A hot bowl of chili is often associated with Mexican cuisine, but did you know that chili didn’t originate from Mexico at all?1 Chili’s roots can be traced to the American Southwest, most likely in the region that’s present-day Texas.2
Chili has evolved from being a peasant meal that utilizes inexpensive ingredients to a well-loved dish in various places. And although you can buy canned chili nowadays, nothing beats homemade chili.
This Comforting Lentil Kidney Bean Chili With Garlic, Apple Cider Vinegar and Cumin Recipe from Healthy Holistic Living is a dish you’ll want to savor because of its hearty flavor. Plenty of time and effort may be needed to prepare it, but the resulting dish is surely worth it!
Just remember this chili recipe may not be suitable for everyone, as there are ingredients that may pose health risks to certain individuals (more on this later).
Comforting Lentil Kidney Bean Chili With Garlic, Apple Cider Vinegar and Cumin Recipe
- Coconut oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced, or use 6 spring onions, diced
- Sea salt
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 28-ounce jars of chopped tomatoes (preferably organic fire roasted)
- 1 jalapeño pepper, with the seeds removed if you don’t like it spicy, or left intact if you like heat
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of lentils (I used green)
- 15 ounces of dark red kidney beans
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
For the topping:
- Sliced red onion or spring onions
- In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, add a teaspoon of coconut oil and let it heat up over a medium flame. Add the onion and jalapeño.
- Cook for about eight minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the jalapeño, salt, chili powder, smoked paprika, tomatoes and water.
- Bring that to a boil and add the lentils.
- Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the lentils cook through. If you use orange or red lentils, please note they tend to cook faster. The green take a bit longer.
- Add your beans and apple cider vinegar, and give that a good stir. Taste the chili and adjust seasonings.
- Simmer over a low flame for hours if you can, or at least another 20 minutes, if you’re in a rush.
- Serve. You can serve over quinoa. Top with whatever you prefer and enjoy!
Need More Reasons to Make This Chili Recipe Today?
Chili is often made with beef, cubed or ground, that’s cooked in fat and slowly simmered with red chilies and water or meat stock. Seasonings and other spices are added as finishing touches.3
The thing is, you don’t have to strictly follow this formula if you want to make chili. This Comforting Lentil Kidney Bean Chili With Garlic, Apple Cider Vinegar and Cumin Recipe is an example of “non-traditional” chili that’s nevertheless delicious. With each spoonful, you can taste different vegetables and spices that can deliver positive impacts to your body in the long run.
Fire Up Your Way to Better Health With Chili Peppers
What’s a bowl of chili without some spice? While there are different chili peppers you can add to chili, the jalapeño pepper is a top choice, providing not just heat and flavor, but additional health benefits. Apart from containing vitamins A, B6, C and K1,4 a compound called capsaicin that’s responsible for the peppers’ pungent odor and burning sensation in your mouth can lead to:5
- Pain relief: Capsaicin is known to decrease the body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. Plus, it’s been proven to desensitize sensory receptors in the skin.6
- Weight loss and satiety: Research has shown that capsaicin helps combat obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, reducing blood fat levels and combating fat buildup by prompting beneficial protein changes in the body.7 Capsaicin can also temporarily increase thermogenesis in the body. This involves the body burning brown fat to create heat, leading to positive impacts on metabolism and fat-burning potential.8
- Improved heart health: Capsaicin was shown in some studies to help reduce triglycerides, cholesterol and platelet aggregation. Other studies have revealed that capsaicin can help the body dissolve fibrin that plays a role in preventing blood clot formation.
- Reduced inflammation: This compound is known to possess both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities, showing potential for treating inflammatory diseases.
- Relief from nasal congestion: Capsaicin may assist in clearing the mucus lining your nose and in fighting chronic sinus infections, given its antibacterial properties.9
Bring Life to This Chili With Spice and Acidity
Spices and seasonings deliver that extra "oomph" to chili. In this recipe, cumin and apple cider vinegar (ACV) are responsible for this.
Cumin, the second most popular spice in the world,10 is a notable source of fiber, vitamins A, B, C and E and antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein, and is home to phytochemicals with antiflatulent and carminative properties. What’s impressive about cumin, however, is its mineral content:11
- Iron and copper: vital for red blood cell production and formation
- Zinc: cofactor needed by enzymes to help with digestion regulation, growth and development and nucleic acid synthesis
- Potassium: crucial for controlling blood pressure levels and heart rate, and an important component of cells and body fluids
- Manganese: cofactor for a powerful antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase
Furthermore, cumin was also proven to help alleviate conditions like respiratory and sleeping disorders and even diabetes. Its essential oil can address convulsions, relieve stress and anxiety, eliminate bacteria and toxins from the body and assist with wound cleaning.
Another potential way to bolster your health is by incorporating ACV into your meals. Many health experts have been suggesting the use of ACV in recent years because of the various health benefits that it can offer:
- Prevent candida overgrowth: If your body has excess amounts of Candida (a naturally occurring yeast), this can trigger health problems. ACV can serve as a prebiotic for healthy bacteria and promote good bacteria growth, since it's fermented with beneficial yeast.
- Deliver an energy boost:12 The potassium and enzymes in ACV aid with eliminating fatigue. Amino acids in ACV may assist in inhibiting lactic acid buildup in the body, eventually preventing fatigue from occurring.
- Help relieve acid reflux and other digestive ailments:13 ACV was shown to effectively stimulate digestive juices that help the body with food breakdown.
Some substances in ACV may lead to this benefit too. Pectin was proven to help soothe intestinal spasms, while healthy acids (isobutyric, acetic, propionic and lactic) can control the growth of unwanted yeast and bacteria in your stomach and throughout the body.
- Enhance liver detoxification: Studies have shown that ACV may play a role in both detoxifying the liver and stimulating circulation. Furthermore, ACV's healing properties may positively impact the skin and blood and remove harmful environmental toxins in the body.
It can also contribute to enhanced immune system response by cleansing the lymph nodes and promoting better lymph circulation.
- Possess antibacterial properties and alleviate other conditions: ACV’s antibacterial properties may be useful for people experiencing infections and/or sore throats. You can also rely on ACV to assist in clearing your sinuses, as it helps break up and reduce mucus in your body.
Keep These Hints in Mind When Consuming Lentils and Kidney Beans
Instead of using meat, this chili features two sources of plant-based proteins: lentils and kidney beans. While they are the main ingredients of this recipe and may offer certain benefits, there are some precautions you should remember when using them in your recipes:14,15
- Lentils — These are low-calorie edible seeds that belong to the legume family, and can be either red, brown, black or green. Lentils provide you with dietary fiber, vitamins B1 and B9, tryptophan, amino acids, phytochemicals and phenols, as well as minerals like molybdenum, manganese, iron, phosphorus, potassium and copper. However, eat lentils in moderation, since eating them can lead to:
- Gassiness, as they start fermenting and releasing gas after entering your digestive system
- Increased oxalate levels that can result in kidney stone formation (lentils are known to be high in oxalates)
- Damage to overall kidney function in the long run, since increased protein consumption can pressure the kidneys to flush out excess proteins from the body
- Kidney beans — Most people are familiar with these burgundy-colored beans (although they are available in colors like white, cream, black and purple, and may appear spotted, striped or mottled). They contain fiber, iron, magnesium and resistant starches that may be helpful for weight management.
Ensure that kidney beans are cooked very well prior to eating, as they can be toxic when raw or improperly cooked. Always consume kidney beans in moderation, because they can:
- Cause side effects such as bloating, flatulence and diarrhea because of insoluble fibers called alpha-galactosides
- Contribute to increased insulin levels because these beans are complex carbohydrates. So, if you are hypoglycemic, diabetic or insulin resistant, consume very little amounts of kidney beans, or not at all
Plus, anti-nutrients like phytic acid, protease inhibitors and starch blockers are found in kidney beans. These lower the beans’ nutritional value by preventing nutrient absorption from the digestive tract.
Lentils and Kidney Beans Also Contain Lectins
Both lentils and kidney beans are high in carbohydrate-binding proteins called lectins. While not all of these are bad for you, most lectins are actually pro-inflammatory, causing inflammation and producing advanced glycation end products.
Furthermore, lectins are also immunotoxic (can stimulate a hyperimmune response), neurotoxic and cytotoxic (toxic to cells) and can induce apoptosis or cell death. Certain lectins can interfere with gene expression and disrupt endocrine function, as well.
Another drawback of eating lectins in high quantities is their tendency to increase blood viscosity by binding to red blood cells. This prompts the blood cells to become sticky, and results in abnormal clotting. Leptin resistance may also occur when you eat too much lectin-containing foods, thereby increasing your risk for both obesity and other diseases.
As such, if you are dealing with any of the following inflammatory or autoimmune conditions, avoid consuming lectin-containing foods like grains, legumes, beans and members of the nightshade family:16,17
Thyroid function (especially Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)
Likewise, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can increase gut permeability as well,18 which can then allow lectins to enter the bloodstream and increase your risk for an adverse reaction. For more on the drawbacks of consuming lectins, I recommend reading “The Case Against Beans and Other Foods Containing Toxic Lectins.”
About the Author
Healthy Holistic Living is an independent alternative health news resource that provides innovative, alternative health-related content, resources and product information that empowers individuals to make positive change in their lives and in the world.
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