and have a LOT to offer. Why?

First off, refried beans are primarily BEANS. Beans have tons of fiber, protein, and iron. Beans themselves have very little to no fat. This is where the “refried” part comes in! A few tablespoons of fat in a recipe of refried beans adds exactly just a little bit per serving. Fat is great for our bodies because it helps us absorb those fat-soluble vitamins D, E, A,  and K.

Try cooking some refried beans to help you understand how EASY it is to make! And how nutritious it is for your body! Check out this nutrition summary of refried beans.

Don’t let the media scare you away from “fried” anything! Words (or the names of dishes) do not mean anything about a particular food. “Fried” does not equate with “bad”. NO FOODS ARE BAD! Do research, and then decide how particular foods can fit into your diet! 🙂

Happy eating! Please comment below on refried beans! Did you know what they were before reading this post? What do you think about their nutrition?

 

Beans and Oatmeal have WHAT in common?

beansoatmeal

 

Pretty much EVERYTHING. Take a look at the nutrition labels below (taken from Old Fashion Quaker Oats and Eden Food Pinto Beans, respectively).

Oatmeal on the left, Beans on the Right
Oatmeal on the left, Beans on the Right

For both, a half cup serving is a little over 100 calories, a few grams of fat, no sodium, around 5 grams of fiber and protein, and about 10% iron!

Crazy! If you enjoy that nice, hearty, filling sensation of oatmeal for breakfast, you can probably can the same energy and satisfaction from a serving of beans as well!

Try this little experiment: find foods similar in nutrition and then switch up your diet! Life is fun when we have variety. Variety is the spice of life!!

Now tell us below in the comments, which foods have you discovered with similar nutrition labels?

Burgers: part of a BALANCED diet

If you do an internet image search on “bad foods”, the primary results are those of juicy burgers. This is an issue. Because burgers are NOT bad for you! In fact, no foods are bad for you. Foods provide us with the nourishment we need to live!! Image

Here is a list of why burgers provide LOTS of nutrients:

1) The burger bun: Usually made with enriched or whole wheat flour, this provides us with essential B-vitamins and Iron! And also FIBER! By the way, did you know fiber is part of the carbohydrate macronutrient group?

2) The meat patty: Standard burgers are made from beef, and beef is rich rich rich in IRON and PROTEIN!! There is also plenty of fat. Oh, and ZINC and B-Vitamins! Remember, vitamin B12 is ONLY found in animal food products!

3) The fixings! The more you add on top of your burger, the more nutrition you are adding. Read about the benefits of cheese here. Veggies add plenty of vitamins. Condiments like mayo add more fat (which also helps your body with the absorption of vitamins!)

Remember, learn about nutrition in foods so you can make the choices and find the balance that is best for your life! Our bodies require a certain amount of nutrients for optimal function. While we want to nourish our bodies, we do not want to fall victim to overnutrition or malnutrition or undernutrition. BALANCE is the key to happiness!!

So how about that summer bbq?? 🙂 What toppings to you like on your burger?

 

BAGELS: Day 1 of Give up the Guilt! 40-day Challenge

The post below was submitted by a reader who is completing Positive Eats 40-Day Challenge: Give up the Guilt!.

Lena’s Story

Normally I would have given up carbs for Lent, but recently I realized my obsession with healthy eating was actually, extremely UNhealthy. It was destroying my social life: I was afraid to meet my friends for dinner or lunch, knowing that I couldn’t trust the food being served to me. I never went to happy hour with my coworkers–in fact, I even lied about commitments I had made in the afternoons and evenings to avoid drinking a beer with them. I spent most of my non-eating hours, obsessively planning and counting the calories of my next meal. I was constantly stressed out and always thinking about how to have the cleanest diet. My staple meals were plain oatmeal with flaxseeds and blueberries, kale salads with no dressing (only a splash of vinegar and some salt/pepper), and oven baked tofu and curried chickpeas. It was delicious food, but my consistent worrying about messing up my “perfect diet” was terrible for my health.

I realized I had a problem and now I want to change. I want to do the Positive Eats 40-Day Challenge of giving up the guilt I associated with “bad” foods. So guess what I did this morning?

I HAD A BAGEL FOR BREAKFAST. WITH CREAM CHEESE. And it wasn’t even a whole wheat bagel from a nice, organic bakery run by the vegan, tree hugging hipsters downtown. Nope. IT WAS A PLAIN WHITE BAGEL FROM KROGER

And guess what?? IT WAS delicious, and I savored every bite, AND guess what I discovered when I read the nutrition label?? Each bagel has 15% daily Calcium, 20% Iron, and 9% of dietary fiber!

Check out the pictures I took.

15% Calcium? 20% Iron? 2 g fiber! I'll take it!!
15% Calcium? 20% Iron? 2 g fiber! I’ll take it!!
Plain White Bagels from Kroger for breakfast of Give Up the Guilt Challenge Day 1!
Plain White Bagels from Kroger for breakfast of Give Up the Guilt Challenge Day 1!

I’m so happy I chose to take on this challenge. Bagels are ok to eat. They are just food! A little bit of a “banned” food each day for 40-days will be an eye opener and stress reliever for me. Living guilt free is the best. Now that I’ve had my breakfast full of carbs ( = ENERGY!!!!) and lots of nutrients (since I learned that those plain white bagels were made from fortified flour with essential vitamins and minerals), I am ready to start my day with a POSITIVE outlook!

WOO!

Love, Lena

— THANK LENA!! Glad to hear your success story. What is everyone else eating for Day 1 of the challenge?