Aussies can save money at the checkout and stretch meals further by adding heart healthy beans, chickpeas and lentils to meals – but half of us lack the confidence to do so, a new report shows.
In response, the Heart Foundation is launching a ‘bean blitz’ to show Australians how easy it is to cook with this highly nutritious group of foods, known as legumes. This includes providing a selection of free and tasty recipes online.
The insight into legumes is part of the Heart Foundation’s What Australia Eats 2022 report released today, which surveyed more than 2,000 Australians to provide a snapshot of our eating, shopping and cooking habits.
According to What Australia Eats, other insights include:
Favour the flavour:
Australians choose what to cook at home primarily by how good it tastes.
Keeping costs down:
the price of food is another key factor in determining what people buy and cook with.
Australians mostly want fresh, unprocessed ingredients – perhaps overlooking the shelf-life, nutritional value and convenience of canned or frozen vegetables and legumes for those times you need a quick meal.
Shop in store:
nearly 80 percent of respondents said they preferred to visit a shop or supermarket versus shopping for groceries online.
a quarter of us find it challenging to reduce our red meat intake to the recommended 350gms per week, despite trying.
Heart Foundation senior dietitian, Jemma O’Hanlon, said eating more legumes by adding them to existing meals is an excellent way for people to start eating healthier.
“Try to integrate small amounts of whole, nutrient-rich foods such as legumes into your existing meals. This will help you to feel fuller longer, helping both your heart and your hip-pocket,” Ms O’Hanlon said.
The Heart Foundation will use the report’s insights to inform its nutrition resources. To discover our range of legume recipes as well as many other heart healthy meal ideas, visit our website for more advice. To view the What Australia Eats report, visit this page directly
TIPS FOR EATING LEGUMES
Where to start?
O’Hanlon says: “When it comes to including more legumes in your cooking, think outside the box. You can include beans, chickpeas or lentils in almost any recipe, even desserts!”
Some simple additions to try at home:
Add beans to your taco mix for a protein-packed punch
Add lentils to your favourite spag-bol to stretch it further.
Add lentils, chickpeas or beans to jazz up soups – add them in whole or blend them up
Add canned mixed beans to give colour and texture to salads
Other ideas include:
Blend them up to make plant-based burger patties.
Try them in dip form! Why not make your own hummus, which has a creamy, smooth texture?
Perfect with vegetable sticks.
Curb your snack cravings by baking canned chickpeas in the oven with a little olive oil and
your favourite herbs and spices for flavour.
Stock up on your favourite brand of baked beans (with no added salt and sugar) and have
them on wholegrain toast for a quick and easy meal when you’re short on time.