bowls of beans for national eat beans day

Beans, beans, the magical fruit! The more you eat, the more you — well, you know the rest.

As a savory BBQ side dish, blended into creamy perfection, or topping a loaded burrito, beans are one of the most versatile foods. Not only can they easily be incorporated into a variety of dishes, but they’re also incredibly affordable. Plus, they’re packed with health benefits!

We were recently asked, “Hey Basket, how should I celebrate National Eat Your Beans Day on July 3? While we would love to gather the whole Basket community at our headquarters to show you how to really observe the holiday in style, we figured it would be pretty hard to fit you all in.

Instead, we decided to whip up a list of our favorite beans and share easy, affordable recipes for each!

1. Lentils

Compared to other foods that are high in carbohydrates, lentils can actually help reduce blood sugar. Lentils also benefit gut health and aid in heart health. Plus, they’re delicious!

We love lentils because they’re easy to cook on the stove or to combine into soups, stews, and chilis. One of our favorite recipes is this one, called “Fridge Clearing Lentil Soup.” Why do we love it? Because by combining a variety of spices and veggies that could be lying around the house, you can whip up an easy and scrumptious dish with little dent to your wallet.

Put crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, and left over vegetables like carrots, broccoli, or even leafy greens to work with the added protein of dried lentils. Inexpensive and easy to create, this soup screams “Eat Your Beans Day!” Plus, you’ll definitely have leftovers for the rest of the week. Hello, savings.

2. Black Beans

Boy oh boy, do we love black beans. A staple food in Central and South America, black beans pack a punch of fiber, protein, and folate. Many of us Westerners might relate black beans to enchiladas, tostadas, and nachos. In the Mid-West, black beans are a typical ingredient in dishes. So, we thought, what better place to draw inspiration than from this Austin native, who created Pita Tostadas with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Avocado?

From the grocery store, you’ll need to pick up a butternut squash, pita bread, 1 can of black beans, 2 limes (or lime juice), avocados, and a smidge of Greek yogurt. The rest of the ingredients, including olive oil, salt, and maple syrup, you’ll most likely have in the pantry already. Try this unique and absolutely divine dish and we guarantee you’ll be celebrating Eat Your Beans Day year-round.

3. Navy Beans

The U.S. Navy has served these beans as a staple to their sailors since the mid-1800s, hence the name “navy beans.” These beans are also known as haricot beans, and we commonly know them as just “baked beans.” From Bush’s Baked Beans to Heinz, even the dish that’s served at the cookout, these savory beans are normally made with navy beans. And, that’s a good thing: Navy beans are a great source of fiber, B vitamins,and minerals. Even better, they’re affordable!

It would have just been cruel if we didn’t include a baked bean recipe. Of course, you could grab a can straight off the shelf (Basket is showing Bush’s Best on sale for $1!), or you can decide to get fancy and doctor them up a bit. If you choose the latter, do yourself a favor and check out this Brown Sugar Baked Beans with Bacon – pure heaven.

4. Garbanzo Beans

The garbanzo bean, also known as the chickpea, is a source of great debate here at Basket HQ. Is it a bean, or is it a pea? Well, garbanzo beans are technically a legume. Legumes are dried fruit or seeds contained within a shell or a pod – like peanuts, peas … and beans! So whether you call it a chickpea or a garbanzo bean – rest assured that it is still totally acceptable to rock this legume in a dish for Eat Your Beans Day.

Garbanzo beans are amazing for your health. They’re a great source of fiber and folate, they’re low in calories, and they can help reduce blood sugar, decrease blood cholesterol, and improve gut health. But, enough of the healthy stuff! We bet you thought we would suggest making a hummus with this bean. And, in a sense you are correct. However, we’re not making just any hummus – we’re making Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus.

Yes, you read that right. All you’ll need for this Eat Your Beans-worthy dessert is 2 cups of chickpeas, natural peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips. Dig in!

5. Kidney Beans

Last, but certainly not least, we’re talking about kidney beans. Eating kidney beans with your meal can help slow the absorption of sugar into the blood, helping to reduce blood sugar levels. Plus, they’re helpful in reducing body weight and pack a punch of fiber. Even better? You can find kidney beans at any grocery store near you (and you can bet Basket can show you which store has the best price!).

For this last recipe, we decided to cheat a little bit. We needed to include a chili – but, why stop with just kidney beans? Check out this Three-Bean Chili, featuring kidney beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans. But, don’t stop there! Create a five-bean chili if you want – the more the merrier during National Eat Your Beans Day.

Well, you asked how to best observe National Eat Your Beans Day – hopefully we delivered! Be sure to check Basket before hitting the grocery store so you can rest assured that you’re paying the lowest price possible for your beans. Happy eating!