FUN FOOD FACTS
Cannellini or white Italian kidney beans are a member of the bean family or pulse family, depending on how technical you want to get! The beans originated in South America but were cultivated in Italy, which is why they are found especially in Tuscan cuisine like minestrone soup and fagioli.
DISCOVER: Heath Savvy Tips!
Cannellini is easy to find in the grocery store – usually dried or canned. I like to buy my beans dried and soak them but nutritionally, dried vs canned beans have similar qualities: high in fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, and have various micronutrients like the B vitamins and zinc.
There are advantages of buying and soaking your beans though! :
Because dried beans aren’t processed they will have a lower glycemic index than canned beans
Add a 1- to 2-inch strip of kombu when cooking your beans. Kombu flavours as well as help to reduce gas-producing properties of beans.
Soaking your beans helps to remove indigestible sugars, which can lead to stomach upset
Soaking your beans overnight also helps to reduce their phytic acid content. Phytic acid can prevent the absorption of important nutrients in the body
How to cook?: Rinse the beans and place in a pot or bowl, covering with lots of cold water. Salt the water so that it tastes just a bit salty. Leave for up to 8 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. When ready, rinse the beans and place in a pot. Cover the beans by at least 3 or 4 inches of cold water. Place your strip of kombu (if using) and aromatics. If you’re not sure how fresh your beans are, add 1 tsp baking soda per pound of dried beans. Bring to a boil then season to taste with salt. Simmer and cook until the beans are tender, then cool in the liquid.
Overall, because cannellini have a low glycemic index, they are an especially great choice for persons with diabetes and when eaten on a regular basis, help to lower total cholesterol and LDLs (the bad cholesterol).
CREATE: Flavour Compliments
Cannellini beans have a slight bite to them and a subtle nutty flavour. I find they go well with smoky meats and fish and take seasoning and herbs well, especially parsley and thyme.
Other flavours that go great with cannellini include onions, carrots, stocks, and tomatoes.
What sumptuous creations do you make with cannellini? I’d love to know!
PLATE: The SCC Twist!
The SCC twist for the dish was a modern touch: an airy basil foam that added fun element and beautiful texture to the plate!
WINE PAIRING This dish pairs particularly well with a Sauvignon Blanc, which have crisp, citrusy notes that don’t compete and overwhelm other flavours in the dish. Thanks to Whole Foods, Redmond for the suggestion!