More Than Winter White
Mild-flavored, creamy cannellini beans, also known as white Italian kidney beans, will stick to your ribs while supporting your health. One cup of cooked beans contains 45% of daily fiber, which the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) reports can support healthy digestion, help stabilize blood sugar, and possibly protect against a variety of cancers and chronic illnesses. Cannellini beans are also rich in the trace mineral manganese, and are good sources of calcium, copper, and iron.
Cannellini beans are available both canned and dried. Canned beans are a good pantry standby. Always rinse them under running water before using to remove excess sodium. To maximize taste and minimize salt, cook up dried beans from scratch whenever you can. Buy dried beans from a store with a lot of foot traffic, as older ones tend to take longer to cook. Look for beans that are whole and not broken, and soak them for at least 4 hours or overnight before cooking.
Versatile cannellini beans can be served hot or cold. To cook them from scratch, check out our Basic White Bean recipe. Eat them slightly mashed as a side dish with grilled chicken, or in our Greens and White Bean Soup — an excellent winter recipe that’s easy to make and freezes well. Best served with a slice of good whole-grain bread, this soup will give you all the protein you need, along with the plentiful cancer-fighting nutrients that kale brings to the table. Cannellini beans are also delicious when served cold as part of a canned-tuna salad with shallots, extra-virgin olive oil, and chopped Italian parsley.