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How to make bean stew for a longer life?


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People in the oldest parts of the world consume a cup of legumes daily.

Photo: Igor Lukin / Pixabay

Prepare a tasty meal that benefits your health in one pot with this Bean stew recipe from the Blue Zones of Ikaria.

The beans are a key part of the daily diet of the inhabitants of the so-called “Blue Zones”. In these areas of the world people live for a long time, there are people in their eighties, nineties and many hundred years, even some who have reached the 110 years who are called supercentenarians.

The Blue Zones are found in Barbaglia (Sardinia, Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Icaria (Greece), Loma Linda (California) and the Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica). People in these areas eat a variety of vegetables, greens, fruits, whole grains, and a cup of beans every day throughout the year.

The consumption of beans that could add four extra years of life, said Dan Buettner who together with a team of experts have investigated the areas.

Studies have been conducted showing that high consumption of legumes is associated with a lower risk of mortality from all causes, like the cardiovascular diseases which according to the World Health Organization are the leading cause of death worldwide.

This “longevity stew” from the Blue Zones cookbook is very simple to make, with beans, olive oil, a little red onion, garlic, fennel, tomato, bay leaves and dill.

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Ikarian Blue Longevity Stew

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A true Blue Zones classic recipe that the team loves to make over and over again. This savory one-pot meal fuses the iconic flavors of Ikaria with the faintest hint of sweet fennel. As is customary in Ikaria, a small amount of olive oil is used to sauté the vegetables, then a generous drizzle finishes the dish. This practice is instinctively brilliant: Heat breaks down the oil, so saving most for a final drizzle assures its rich flavor and maximum health benefits. . . . . Full recipe below and at the link in our profile. INGREDIENTS ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 large red onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 fennel bulb 1 cup (8 ounces) black eyed peas (with dried peas, bring to a boil, boil for 1 minute, remove from heat , cover and let sit for an hour. Drain, rinse, and use.) 1 large, firm ripe tomato, finely chopped 2 tsp tomato paste, diluted in ¼ cup water 2 bay leaves salt to taste 1 bunch dill, finely chopped DIRECTIONS Heat half the olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion, garlic, and fennel bulb stirring occasionally, until soft (about 12 minutes). Add the black-eyed peas and toss to coat in the oil. Add the tomato, tomato paste and enough water to cover the beans by about an inch. Add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the black-eyed peas are about half way cooked. (Check after 40 minutes, but it may take over an hour.) Add the chopped dill and season with salt. Continue cooking until the black-eyed peas are tender. Remove, pour in remaining raw olive oil and serve. . #bluezones #recipes #bluezoneslife #vegan #veganrecipe #recipevideo #feedfeed #thefeedfeedvegan

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(4 portions)

  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 1 cup black-eyed beans
  • 1 large tomato finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato paste diluted in ¼ cup of water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch of dill finely chopped
  • salt to taste


  1. Heat half the olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion, garlic and fennel bulb until soft.
  2. Add the beans and stir to coat with the oil.
  3. Add the tomato, tomato paste, and enough water to cover the beans about an inch and stir in the bay leaves.
  4. Bring it to a boil and lower the heat and cook over low heat.
  5. Add the chopped dill and season with salt.
  6. Continue cooking until the beans are soft. Remove and pour in the rest of the raw olive oil and serve.

The reason for reserving part of the olive oil until the end is that its properties are better maintained when it is not subjected to heat.



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