Health from the Farm: Beans, beans, good for your pork
Good morning local food eaters,
As some of you may have seen on Facebook or one of my last emails, I got an Instant Pot for Christmas, and have been loving it.
One of the reasons I decided to get, I mean ask my mother-in-law for, this electric pressure cooker was because I learned that pressure cooking can be a healthy option, and in some cases better than traditional stovetop or oven cooking. I had thought before that pressure cooking was high-tech, energy intensive, and nutrient-destructive. I'm not exactly sure where I got these ideas...
Another confession: I was also afraid of the pressure cooker! I had a giant one for canning, and was so intimidated by the idea of it blowing up, that I never once used it with the pressure lid.
Then a few months ago, I learned that pressure cooking is actually an energy efficient, low temperature, nutrient preserving, and harmful lectin-destroying cooking tool.
Game on. I was glad to brave the high tech gadget world if it meant health benefits!
Have you heard about lectins? They are a protein and potentially damaging part of seed plants, found in skins and seeds of tomatoes, potatoes, beans, and lots of other plants. Apparently, new research has found these to be similar to the effects of gluten, contributing to leaky gut situations.
As if we need another food thing to avoid or worry about..
Historically, beans were an important source of nutrition in both the old world (broad, fava, chickpeas, lentils) and new world (kidney, black, cranberry, pinto, navy, etc.) diets.
In many of these traditions, the beans are prepared with salt, spices, and meats. Many of the seasonings that are used with beans such as cumin and kombu seaweed are also said to improve digestibility.
To enjoy beans for maximum digestibility and nutrition, we've learned:
Soaking and cooking removes anti-nutrients like phytates, making them more digestible and not nutrient-blocking.
Pressure-cooking also speeds up the process and breaks down much of the lectins.
Pictured here are 'christmas lima' beans, soaked, and a few chunks of bacon ends, which I threw in the instant pot with nothing else for a delicious simple meal over greens.
Next level: Add salt pork.
This part is purely culinary. But also traditional, as it is the perfect stretching use for leftovers such as a ham bone or ham hock or bacon end.
We love to eat beans about once a week, and they are so delicious cooked with bacon, sausage, pork roasts, or salted pork of any kind.
Also of note are the Rancho Gordo extensive collection of heirloom bean varieties which are amazingly delicious.
Need some pancetta, guanciale, or bacon ends on hand for this kind of dish?
We've got you covered.
There is now a new option to add extra items to your share bag before your delivery.
You may do this by logging on to your CSA membership account here:
Extra items must be selected at least one week before your delivery. Extras will be included in your CSA share bag, and the total will be added to your automatically drafted monthly fee.
Items available to add on include: salt pork ends, 100% grassfed ground beef, pastured ground pork, pastured pork chops, pastured pork shoulder roasts, pastured pork bacon, and our full assortment of pastured pork sausage varieties (lincolnshire, breakfast links, hot italian, sweet italian, kielbasa, bayou voodoo, chorizo, and hot dogs).
Not a member yet? What are you waiting for?!
The Meat CSA is delivering local, pastured, and 100% grassfed meats every month to a site near you.
We are also may be able to accommodate special requests if you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy your pork and beans, and enjoy vibrant health!
~Brooks and Anna