Bacon, Bean and Vegetable Bake

This simple recipe can be prepared ahead of time. It is a great way to get children to eat more vegetables as they have been cunningly disguised in the sauce.

Nutritional Benefits:

Tomatoes contain vitamins C and E, anticancer properties and may ease symptoms of asthma. Adding fat (as in olive or vegetable oil) boosts the absorption of the valuable antioxidant lycopene and vitamins further as well as cooking.
Butter beans like all pulses offer both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol, prevent blood sugars from rising rapidly and prevent heart disease. Both fibres are essential for good digestive health. They are also a source of B vitamins, protein, iron and calcium.
Sweet potatoes are high in soluble fibre, antioxidants beta carotene and vitamins A, C and E as well as filling. They help keep blood sugar levels regulated so are excellent to prevent insulin resistance which is the precursor to type 2 diabetes. Antioxidants help to prevent illnesses such as heart disease, inflammation, cancer and asthma.
Carrots are full of alpha and beta carotenes (antioxidants which help prevent heart disease, reduce the risk of certain cancers and lower the risk of infections amongst other benefits). Beta carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A; essential for growth, boosting immunity and healthy eyesight. As vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, cooking with a little oil helps the body to absorb more of this nutrient. They are also a source of vitamins C and E, rich in soluble fibre and help to keep blood sugars steady.
The sulphur compounds in garlic which create its odour also offer many health benefits from minimising the risk of heart disease, certain cancers (colon, stomach and prostrate), can help to prevent stomach ulcers and is a natural antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal food.

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