One of the things I missed a lot when I was pregnant were sandwiches. My favorite type of sandwich is a cold deli meat sandwich. Because of the risk of listeria, deli meats are not recommended during pregnancy. One thing you can do is heat up deli meat until steaming, but it wasn’t the same for me. Because of this, I started branching out and trying different vegetarian options and this sandwich became one of my favorites!
White Bean Sandwich
2 slices whole wheat bread
½ cup white beans
1 tsp. olive oil
¼ cup red onion, sliced
½ cup cucumber, sliced
¼ avocado, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: In a small bowl, mash together beans, oil, salt, and pepper with a fork. Place on 1 slice of bread. Top with red onion, cucumber, and avocado. Top with remaining slice of bread.
The base of this sandwich is made out of white beans and olive oil. Beans provide a wide range of health benefits. They are rich in complex carbs as well as protein, which help stabilize blood sugars and keep you satisfied longer. This is especially important if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The high protein content of beans also makes them a great option for vegetarians and vegans as ½ cup of beans provides the same amount of protein as an ounce of meat. They are also a great source of fiber, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, folate, and potassium. Beans are also inexpensive and take no prep time if you buy them canned.
Red Onion & Cucumber
The red onion on the sandwich adds a great flavor and zing while the cucumber adds the perfect crunch. Onions are full of vitamin C, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals that are anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and supportive of heart health. Red onions, in particular, are one of the most nutritious onions. Cucumbers are also low in calories, but provide a decent amount of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants including lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin. These nutrients are particularly important for fetal eye and lung development.
Avocados top off this sandwich and are one of my favorites both in taste and nutrition. This superfood has more antioxidants than red cabbage, broccoli, grapes, and even bell peppers. They are full of good fats that improve the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, like lutein from the cucumbers. They are also rich in choline which is important for brain and nerve development for your baby.