|Enjoy this spicy three bean salad without all the sugar!|
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What is there not to like about beans? OK, there's that. But nutritionally, they rock. They are a great source of protein (without the saturated fat and cholesterol) and very high in fiber. Plus, they are inexpensive!
Because of their fiber, they make you feel full so they can really help control your appetite. Their fiber also helps lower cholesterol and stabilizes your blood sugar. All around, they are great for your diet. And about that gas issue, draining and rinsing the canned beans will help.
Dragon Tongue Beans
It's fun to have a vegetable garden. You get to plant unusual veggies that you don't normally find in the grocery store. This year I planted Dragon Tongue bush beans. They grew quickly and they are really beautiful. I'm using them in today's recipe but of course, you can use any fresh green bean.
|Dragon Tongue Beans|
Three Bean Salad
I love three bean salad. It's so colorful and I enjoy the contrast of the sugar and vinegar. But who needs all that sugar? So I thought I'd try making it with stevia. To provide even more contrast, I threw in a fresh jalapeno to spice it up!
I get feedback occasionally from some of you who don't like stevia. For me, it's the only calorie and fructose free sweetener that I feel is safe. If you use it sparingly, it doesn't give you the bitter after taste that some complain about. For example, A typical three bean salad recipe calls for 1/3 cup of sugar or more. It only took 1/2 teaspoon of Sweetleaf stevia extract (which is equivalent to only 4 teaspoons of sugar) to give me the sweetness I liked in this recipe. If I had dumped in the equivalent of 1/3 cup of sugar before tasting it, I would have been very disappointed. So go very lightly with stevia and you will find that it's a very good sugar substitute.
|Dragon tongue beans before and after steaming. Unfortunately, they lose their unusual markings but thankfully, not their wonderful flavor!|
Not all Jalapenos are Created Equal!
If you decide to spice up this recipe with a jalapeno, please remember that not all jalapenos have the same amount of heat. Yesterday, I made this recipe with a huge pepper and I removed the seeds. It wasn't very spicy at all. Other times, I have just added a few slices and it burned my mouth off! So be careful and try to gauge the heat of your jalapeno. Generally the smaller the pepper, the hotter it can be. And adding the seeds, of course, adds significantly to the heat too.
|The "heat" of jalapenos can vary widely!|
Sugar Free Three Bean Salad
Vegan, Gluten Free
Makes 6 - 8 servings
1/2 cup raw, unfiltered, apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sweetleaf powdered stevia (equivalent to 4 teaspoons sugar)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
3/4 cups red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 fresh jalapeno, finely minced (with or without seeds depending on heat desired - also optional)
2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
15 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
In a large bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, olive oil, stevia, salt and pepper.
Stir in the red onion. Set aside for 15 minutes to partially marinate the onion.
Steam the green beans until fork tender - don't overcook. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Add jalapeno, green beans, kidney beans and garbanzo beans to the bowl and gently mix with the vinegar dressing.
Refrigerate for several hours, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to blend together. You can even make it the night before.
Per serving (6): 224.6 calories, 10.6 g fat, 1.3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7.2 g protein, 28.5 g carbohydrates and 8.0 g dietary fiber.
Per serving (8): 168.4 calories, 7.9 g fat, 1.0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5.4 g protein, 21.3 g carbohydrates and 6.0 g dietary fiber.
These nutrient calculations include all of the dressing. As you know, some of it stays on the bottom of the bowl, especially if you serve it with a slotted spoon. So you are probably consuming less calories than stated here.