Bean salads are hardly a new thing, and we often overlook them when searching for a healthy side to a meal. However, partnering the beans with this tangy apricot mayonnaise gives it a slight upgrade both nutritionally and taste-wise. This bean salad with tangy apricot mayonnaise is excellent as part of a meal prep menu as the flavour gets better the longer it’s in the fridge.
Beans and legumes are loaded with fibre (which is sorely lacking in modern diets), great for heart health and an excellent source of plant-based protein. There is also a wide selection of dishes you can use them for, anything from savoury to sweet dishes.
For the carb-conscious green beans and black soybeans are relatively low carb and can be incorporated into keto diets But, as a rule, beans contain a fair amount of carbohydrates. Their high fibre is what makes it a slow-releasing complex carb and therefore does not cause sudden spikes in sugar levels, in fact – quite the opposite.
Types of Beans
For this recipe, I selected three different types of beans:
Red Kidney Beans:
A mild flavoured bean with a slight sweetness to them. They are also shaped like a kidney hence the name. According to the Doctrine of Signatures, they help with kidney disease, but little science supports this. However, they are considered beneficial in managing blood sugar levels, taking a bit of pressure off your kidneys.
It goes back to that high fibre content I mentioned above. The fibre content also lends itself to potential cancer-fighting qualities, especially colon cancer.
NOTE: Raw kidney beans can be toxic and should always be cooked and rinsed well before consuming.
It is a large white bean with a slightly nutty flavour, popular for use in stews and soups as they are firm and keep their shape and meatiness when cooked for a long time. Like kidney beans, they are toxic when raw. A best practice is to boil them for a long time, this kills off the toxic lectins, and just the nutritious bean remains. Cannellini beans are full of polyphenols (effective anti-inflammatory agents and fight cell damage).
Black beans have a mild flavour and are often used in vegan desserts due to their soft texture and neutral taste. They tend to absorb the flavours of whatever they are mixed with, so soaking in a marinade can help pack a punch of flavour in a salad.
Tangy Apricot Mayonnaise
This is where the magic happens. I was looking for something with a bit of tang and sweetness. Apple cider vinegar was an obvious choice, with the mother strands swirling at the bottom and the sharp smell it gets your taste buds woken up asap!
Dried fruits have concentrated sugars that add sweetness without adding additional processed sugars. (In this recipe, apricots carried their flavour through the best, and other dried fruit did not seem to work as well).
Apple Cider Vinegar
Also fondly referred to as ACV, it is well known for its health benefits. Some even knock back a neat tot of it. Unfortunately, while I love the vinegar, I haven’t been able to bring myself to swig it back neat.
Its medicinal uses date back to 400BC, when Hippocrates would use it as an antibiotic. ACV helps with digestion by adding to the stomach’s natural acidity. Many of us suffer from indigestion, not because of too much stomach acid, but rather from too little. This means the food sits in the stomach far longer than it should
You can go in many directions with the garnish – anything from seeds to grated apple would be great. However, if you want to maximise nutrition, then I suggest one of the following:
Parsley or Coriander
Whichever you choose, they both pack that same incredible health factor. They protect us against the accumulation of heavy metals in our bloodstream and organs. So, indeed, those inane little garnishes you’ve been sending back on your plate all these years are actually pretty awesome. And, depending on where you’ve been eating, probably the healthiest thing on the plate – just saying.
Red onion, tomatoes, and colourful beans all have a common flavonoid called Anthocyanins. (Foods with a dark red/blue/purple hue indicate this potent antioxidant).
Anthocyanins are considered more potent than the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E and are rich in Vitamin P or Rutin (discovered by the same scientist who discovered Vitamin C). Studies have shown benefits in fighting heart disease, arthritis, skin issues and many more due to its high antioxidant values.
If you want to know more about canned food, then read: Canned Food: Cans and Cants
Now let’s get to eating…
Bean Salad with Tangy Apricot Mayonnaise
- ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ Lemon juiced
- 100 g Dried Apricots
- ¼ cup Olive Oil extra virigin
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 clove Garlic minced
- 1 sml Red Onion roughly chopped
- 1 can Black Beans drained
- 1 can Red Kidney Beans drained
- 1 can Cannellini Beans drained
- 1 can Green Beans drained
- In a sealable container add the apricots, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Cover and set aside to soak for at least 2 hours. (If you have the time, prepare this the day before and leave in the fridge to infuse).
- Add the soaked apricots to a blender along with the olive oil, water, garlic and onion
- Blend for 1 - 2 minutes until a creamy, smooth mayonnaise is formed. (The strength of your blender will determine how long you need to mix it for).
- Add all the drained beans to a single large bowl
- Add the blended mayonnaise and gently toss the mix until the sauce has complete coated the beans. (For a less juicy salad, simply use less mayonnaise. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days).
- Can be served immediately at room temperature or left in the fridge overnight
- Garnish with your favourite seeds (sesame, pumpkin) or greens like parsley or coriander.
- Serve as a side salad with your main dish, top off your nachos or tortilla for extra flavour. Add to a green leafy salad.