Lobio is a traditional Georgian bean salad. Russians love Georgian food and we enjoyed Lobio at almost every party dinner in my house back in the day.
Beans are one of the few foods that contain generous amounts of both protein and fiber. Beans have high amounts of carbohydrates as well, but the carbs in beans are slowly digested and absorbed. So beans don’t spike the blood sugar and are a better food choice for people with blood sugar imbalances and diabetes. The fiber in beans promotes regularity and nourishes beneficial bacteria in the colon.
Beans are high in phytic acid, the compound that binds to minerals and makes them less available for us. I highly recommend soaking the beans in water overnight to reduce phytic acid. Soaking also makes beans easier to digest.
Cilantro aids digestion, helps relieve gas, and stimulates secretion of digestive juices. So cilantro might come in handy if you have a delicate digestive tract and don’t tolerate beans well. It is also a great antimicrobial for the digestive tract.
Walnuts have the highest Omega-3 fatty acid content compared to other nuts. Eating 1 ounce of walnuts a day may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease since Walnuts appear to have cardio-protective properties. They are a good source of B vitamins, especially B6, B1 and folate.
Garlic, when consumed raw, exhibits both cardio and cancer protective qualities. When it is cooked, its anti-cancer properties are greatly reduced. Garlic is a strong antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, and it improves blood lipid profile.
Lobio – Bean Salad from Georgia
1 cup red kidney or small chili beans
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
½ onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the beans overnight, drain , rinse, cover with water.
- Bring beans to a boil over medium heat, skim the foam, reduce the heat to simmer and cook until soft. Depending on the bean size it can take between 1 and 2 hours. Check once in a while for readiness and to make sure the water didn’t evaporate. The beans are done when they are soft and even slightly mushy. Salt 5 minutes before turning off the heat.
- Drain the beans and reserve 1 cup of liquid. Place the beans in a salad bowl and add the rest of the ingredients while still warm.
- Adjust the seasoning, let the salad cool, garnish with a tablespoon of chopped cilantro and serve.
- If the salad seems dry, add back some of the bean liquid one tablespoon at a time until it has the desired consistency.
- Enjoy with another Georgian dish I have here.