Did you know that one cup of cooked beans contains about 230 calories and one cup will provide over one-third of your daily protein needs? According to the “The Bean Cookbook” by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, beans are high in soluble fiber, which helps your heart health and digestion. Beans are high in iron. However, in order for your body to absorb the iron, eat foods rich in vitamin C along with beans. Food rich in vitamin C include organs and orange juice, tomato products, green peppers, cantaloupe, cabbage and broccoli.

Beans are naturally low in sodium. However, many old family favorite recipes may call for adding large amounts of salt. If a recipe calls for a tablespoon of salt, try adding only 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Canned beans almost always have added salt. You can cut the salt content by 40 percent when you drain the canning liquid and rinse the beans with water before adding them to a recipe. If you substitute canned beans in a recipe that calls for cooked dry beans, do not add any salt that may be listed in the recipe. Believe it or not, beans are naturally low in fat. Many recipes call for adding cooking oil or shortening. This helps prevent boiling or foaming over the edge of the pot while the beans are cooking. If the recipe calls for tablespoons of fat, try adding only teaspoons.

It’s that time again: The annual Cornbread and Bean Luncheon sponsored by the Harrison Extension Education Association will be Wednesday, Feb. 1. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Beans, coleslaw, cornbread, pickles, dessert and tea will be ready for your consumption at the new Harrison County Extension Office location, 2005 Warren Drive in Marshall. Tickets are on sale now for $10 per person and may be purchased from any Harrison Extension Education Association member or at the Harrison County Extension Office. Dine or carry out lunches will be available.

This is the Harrison Extension Education Association’s annual fundraising event to support county educational activities such as youth activities, community services and educational learning experiences for club members.

Did you know that a Texas Extension Education Association (TEEA) was organized in August 1926 on the Texas A&M University campus? The primary purpose for organizing was to establish a scholarship for a deserving 4-H girl. Harrison County was proud to have the first recipient (Golden Evans) of this award in 1927. Years later, a scholarship was established in (former Harrison County resident) Vondell McLendon’s honor.

Mrs. McLendon served two years as a District 5 Texas Extension Education Association Director. These scholarships have grown through the years; seven 4-H members receive one each year across the district. TEEA also gives three career scholarships to TEEA members to help them further their education. Harrison County is also known to have the first African American District 5 Texas Extension Education Associate Director, Eulah McNeice, to serve on the state board for a two-year term. Did you know that Sabine Extension Education Association, which is a part of Harrison Extension Education Association, has provided over 90 years of service in Harrison County?

Be sure to circle your calendars for Feb. 1 and join us for some good food and eating!

If you have any questions, please call the Extension Office at (903) 935- 8414.

— Louraiseal McDonald is the county agent for family and community health in Harrison County.