November 23rd National Espresso Day

In 1901, Italian, Luigi Bezzera made a machine to make espresso in order to shorten, or end, his employees coffee breaks. He decided to create a cup of coffee that had more caffeine that kept his employees on the job and maybe even sped up their work a bit. (An unexpected benefit) He accomplished this by creating a way to make a finer grind on the coffee and to add a creme to it that enhanced the flavor.

How to celebrate – Have a espresso. Learn about the different types of coffees and grounds. Buy an espresso machine.

January 6th Bean Day

Today we celebrate the bean. Most of us consume some sort of bean during the day. Generally a bean is a seed, meaning if we replant it, with any luck, it should grow. It doesn’t always work that way so we boil them, roast them, grind them and put them in numerous dishes we can devour. They are healthy and meet the requirements of meat eaters as well as vegans. They can be green, brown, gray, red or nearly any color of the spectrum. They also help us digest our food, though sometimes they cause us to react in ways others do not welcome.

How to celebrate – Name as many beans as you can without looking. If you have beans, does that make you a Has-bean? Have beans with every meal today.

June 17th Eat Your Vegetables Day

You say potato, I say mashed! Today we celebrate the idea of eating all the vegetables on your plate, maybe even forgoing the meat to have nothing but vegetables. They can actually be quite good and are healthier too! Red, green, yellow nearly all the colors of the rainbow. And if you don’t like the flavor you can always cover them in cheese or bacon! Corn, beans, potatoes, squash, okra, broccoli, cauliflower, egg plant, peppers… they are all great! They give you more energy and might even help you lose a little weight! (That is if you don’t cover them in cheese or wrap them in bacon) And you know what makes them taste the absolute best? Grow them yourself, it’s easier than growing a cow.

How to celebrate – Eat some vegetables. Grow some vegetables. At least have a salad.

July 3rd National Eat your Beans Day

Did you know there are over 40,000 types of beans? The oldest beans we know to have been eaten were Broad beans (perhaps more commonly known as Fava beans). Beans have been found in the tombs of the mummies and are believed to have been used as long ago as the early 7th millennium BCE. That’s a pretty long time ago. I think we can safely call them, “has-beans”.

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Soy beans have been around for nearly as long but they were not put into so much use until World War 2 when they seemed to become a staple in every diet. Soy can be very good for you, but it does have some drawbacks since it is now known that they have an unusually high amount of phytoestrogens (estrogen) which can cause a hormone imbalance in men as it counters testosterone. It is also deadly if eaten raw. It contains toxins that are removed when cooked.

Red-Bean

Red beans, kidney beans, and butter beans also contain the same toxin and must be cooked before eating. There may be others as well, so make sure you check before eating any uncooked beans. (not that many of us eat raw beans anyway).

green french beans

In Europe, the primary bean served was the broad bean, and it wasn’t until the explorers reached the New World that kidney beans, black beans, cranberry, pinto, and navy beans were added to the diet. In fact, the Native Americans introduced a dish to the settlers known as the “Three Sisters” which was made up of corn, beans, and squash.

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Since those days we have added beans to meals so we got our quota of veggies.  The lima bean has been used in numerous dishes but are just as good plain (though not everyone thinks so). Today, the largest bean crops come out of Myanmar, with the US ranking 7th in overall production.

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And the reason beans (legumes) make us so flatuent is because of the sugar trapped inside the beans when they are cooked. Go figure, I didn’t quite understand that one either. Beans are like the Forrest Gump of veggies. They come as green beans, baked beans, lima beans, soy beans, refried beans, three bean salad, pork and beans, yellow beans, red beans, black beans, kidney beans, Beany and Cecil … well as I said before, there are 40,000 varieties of beans.

How to celebrate: Try some kind of bean you’ve never eaten before. Grow a bean garden (it only takes about 60 days from the time they are planted to when they are ready to eat). Throw a bean party with everybody bringing a different bean dish (best done by a campfire outside, mimicking “Blazing Saddles”).