Apples-Bean-Dip-and-Carrot-CakeBeyond funny childhood rhymes, a lot of us frankly don’t know beans about beans. (And those rhymes aren’t always correct: Beans, it turns out, are pulses, and not fruit. But yes, they are good for your heart!) And for a lot of us, for a long time, other, flashier proteins may have captured our attention.

But the emerging need for easy-storing foods that are good for you has become unmistakable and the humble bean is suddenly getting ready for its closeup. The New York Times observed the trend this past weekend in “A Boom Time for the Bean Industry,” which noted that lentils, dry peas, chickpeas, and beans have seen an 40 percent increase in sales across the board, while Goya reports a 400 percent surge in black beans and pinto beans.

So now that we have all these beans, what’s next? Here are a couple quick ideas for getting started on some of the many things you can do with beans. Do you want something quick and easy as well as tasty? Right on this page and suitable for even kids to make.Freya-bean-burgers

Or: Looking for a more substantial recipe you can base a meal around? Click here for Freya’s Bean Burgers with Mushroom-Onion Gravy.

Start working beans into your routine in various ways, and pretty soon we’ll all know beans about beans!



Here’s a super easy way to make a good bean dish that everyone enjoys!

Recipe is from Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake: Kids! Teach Yourself to Cook.
E-book is available FREE to help people learn to cook during social distancing due to coronavirus.
Print version also on a special sale only $10 from at this time.

Yield: 3 cups
Skills learned: opening a can, mixing
Equipment: can opener, liquid measuring cup, large mixing bowl, fork, measuring spoons set, 2 spoons

Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake by Anne and Freya DinshahIngredients:
1 16-ounce can vegetarian refried beans
1 cup salsa
1 Tablespoon prepared yellow mustard


  1. Wash top of can.
  2. Open can with can opener.
  3. Use the spoon to scoop refried beans from can into bowl.
  4. Measure salsa by using a clean spoon to get it from jar into the liquid measuring cup. Add salsa to the beans in the bowl.
  5. Measure mustard into the tablespoon. Add to bowl. If mustard sticks in the tablespoon, scoop it out with a spoon.
  6. Mix with a fork by going halfway around the edge of the bowl and pulling outer ingredients into the middle. Then lift and turn the fork. Turn the bowl half a turn. Repeat. Keep the fork moving strongly and smoothly until all ingredients are combined.

Serving: Place bowl of dip on a large plate. Surround with raw broccoli pieces, baby carrots, tortilla chips, pita chips, or crackers.