Good Food Friday – Bean Crazy! : Bean Salad

Have you seen Edible Gems freshly shelled berlotti beans? Who knew? Until yesterday, I was none the wiser – but when this little package was left on my doorstep my eyes (and taste buds) opened to a whole new world of possibility. These little beauties are the bomb not only in nutrition but in the way they are prepared and packaged. Dried beans usually require a bit of work as they need to be soaked and cooked before they can make their way into your dish, however, I do prefer cooking with them over the canned variety. Edible Gems are unique in that they are harvested and shelled where they are grown – that is in the field as the pods help regenerate and enrich the soil. BEST of all they cook in 20 minutes! They are available for a short time of the year – when they are in season. I’m all about seasonal eating and so, now is the time to hunt them down and eat beans! I will be posting several bean themed recipes over the next week or so as I have a few packs to try out.

I’ve talked about beans many times – “Beans of all varieties are a great source of fibre, not only welcomed by the gut but also helping us to feel fuller and aid digestion. This type of fibre is also awesome to lower cholesterol. Beans get a great all round wrap – they are versatile, packed with protein, folate and iron – the perfect food for fertility – essential for a mother to be or a wanting mother to be.” You can read the full post here.

I also recently spoke about them in last months edition of Marie Claire:
Full article in Marie Clare – by Olivia Richardson

But you see the difference with Edible Gems is that they only require 20 minutes in a pot – no soaking necessary! I’d still apply the same principle – and so you will see in the recipe below, we use vinegar, not only because it tastes great but to help the gut also.


Bean Salad

1 pack Edible Gems
1 red onion, (1/2 diced for cooking beans with, 1/2 chopping into sections to add to the salad later)
2 bay leaves
2 tbs Coconut butter
Water to cover beans
A pinch of Salt and Pepper
1/2 bunch parsley
2-3 tomatoes
1-2 tbs organic apple cider vinegar
2 tbs Olive Oil

In a pot, place two table spoons of coconut butter and allow to melt. Pop in the diced onion, salt and pepper, bay leaves and allow to soften (you could really add any veggies you like, had I have had some celery on hand, I would have also added).
Add beans and pour in enough water so that the beans are just covered.
Allow to cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes and place in a salad bowl with onions, salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar. Mix well and allow juices to combine.
Once beans are cooked, drain and allow to cool.
Combine with tomatoes.
Add parsley, mix well and serve.


  • February 10, 2012 By Jina Tripodi 5:15 pm

    Hi Nat,

    Thank you so much for the fabulous write up. We are so pleased you like the beans we start harvesting on the 19th of Feb, should have them in the stores 20th of Feb. You can not get them fresher than that. I am not quite sure whether you are aware or not but every dried legume that enters Australia, is treated with radiation to make it sterile ( not very nice is it ) I have been feeding my children borlotti beans since they were about 8 weeks old, my son in particular as he had constpation problems. We will be at the Taste festival in Sydney this year, would love to catch up if you happen to attend.

    Thank you again Jina

  • February 11, 2012 By Renee 12:29 am

    Nat I love your blog so much! I feel like a whole new world of wholistic nutrition has opened up to me! I started reading a lot of American blogs…..dreaming about Australia one day having a “Trader Joes” or the like, where we can purchase all these great real foods. I love that we are starting to see more emphasis on these wonderful foods in Australia now! I moved to Perth two years ago, and it has to be one of the “healthiest” cities to live in. People here are very health conscious, but I have a hard time finding organic produce and products and healthy eateries. Jina where can we purchase your beans? Thanks guys for doing your bit to make Aussies more healthy. Kind Regards, Renee

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