The Hemp Connection + women

Fitness Friday: A super vegan protein boost--tepary beans

At the same time I have been encouraging all of you to eat more protein, I have been working with a vegan protein source that grows right here in my backyard that could be part of your own plan to get more. That source is tepary beans. This bean is native to Arizona and has been cultured by our local natives for thousands of years. It thrives here in the desert because of its heat and drought tolerance. So much so that it is now being introduced to drought-ridden parts of Africa plagued with famine.

My favorite tepary fun fact is the origin of its name. It is the English spelling for the native"t'pawi", literally meaning,"it's a bean". So I am guessing some Spaniard cruising through Arizona a few hundred years ago stopped, looked and pointed at a plant, and got that response. (Kinda makes me think though, as silly a question as it must have sounded to the natives, if it really translates into,"well, duh…it's a bean!")

Back to hard science.

Tepary beans have been tested in the lab and have been found, when eaten in conjunction with exercise, to improve insulin resistance, lower blood lipids, and help with weight loss. Not bad for a humble little legume that, when it has its way, happily hides out in remote desert washes! It's actually thought that one of the reasons the rate of diabetes has soared so much in Native Americans is because they have strayed away from eating natives foods like the tepary.

They contain 24 grams of protein per 100 grams in their dry state, which is slightly higher than black beans. Which is why they are being profiled on Fitness Friday today!

We recently started sharing tepary beans in our share boxes at Chow Locally, and our customers have been making everything with them from veggie burgers to hummous. They have a slightly nutty flavor which people seem to like. Now that I've seen a group of people try them and enjoy them, I wanted to share them with you!

Add caption  We get our beans from Ramona Farms on the Gila River Indian Reservation, just south of Phoenix. Ramona Farms recently showcased their tepary beans at Natural Products West in Anaheim, and got a lot of attention from high-end chefs and natural foods experts looking for the next best super food. This is me with Ramona and Leslie, two members of the Akimel O'odham tribe. They're super nice and they want you to try their beans…me too!

Ramona Farms is in the process of setting up a web store; in the meantime you can order their beans by phone.
Give them a try and let me know what you think!

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Fitness Friday: A super vegan protein boost--tepary beans + women