MANY of you are probably fans of the classic meal beans on toast, but scientists think we can revolutionise our diets by having beans in our toast instead!
Researchers and chefs at the University of Reading want to encourage food producers to use bread containing broad beans, also known as fava beans. This would make the bread healthier and be less damaging to the environment.
It’s all part of the £2 million Raising The Pulse project, which sees five teams of researchers at the university working with members of the public, farmers, industry and politicians to increase the amount of pulses (beans, peas and lentils) in the UK diet. Broad beans are high in easily digested protein, fibre and iron – all nutrients that can be low in UK diets. The Reading scientists say that 90% of the bread eaten in the UK is white, which is much lower in nutrients than wholemeal bread.
Soya beans are used as an ingredient in lots of bread already, but the researchers say broad beans, which can be grown in the UK and are more sustainable, would be a better option. Researchers found that UK-grown broad bean flour can directly replace imported soya flour and even some wheat flour.
Bean crops can naturally take nitrogen from the air, which means they need less fertiliser than other crops, so their impact on the environment is much lower.
It’s hoped not only will bread made with broad beans taste good and be better for you but it could also keep you fuller for longer.