When You Go Plant-Based What Do You Eat? - Chef Cynthia Louise
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The Plant-Based Eating Journey

“What Do I Do?”, “Where Do I Start?”

These questions are the usual ones people have when they consider moving towards a plant-based lifestyle. So many of us don’t know where to start or how to start, and you will also hear some say “I can’t stand plant-based food as there is no flavour!” Well, my thing is when it comes to eating plants, each dish needs to absolutely – without question – be tasty!

If at any point in your life you decide to have a high plant-based diet, one of the most common questions that I’ve been asked as a Chef is about beans –  how it makes a lot of people fat and bloated, and how we can continue to have them without the threat of what they bring to the table.

It is so important to incorporate beans in your world when you go on a high plant-based diet. And a lot of people are scared of beans, and they should because it really causes fattening and bloating. However, there are tricks to alleviate and work around this.

More About The Beans In My Plant-Based World

There are a lot of types of beans out there, and here are some of the ones I love –

Adzuki beans – this has a nutty and sweet flavour, is low in fat, and is one of the easiest beans to digest. 

Lima beans – also known as butter beans are delicious and buttery.

Black beans – these black as anything beans are also called turtle beans because of their hard, shell-like appearance. They are amazing with a strong earthly flavour. I find them perfect for smoky paprika, chili, cumin, onion, and garlic situations that you have with Mexican food.

Black-eyed beans – this would have to be one of my favourite beans to cook as they soak really well, they cook fast, and they are luxurious yummy beans.

Cannellini beans – this is a more popular bean among the lot, and a really good one if I may add.

Chickpea or Garbanzo beans – these beans cook for a long time! You know they’re cooked when they’re completely brown and creamy inside. I find this great with curry and hummus.

Fava beans – it has a meaty flavour and is good with soups.

Great northern bean – these beans are good for long slow-cooked recipes, they have a mild flavour and creamy flesh.

Mung beans – a pocket rocket of beans for me, I have a detox mung bean soup recipe in my Plant-Based Love Stories cookbook! Mung beans are normally sprouted and not cooked, they are amazing, easy to digest, and perfect for Indian cuisine. Simply spectacular!

Navy/Yankee or Boston beans – are white small beans with a velvety texture and a slightly nutty taste.

Pinto beans – these beans look gorgeous as they have brown streaks through them which fade when cooked. They have this creamy, nutty taste and are often described as having ‘earthy’ flavour notes.

Red kidney beans – are amazing beans that absorb incredible amounts of flavour when you’re cooking with them.

Every single bean I’ve mentioned requires soaking in water and a quarter to a half teaspoon of bicarb or baking soda. Change the soaking water twice in the soaking period of at least 16-18 hours. This seems to take away that bloating and fattening that goes on when consuming beans. I have a YouTube video discussing all this!

plant-based mung bean

Bean Hacks

Here are a few tips from me –

I like to leave chickpea, kidney beans, and black in the cooking water after they’re cooked until they are completely cooled down to relax and absorb all those -isms.  

When you will be adding spices, add more spices at the end of your cooking time as they seem to wash away, use spices in their whole form rather than those ground ones you find at a supermarket.

When you’ve cooked your beans and they have cooled down completely, freeze them with a little of the cooking water in there – I know right?!

With all these mentioned, becoming plant-based or heading towards a plant-based lifestyle, beans are so important. I live on them and have them twice a week. I find them amazing as well as the effect it has on me.

All in all, it should be a no-brainer. There is an abundance of cookbooks that are plant-based that can help things move along. My Online Cooking Classes are there as well to help you nail it like a boss with me by your side. Easy and gentle transition into new flavours. #winning

I’ll be waiting in the comment box on my YouTube channel!

Chef Cynthia Louise xx

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About the Author

Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.