Types of Beans
Affordable Plant Protein

Enjoy and benefit from all types of beans. With obesity and diabetes growing at epidemic rates and food costs skyrocketing in the United States, the humble bean is growing in popularity.

As we become more and more conscious of the need for watching our expenses and improving our health, the attraction of the types of beans readily available in our local markets grows.

Beans, when accompanied by grains such as corn and rice, form a complete protein and provide a cook who is careful about both health and budget with the foundation for many delicious and healthy recipes. While beans and grains do NOT need to be eaten at the same meal to fill your protein needs, there are dozens of ways to include both in any given day.

One of my favorites is rolling a hot corn tortilla around a generous helping of frijoles, our Arizona pinto beans, with salsa and chopped onion or lettuce. I get great taste and healthy eating while being kind to my food budget.

Beyond great taste and low cost, there are other benefits to beans. These benefits include the following:

  • Low Glycemic Index in beans is important for reducing the likelihood of diabetes and obesity.
  • Dietary Fiber in all types of beans can prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis.
  • Plant Protein found in beans is a low cost, tasty, and humane substitute for animal protein.
  • Diet versatility of beans makes it a source of global eating from confections to main dishes.
  • Healthy budgets result with the inclusion of beans as a regular part of a family diet.

The types of beans listed below represent many of the varieties available. There are many others. Each of the types of beans listed below has been adapted by cultures around the world for use in regional or ethnic foods. As you continue your adventures into mindful eating, we hope that the many varieties of beans available become a consistent part of your diet.

Pinto Beans: The most popular bean of the Southwest! Our Personal Fav!!!The famous frijole of burritos and a vital part of TexMex, Mexican and Southwest cuisine.

Green Beans: The unripe pod of any bean, runner beans - bush beans - pole beans. Important in dishes from China to Nebraska and from church supper casseroles to Haute Cuisine.

Kidney Beans: You'll find kidney beans in favorite recipes from Creole red beans and rice to Texas Chili. These beans were the staple for the homemade chili of my childhood.

White Beans: White beans describe a variety of common beans from Cannellini to Great Northern. These versatile white beans are used in favorite recipes from salads to soups to baked beans.

Navy Beans: While most noted in the United States as "the bean that fed the fleet", this little bean, often called Great Northern or Pea Bean, can be used in Boston Baked beans or any of variety of white beans recipes.

Lima Beans: Sometimes called Butter Beans. This native of the South American Andes is widely popular in country cooking in the Southeastern region of the USA. Try them with your favorite corn bread recipe.

Black Beans: The go-to alternative to pinto beans in Mexican food. This great bean is featured in classic Brazilian recipes like feijado. Great in Southwestern black bean salads for a super warm weather meal.

Chickpeas aka Garbanzo Beans: This Old World legume is versatile as well as nutritious. Chickpeas are eaten either green and raw or dried and cooked and have even been used to make flour and coffee.

Black-eyed Peas aka Cow Peas: Steeped in tradition, they symbolize good luck for the New Year in such dishes as Hoppin' John and ruvia, one of the nine dishes served during Rosh Hashanah.

Lentils: Eating lentils on the Indian sub-continent is like eating frijoles in Mexico or feijoada in Brazil. Nutritious and prepares quickly with no soaking. For eye appeal, lentils come in a variety of colors such as yellow, red, green, brown, and black.

Adzuki Beans: Nutrisious, delicious food and gentle, natural skin care. Our neighbor uses adzuki bean hulls in a great goat’s milk soap as a gentle defoliant. Famous in China and Japan as the base for delicious and sweet confections.

Soybeans: An ancient bean from the Orient, this powerhouse of protein is made into sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, and eaten fresh as edamame. Widely used as a meat substitute around the world.

Mung Beans: Most familiar as bean sprouts, but enjoyed in multiple ways from soups to sweets to spicy moog dahl. This native of Mongolia is found in cuisine around the globe.

Broad Beans aka Fava Beans were a part of the diet of the people of the eastern Mediterranean about 6000 B.C. Along with peas, lentils, and chickpeas, fava beans have remained a staple in the “Cradle of Civilization” while spreading around the globe.

Mesquite Beans: A hardy, protein-rich native of American deserts, once a staple of Native Americans, is enjoying a comeback in the world of healthy eating. Add mesquite flour to pancakes, muffins, or cookies for protein and a great flavor.

Tepary Beans: This bean was a staple of the Tohono O'Odham people of Arizona and Northern Mexico. Drought resistant and nutritious with an extremely low glycemic index, this bean is well worth growing, drying, and enjoying in your diet.

For those interested in growing Native American beans, we recommend contacting Native Seeds Search in Tucson, Arizona. For other heirloom beans, we suggest Seed Savers Exchange.

Go Beans!!

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