Beans, as we may all have known by now, is full of benefits that are ready to make your body healthier. There are lots of foods and beverages that you can turn the beans into. One of them is to turn it into bean cake.
Now, there are also a lot of bean cake choices that you can try! There is mung bean cake, vanilla bean cake, red bean cake, mochi, even the infamous dorayaki, and many more.
In this article, we’re going to talk about fried bean cake or also known as “Akara”, a healthy bean cake from Nigeria. Akara or acarajé in Portuguese, also known as bean cakes, bean balls, or bean fritas, is a Nigerian cake recipe that can be a perfect suit for breakfast.
Health Benefits of Bean Cake
Now that you have learned one of the recipes using beans and turn it into a form of bean cake, aren’t you curious of what it can actually contribute to your body’s health? Here are some of the health benefits of bean cake that you should know!
- Helps Balance Blood Sugar
Carbohydrates and protein are both a complex content of beans. This composition then allows beans to be digested slowly, making sure the blood glucose stays stable. Thus, reduce the irritability and fatigue for your body. Please note that one of the health benefits of turmeric for diabetes is that it can also help balance out the blood sugar.
- Good for the Heart
Beans contain an abundance of soluble fiber in it. Allowing the body to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thus earning them the title of “heart healthy”. If you happen to be out of stock from fresh beans, then you can still use canned beans. Just make sure to rinse them in the water before cooking to get rid of the 40% sodium contained in the canned beans. Do you also know about the health benefits of tea for liver?
- Rich of Nutrient
Beans are a powerhouse of nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals like copper, iron, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, potassium, as well as magnesium. These components making beans good to be consumed by women who are on their period and may be in dire need of iron as well as for pregnant women to make sure their babies are healthy.
- Low Level of Fat
Beans usually don’t carry any cholesterol in it and have only 2 to 3 percent of fat. Thus, it can be a perfect food to be consumed especially by those of you who are on your diet and needs something to eat that is fulfilling.
Since beans are metabolized more slowly than other forms of carbohydrates, it can help you loss weight by keeping the stomach full without excessive high calories. You might also want to check out the health benefits of almonds for weight loss.
- Reduces Risk of Cancer
As we have explained before, beans contain an abundance of antioxidants and fiber. Thus, three cups of beans, especially in the form of akara, can help to give you good health and help you avoid the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer. Here are some of the information you may need to know as well on how to prevent cancers.
- Source of Protein
A research from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans stated that we should consume more plant proteins and guess what is one of the plants that we can consume? Yep, it’s beans! Half a cup of beans can provide us about 7 grams of protein, the same amount that is contained in an ounce of chicken, fish, or meat.
This is one of the reasons why vegetarians, vegans, or people who eats fish, poultry, or meat generally rare to consume beans as the replacement source of protein. Check out health benefits pinto beans to know more about other type of beans that can be your good source of protein.
- Keeps You Moving
Beans can help you with constipation problem since it contains fiber in it. Make sure to accompany your high-fiber foods with a perfect ample of fluids such as water, or sparkling water. Beans are also an ideal choice to those of you who are sensitive to gluten since it contains 5 to 8 grams of fiber per 3 ounces or 100 grams. Thus, that’s all the best health benefits of bean cake!
Here’s a recipe to guide you in making your own akara at home!
How to Cook Bean Cake
After knowing the health benefits of bean cake, here’s to make it:
- 1 cup of Beans (black-eyed or brown beans)
- 2 habanero peppers (also chilli peppers)
- 1 medium-sized onion
- Salt to taste
- Vegetable Oil for frying
- A blender
- Mortar and Pestle
- Remove the bean coats. Make sure to not get the beans come in any sort of contact with salt as it is believed that salt will destroy the leavening property of beans that will later make the beans batter spattered when being fried
- Soak the beans for two hours in water. Leave it until soft and enough to blend.
- Cut onions and pepper into the sizes that you want them to.
- Grind the beans using the blender. Add some water for just a little amount, just to make sure the blades of your blender move. The less water you add during the grinding stage, the more the beans batter will stay intact and create less spatter for you.
- Heat up some vegetable oil, at least 3 inches deep, in the cooker.
- Put enough quantity of grounded beans to be fried in one go into the mortar.
- Stir the beans puree in a continuous circular motion using the pestle. Apply some pressure while you’re doing so to make sure the beans puree’s particles gets energized. Keep stirring until a unique aroma seeps out and the beans become whiter.
- Add some more water to get the beans into the perfect consistency.
- While waiting for the oil to be on the perfect heat, not too hot but not too cool, add the pepper and onions into the mortar then stir it again.
- Add salt according to your desired taste, stir it well.
- Scoop the akara batter using a table spoon then slowly pour it into the oil. Dip the spoon for a bit into the oil to help reduce spatters.
- Fry both side until the color is brown.
- Remove the akara from the oil, sieve them to allow the excess oil to go down, then enjoy!
Now that we have learned also the health benefits of bean cake, what is your thought about it? We hope the article had been helpful to you and we wish you the best of luck in making your own version of akara!