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As with most "National Holidays", it's difficult to determine how this one got started, but at Zojirushi we love this healthy food and wanted to dedicate a month of recipes to the simple and versatile legume. Some people speculate that Bean Day was founded in honor of Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics, who famously used bean and pea plants to test his theories on inheritance. Mendel died on this day in 1884.
Get with the bean festivities with these easy recipes--all you need is your rice cooker! All of these tempting dishes combine with rice for some aromatic and hearty meals, perfect for the cold winter months. They're great for leftovers too, so pack them in one of our insulated lunch or food jars and bring it to work or school. What a pick-me-up!
Prepared with long grain white rice in the style of N'awlins, this favorite is prepared with chicken broth, celery, onion, green pepper, red beans, spicy sausage and thyme.
See this recipe
The spicy kick comes from curry powder, combined with lentils, garlic and onion, adding cherry tomatoes, spinach and sliced roasted almonds. Whoa! Can't you smell it?
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The key ingredient here is the collard green, in full seasonal swing during winter. Add chicken broth, mixed beans, shallots and tomatoes plus a bacon kicker. How can you go wrong?
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More from our healthy vegetable and rice combinations, here's another one for veggie lovers.
See this recipe
Most of us know where this line leads; but in case you don't, here's one from the 60's that's pretty tame:
  Beans, beans, are good for your heart,
They make you strong and make you fart.
A fart is a bubble of compressed air,
Which gives the body ease.
It warms the bed on a frosty night,
And suffocates the fleas!
  Or maybe this one is more familiar to you:
  Beans, beans, the musical fruit-
The more you eat,
the more you toot!
--Bart Simpson
Now haven't you always wondered--do beans really make you um, pass gas? And why is that?
It turns out there's a simple scientific reason behind the legume that unleashes. Everyone knows that beans are good for you--they are high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and are an excellent source of fiber. But we also know that high fiber can wreak havoc on your intestines if you are sensitive in that area. Beans also contain certain sugars and starches that are not easy to digest, so when bacterial enzymes in your system are left to finally break them down, a side effect is the production of gas.
So yes, beans do induce flatulence, but we shouldn't stop eating this nutritious staple just because we're afraid of nature calling. The USDA recommends beans and peas in our daily diet; even requiring schools to offer this vegetable in their school lunches, at least once a week. Instead of shying away from beans, use these tips to cut down on cutting loose.
Use dried beans--they do not have the salt content of canned beans so they are easier on your system; and as a bonus they're cheaper.
Soak your beans for at least 8 hours (which you would do anyway if you're using dried beans). The water will reduce the sugars that are hard to digest.
Drain and rinse as thoroughly as possible to eliminate the sugars that might have transferred to the water.
Adding kombu (kelp) to the water when boiling your beans can make them easier to digest, and a bonus, kombu is rich in vitamins, minerals and umami.
Use common sense. Ease into your portion if you're just starting to incorporate beans into your diet--even half a cup of beans is enough to be beneficial; you don't need a whole plate full.
So outside of the funny stories beans might tell, keep in mind that the story behind the noble bean itself dates back to 7000 B.C. The bean is one of the oldest cultivated crops since man started growing his own food, which played a significant part in civilization's evolution from savage primitive to domesticated man!

Yay for National Bean Day!

This month's Rice and Beans recipes show how rice variations are easy with a Zojirushi Rice Cooker. Many of our cookers offer menu settings that can expand your rice dishes and your recipe repetoire.
This is a menu setting designed to cook delicious brown rice. In order to cook hard rice bran and the rice inside, preheating time is extended for better absorption of water, and is cooked at a lower temperature to allow the rice to cook longer without becoming mushy. Because sushi rice will be processed after it's cooked, it's easier to handle when it is a little firmer. This menu setting is very similar to regular white rice, but uses less water (adjusted by the water fill lines) for a firm finish. Mixed rice is rice cooked with additional ingredients and seasonings. This setting extends preheating for better absorption of seasoning. Also, the cooking temperature is slightly lower than regular white rice, to avoid ingredients from boiling over. Instead of cooking rice in larger amounts of water and risk making it sloppy, use the porridge setting to cook fluffy porridge. Cooking temperature is slightly lower than regular white rice, to be cooked longer for soft texture.
Some Zojirushi models offer menu settings that can cook more than rice (Functions
differ by product. Please see products page for details).
Some models come with a steaming basket as an accessory. You can easily cook steamed dishes by adding water and setting the steaming time. The gaskets on the lid form a tight seal, keeping liquids inside as it steams. Cake baking is a separate function. Pour cake batter into the inner pan and set the baking time. Because it uses a compact space compared to ovens, rice cooker baked cakes are moist and plump. Select the slow cook setting to prepare stew type dishes. Put the ingredients in the pan and set the time. The gaskets on the lid form a tight seal, preventing loss of liquids as your food cooks. Did you know that rice cookers can cook other grains like oatmeal and wild rice? Enjoy a variety of dishes with our multi-purpose cookers and go beyond just rice.
The 3-cup capacity Induction Heating (IH) System Rice Cooker & Warmer is ideal for singles and smaller families. It cooks as little as 1/2-cup of rice and takes up minimal space. Superior IH technology efficiently prepares flawless rice every time.
Easy-to-read ORANGE colored LCD control panel with Clock and Timer functions Black thick spherical inner cooking pan Detachable and washable stainless steel inner lid
See the Induction Heating System Rice Cooker & Wamer / NP-GBC05:
Check out our category pages on the Zojirushi website.
New updates have been added!
Valentine's Day is coming soon! We have a unique gift in next month's issue for the loved ones in your life. Give one of our Food Jars filled with hot homemade soup from the warmth of your heart. She will absolutely melt!

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