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Food

For versatile plant-based menu options, operators turn to beans

Photograph: Shutterstock

Plant-based foods are big. Consumers of all stripes—not just those following vegetarian or vegan diets—are increasingly looking for plant-based options when they dine out, and restaurant operators are answering the call. From plant-based burgers to meat alternatives, there’s been considerable innovation on the plant-based menu front in the last few years.

According to Technomic’s 2019 Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report, 28% of consumers say that when they are ordering vegetarian dishes, they prefer to order dishes that do not feature meat substitutes such as imitation chicken nuggets or veggie burger patties. For these consumers, as well as the 37% of consumers who would like restaurants to offer a wider variety of vegetarian entrees, beans are the perfect solution.

Check out these interesting ways beans can be used on plant-based menu items, from breakfast to dinner and beyond.

·       Morning menu: Serve up skillets featuring familiar favorite ingredients such as hash browns, scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese, topped with Bush’s Best Taco Fiesta Black Beans. These Breakfast Fiesta Bean Scramblers feature zesty beans that add heartiness to an already-robust breakfast option.

·       Lunchtime: Consumers love burritos—and burritos are a natural pairing for plant-based protein options. Offer the 4-B Burrito—with Bush’s Best Bean Pot Baked Beans, brown sugar-rubbed beef brisket and bacon—to satisfy cravings for people who want more plant-based proteins but aren’t abstaining from meat entirely.

·       Dinner’s served: Go global with Korean Red Bean Lettuce Cups—individually portioned lettuce cups filled with Bush’s Best Low-Sodium Dark Kidney Beans, scallions, ginger, kiwi and gochujang for a Korean twist.

·       Drinks: Think beans don’t belong in drinks? Think again! Smoothies get a boost of protein from neutral-flavored Great Northern Beans. Blend Bush’s Best Great Northern Beans (rinsed and drained) with orange concentrate, frozen carrots, banana, mango, honey and almond milk for an orange smoothie, or with frozen raspberries and strawberries, acai juice, honey and almond milk for a red berry smoothie. For a special treat, layer both in thesame glass and garnish with an orange slice, a strawberry slice and a whole raspberry.

·       Snacks: Sweet-n-Salty Garbanzo Beans are perfect as a high-protein snack and can also be offered as a salad topper. Seasoned with honey, sea salt, cracked black pepper and thyme, these savory snacks are perfect anytime, anywhere.

Get more plant-based menu inspiration anytime at bushbeansfoodservice.com.

This post is sponsored by Bush’s Best®

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