Nourishing Literacy | How Have You Bean?

By Shayna M. RSS Fri, August 6, 2021

Beans bring a lot to the table! Taste, color, and flavor are among their positive qualities. They add nutrition to meals, containing protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

These burgers in the following recipe can be eaten on a bun, on bread, in a tortilla, or wrapped in a lettuce leaf. What seasonings and toppings do you like to put on your burger?

Bean Burgers

Stovetop Recipe
30 Minutes
2 Servings



  • 1 15-oz can of beans, drained and rinsed or 1 ¾ cups ​cooked beans
  • 1 cup ​bread crumbs
  • 1 ​egg
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ​onion or garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ​pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ​salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ​oil


Kitchen Utensils and Tools

  • Can opener
  • Fork, potato masher, or spoon (for mashing beans)
  • Set of measuring cups
  • Set of measuring spoons
  • Large bowl
  • Large spoon
  • Saute pan
  • Spatula



  1. Mash​ the beans until they are smooth.
  2. Mix​ all ingredients together in the bowl, except for the oil.
  3. With clean hands, ​shape​ the mixture into burgers, and place on a clean surface.
  4. Heat​ the oil in the pan over a medium temperature.
  5. Cook​ the burgers for five minutes on each side, or until they have browned and developed a crunchy crust.

If you're in the mood for kitchen-inspired music, "Black Beans​" performed by the Big Four and "Bean Cakes​" from the album ​El Lobo: Songs and Games of Latin America​, are some of the many songs about beans found in the Free Library music databases. These songs can be listened to online with your library card!

Watch and listen to how our Nourishing Literacy staff have bean as they discus all the fantastic and delcious uses for beans on our YouTube channel!


Bean Pod Poetry


  • Piece of paper
  • Pencil or pen



  1. Write down a list of words that come to mind. These words can be inspired by a thing, theme, or idea, or they can be any words that you think of! These words will be your little individual ​beans​.
  2. Group the words or ​beans​ together in ways that you like, or make sense to you. The groupings of words will be your ​pods​ .
  3. Connect the groups of words to one another. Which groupings of words are first? What comes next? What is after that? Do any groupings or ​pods​ repeat themselves, or connect to each other more than once? The connections made between the groupings can be the ​vines​ .
  4. Create a poem or story using the words that you have grouped, in the order that you have grouped them. Can you illustrate your poem or story?


Life Cycle of a Bean ​by Angela Royston is a children’s book available for physical checkout with your library card and explores how beans grow from being small, to very tall! ​Sopa de Frijoles: Una Poema Para Cocinar​ ​is a children’s book written in Spanish and English and is a recipe, written in the form of a poem! In addition to being available for physical checkout, this book can be read online as an eBook. An eBook for older youth that can help inspire poetry and writing is ​Beans on the Roof​ ​by Betsy Cromar Byers. This story is about a girl named Anna Bean who finds space and quiet to write her poetry on the roof of her apartment building.

Nourishing Literacy offers food, literacy, wellness, and life skills activities and events to community members, with our core audience being the children, youth, teachers, and caregivers. Nourishing Literacy is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Edna G. Kynett Memorial Foundation.

To learn more about the Culinary Literacy Center, please visit our website or connect with us through Instagram and Facebook.

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