Bean Guide

Our guide to beans comes from FoodFit founder and CEO Ellen Haas' book, Great Adventures in Food. To get the best from your beans, unless otherwise indicated, they need to be soaked first. To soak, cover beans in a bowl with 2 to 3 inches of cold water. Let soak at least 12 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. For a quicker soak, cover the beans in a saucepan with 2 to 3 inches of cold water, bring to a boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Drain and cook.

Beans


Adzuki (Aduki)
Black Turtle
Black-Eyed Peas
Cranberry
Fava (Broad)
Garbanzo (chickpeas)

Great Northern
Kidney (Cannellini)
Lentils
Lima (Butter Beans)
Navy
Pinto

Runner
Soy
Split Peas
White: Small White or Peas
 
 

Adzuki (or Aduki)

top

Looks and Taste
Small, deep red bean. Somewhat sweet, with a delicate texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of fiber, folate and a good source of iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Easy Cooking
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 90 minutes.

Best Uses
Delicious with rice or barley and Asian flavors such as soy sauce.

Recipe
Gingered Adzuki Beans
Gingered Adzuki Beans & Scallops

 

Black Turtle

top

Looks and Taste
Small, oval, black bean. Earthy flavor with a soft texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate and a good source of fiber and iron.

Easy Cooking
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 90 minutes.

Best Uses
Great in Latin American-style soups, stews, and sauces.

Recipe
Anne Rosenzweig's Burritos
Rainbow Black Bean Salad
Black Bean Soup
Black Bean Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette

 

Black-eyed Peas

top

Looks and Taste
Oval, creamy white bean with a black "eye." Soft texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of fiber and folate and a good source of iron

Easy Cooking
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 60 minutes.

Best Uses
It's a southern tradition to cook them with rice and greens. Toss with vinaigrette and chopped tomatoes.

Recipe
Barley and Black-eyed Peas Salad
Three Bean Salad

 

Cranberry

top

Looks and Taste
Dusty pink bean, streaked or marked with red strips.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of fiber and folate and a good source of iron.

Easy Cooking
Bring to boil, then simmer for 60 to 90 minutes.

Best Uses
Popular in Italian cooking. Good as a salad bean or cooked with pasta.

Recipes
Corn and Shell Bean Succotash
Lobster and Shell Bean Succotash
Cranberry Beans with Rice & Cabbage

 

Fava (or broad)

top

Looks and Taste
Oval-shaped light brown beans. Earthy flavor and creamy texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate and a good source of fiber.

Easy Cooking
Remove tough skin before cooking. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 40 minutes.

Best Uses
Lovely in soups and salads. Puree for tasty dips.

Recipes
Fava Bean Puree
Risotto with Fava Beans

 

Garbanzo (chickpeas)

top

Looks and Taste
Large, round, cream-colored bean. Nutty flavor and crunch texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate and a good source of fiber and iron.

Easy Cooking
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours 30 minutes.

Best Uses
Features in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. Add to salads and soups.

Recipe
Hummus
Gingery Chickpeas
Chickpea Burgers

 

Great Northern

top

Looks and Taste
Medium-size, oval white bean. Delicate taste with a firm texture and tender creamy flesh.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of fiber and folate and a good source of iron.

Easy Cooking
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Best Uses
A nice addition to stews and salads.

Recipe
Great Northern Bean Salad

 

Kidney, Red or White (Cannellini)

top

Looks and Taste
Large, kidney-shaped, deep reddish brown or white bean. Bland taste with a soft texture.

Nutrition Information
A good source of folate and fiber and iron.

Easy Cooking
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 90 minutes.

Best Uses
A hit in southwestern chilies, soups, and salads. White cannellini beans star in Italian stews and minestrone soups.

Recipe
White Beans with Garlic and Arugula
Tuna & White Bean Salad
Red Beans with Walnut Sauce
Red Beans & Rice

 

Lentils

top

Looks and Taste
Small green, brown, or red legumes with a round, flat shape. Flavorful, with a firm texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of fiber and folate and phosphorus and a good source of iron.

Easy Cooking
No need to presoak. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

Best Uses
Tasty in soups and stews; a terrific addition to salads.

Recipe
Lentil Soup
Lamb and Artichoke Stew with Lentils
Lentil Salad with Mango Chutney

 

Lima (Butter Bean)

top

Looks and Taste
Flat, oval, creamy white bean. The smallest dried ones have the mildest taste. Baby and regular size have a buttery, mushy texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate and fiber and a good source of iron.

Easy Cooking
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 -60 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as they can disintegrate quickly.

Best Uses
Good for soups and stews. Taste great with butter and herbs.

Recipe
Three Bean Salad

 

Navy

top

Looks and Taste
Small white bean that holds its shape well. Good, strong flavor.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate and fiber and a good source of iron.

Easy Cooking
Bring to boil, then simmer for at least 90 minutes.

Best Uses
Excellent in salads, simmered dishes, and gratins.

 

Pinto

top

Looks and Taste
Medium-size beige-and-brown-speckled bean. Earthy flavor and mealy texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate and fiber and a good source of iron.

Easy Cooking
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours.

Best Uses
Use in southwestern bean dishes and stews. Often used for refried beans and are great in corn tortillas.

 

Runner

(include Aztec, Giant Pinto, Madeira, Black, white, and Scarlet)

top

Looks and Taste
Heirloom beans that are nearly an inch in length and swell to at least twice their size.

Easy Cooking
Bring to boil, then simmer for 45 - 60 minutes.

Tips for Success
Because of their impressive size and the difficulty and expense of obtaining them, they're probably best used where they can be seen and appreciated.

Recipe
Mark Miller's Braised Lamb Shanks with Scarlet Runner Beans

 

Soy

top

Looks and Taste
Medium-size oval, yellowish bean. Very bland flavor and firm texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of folate, good source of calcium, fiber, iron and phosphorus.

Easy Cooking
Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 3 hours.

Best Uses
Soybeans are eaten mostly when processed into tofu, tempeh or soy dairy products. But they make excellent table beans. Mix shelled fresh or frozen soybeans with other flavorful ingredients or eat them straight from the pod as a snack.

Recipe
Roasted Garlic & Soybean Hummus

 

Split Peas

top

Looks and Taste
Small green or yellow halved peas. Earthy flavor with a creamy texture.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of fiber and folate, good source of phosphorus and potassium.

Easy Cooking
No presoaking necessary. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 50 minutes.

Best Uses
Makes a comforting soup.

Recipe
Split Pea Soup

 

White: Small White or Pea

top

Looks and Taste
Small, oval white bean.

Nutrition Information
Excellent source of fiber and folate, good source of iron and potassium.

Easy Cooking
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours.

Best Uses
Use in soups, salads, stews, and dips.



NOTE:
An excellent source contains more than 20 percent of the Daily Value for that nutrient. A good source contains between 10 and 19 percent of the Daily Value.

   Source: Copyright 2000 by Ellen Haas.
From the book "Great Adventures in Food" By Ellen Haas.
Used with permission of St. Martin's Press, LLC.

Sign up for FoodFit's FREE newsletters

Get healthy recipes, nutrition information and fitness tips!


privacy policy Submit




 



FoodFit is a part of HealthCentral
© 1999- The HealthCentral Network, Inc., Copyright All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy and Terms of Use