Retrofitting Your Diet

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Leave the past behind, it can't be changed.  Don't worry about the future, it hasn't happened yet.  Seems like great words to live by right?  Yet we still seem to spend a majority of our waking hours worrying about them both.  Don't fret though…there are valuable lessons to be garnered from what can't be changed and how it affects what hasn't happened.

In food, we are constantly looking for the next great innovation, while worrying about our depleting food stocks and farm lands.  A quick look into the past creates an eye-opening revelation of a food perfectly designed for our ever growing population and health concerns.

Beans
Domesticated and valued by Native Americans in South and Central America, beans served as a staple of the diet of the many tribes and cultures.  Long before we knew or had the science to prove it, they understood that beans offered high concentrations of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber necessary for survival.  In short, all the good things we now strive to put in our diets today.

In today's foodservice world, we are constantly challenged to offer our customers a more healthful, cost effective source for our nutrition without sacrificing the flavor we've become accustomed.  Beans offer an incredible vessel for flavor infusion to pair with nutrition.  The subtle flavors of the different bean varieties are complimented by the crisp freshness of herbs and citrus flavors while standing up to heavy spice and heat additions.  

They even lend themselves to sweet applications (and we're not just talking baked beans here folks).  Imagine fortifying dessert options with additional protein and fiber.  The bean can be the blank canvas you take a broad brush to. 

So go ahead and look into the past.  Examine some tried and true traditions and ideas with an eye towards how to do it different.  We're so quick to be innovative, but we forget that some of the old ways were done that way for a reason.  Retrofit beans back into your diet and your menus.  Take that old staple and turn it into your surge to the future. 

Chef Paul, a Certified Research Chef, is a 2002 graduate of Yorktowne Business Institute School of Culinary Arts in York, Pennsylvania. There he was class valedictorian and received the Chef Michael Hostetter Memorial Award for Culinary Excellence. He is a member of the Research Chefs Association and the Refrigerated Foods Association and has over 15 years of experience.

Working in restaurants since the age of 16, Paul has spent most of his life working with food; a love he developed in family style restaurants, honed in school, and practiced in fine dining establishments. Never one to be defining himself with a particular cuisine, Paul explores the world's palate with excitement. "The world is full of people who have made incredible foods with what is in their backyard and we now have access to all those wonderful flavors and combinations," he says. That love and excitement for flavor he now brings to Furmano Foods.

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