The most important category of edible seeds after cereals, are rich in nutrients, with a huge variety of flavors pure.
For many years the legumes were the most important source of protein for humans and part of their basic food. A typical example of the importance of legumes, once upon a time, in the years of the Roman Empire, is that the Latin name four important legumes “baptized” the most famous families of prominent Romans. Thus arose the Lentouloi the lens lentils and lentils in English, the brill from peas pisum, the Fabius took their name from the family fabaceae fava beans and Cicero from chickpeas cicer arietinum!
Legumes and history
Legumes say ripe, dried fruits of plants belonging to the legume family, which includes about 13,000 species and is the second largest in the plant kingdom. Grown mainly in areas with hot climates but there are varieties that thrive in colder climates. It is known to man for thousands of years and were among the first plants ever cultivated, initially in Asia and America and much later in the Mediterranean. It is directly linked to the evolution of the human species, since they constitute the richest source of protein than any other cultivated food quality that made them valuable and irreplaceable at times when there was meat in abundance. So combined with carbohydrates such as rice, wheat or pasta offered an inexpensive, nutritious and well-balanced diet.
Today, the climate is reversed and legumes are not simply “meat of the poor”, nor as undervalued as they were before. Pulses are now recognized as a powerful food and among the macrobiotic food, those that we should eat frequently if we want to live healthy into old age, and are at the basis of the Mediterranean diet pyramid. It is, namely, a food that should be consumed with a high frequency.
When dry, nutrients pulses -which is vegetable protein, vitamin A, C and B group vitamins are increased. In addition to vegetable proteins, containing carbohydrates and a source of energy and are very low in fat and salt. They are a rich source of fiber, phosphorous, calcium, iron and natural antioxidants.
When legumes are combined with rice, because lysine containing, increase the biological value of protein dish, which is why we always say ‘yes’ to a plate or revithoryzo fakoryzo.
Apart, then, from nutritious and beneficial for the body components, legumes and helps in proper bowel function due to the soluble fiber they contain.
As a source of antioxidants, protect us from various types of cancer, help lower cholesterol, are useful in diabetics and stabilize blood pressure.
Also, legumes have a low glycemic index and help slimming, after a cup of beans contains less than one gram of fat.
The story of the bean starts from Latin America and specifically from Peru, which have been discovered and the oldest traces of cultivation. They spread to Central America in trade and arrived in Europe in the 15th century by the Spanish conquistadors. Nutritious, energizing and easy to crop, they traveled around the world and became an essential part of our diet climbing, even very high on the food pyramid.
There are many varieties of beans worldwide and literally countless ways of cooking. The English eat with red sauce for breakfast, Mexicans put them in salads, Cubans make the puree and fry, while the Japanese use the bean paste as a key ingredient in sweets.
Food, beans are a good source of iron, with a plate cover 30% of our daily needs. Of course, it has a high bioavailability, but may be absorbed by the body much more readily if consumed in combination with vitamin C and beta-carotene. No wonder, then, that beans cooked with carrot, garlic, onion and tomato! Also, beans help to empower and good health of our bones as we are filled with calcium and an excellent source of antioxidants and flavonoids mainly found in the outer casing.
The most famous Bean species worldwide
Black: They are used particularly in kitchens of Notias America. They take many hours soaking because it is very hard, cooked very well and then ground and fried.
RED: The favorite bean Mexican cuisine, like long hours boiling but will reward you with their flavor. You can find canned and ready for your salads.
MUNG: A small, green and very … hard bean widely used in the cuisines of the Far East.
CANNELLINI: The favorite bean Italian central and southern Italy. White, medium size, with a rich flavor reminiscent of nuts. Want hob, oven, low temperature and long hours.
SOYA: Perhaps the most important bean food. H protein content is almost equivalent to that of meat, so it comes in many forms as a meat substitute. In recent years, fresh, green beans of soy, known as edamame, have become a fashion, especially abroad, and used in recipes influenced by the cuisine of the islands of Peace Ocean.
The lentil comes from the Middle East. Seeds have been found in Jordan and Syria from 10,000 BC, and lentils were found in Greece, the lake settlement Dispilio of Kastoria, proving that lentils were among the first plants that were cultivated worldwide.
They are divided into two broad categories: megalospermes and popcorn, with correspondingly larger and smaller spores. Beyond the classic thin, brown lentils that we use in Greece, you will be surprised to know how many other colors circulate worldwide. Green, bluegreen, yellow, orange, red … One of the most “glamorous” are all black, shiny beluga lentils, black “caviar” pulses. There are all kinds suitable for lentil soup. These preferred in salads, risotto or boiled and then fried.
Lentils are rich in fiber, protein, B vitamins, minerals, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and carbohydrates. Soluble fiber reduces cholesterol levels, regulate blood glucose levels and control insulin (considered an ideal food for diabetics) and low in sodium, which makes it essential hypertensive.
More of the same, as in the story of the bean, the cultivation is known since ancient times and is concentrated in areas around the Mediterranean, the Caucasus and the Middle East. With traders traveled to India, where he was worshiped like no other legume and used in countless recipes savory and sweet, and widespread is the revithalefro that gives excellent flavor breads and pies.
Legume is rich in nutrients and contains 20-28% protein, 50-55% carbohydrates and only 4-7% fat and is rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Eaten boiled in the pot, cooked in the oven, ground and fried as falafel, and one of the most undervalued styles are the chickpeas, which are a very healthy alternative snacks in place of nuts.
Least popular among the legumes are beans, an annual herbaceous plant of the legume family. Katagetai from Asia and cultivated in cold and temperate regions, with China having the largest production of beans worldwide. O fruit is short, thick and sessile and contains up to ten large bulky spores, our known beans. Consumed green and naturally dried and cooked in many variants. However, there are many who avoid them, as the beans are likely to cause an allergic leading to kyamosi (hemolytic anemia) those who lack the enzyme 6 GPD.
In Greece we love the soup, we like the black-eyed bean salad and baked beans. These recipes are much better when legumes are domestic and areas produce excellent quality ospria.Mia not a few of these areas is the area of Prespes in Florina.