Common Bean Types to Cook With
Beans are some of the world’s healthiest foods. They are rich in protein, fiber, and moisture. Beans also contain other nutrients that can help enhance one’s overall health. They are the perfect ingredients for vegetarian dishes so that vegans will still obtain their proteins. However, not everyone knows that there are at least 40,000 different types of beans. Only a fraction of these end up in our dishes. Here are some of the more common types of bean that you can cook with.
With a velvety texture, black beans make for a fantastic addition to your soups and casseroles. They also have a hint of sweetness in their flavor profile that makes them perfect for dishes with smoky flavors. This type of bean is great for tacos and salads, as well as chipotle and bacon. You can purchase them either canned or dried. If you choose canned varieties, know that they can contain higher levels of sodium. This is necessary to help preserve the beans.
A cup of black beans can provide the body with enough energy to last a few hours. It also contains about 15 grams of fiber, 15.2 grams of protein, and 113 grams of water. There are minerals and vitamins, too. They can help in the strengthening of the teeth and bones. They also contribute to the health of the immune system. Black beans also contain saponins and quercetin. These substances can help protect the heart.
Some chefs refer to cannellini beans as white Italian kidney beans. This is one of the world’s most common bean types. Unlike other types, cannellinis contain betaine and choline. It also provides modest amounts of Vitamin K, C, and E. These can boost the function of the immune system. They can also work to improve the body’s ability to form blood clots and minimize bleeding tendencies. It contains lower amounts of fiber, however.
Cannellini beans have a delicate flavor that works well with almost any dish. This bean type has a creamy texture, making it ideal for vegetable soups. Many people cook these beans with a few pieces of garlic and eat them as is. Some will boil and mash them before adding a few other ingredients. These are then cooked into fritters. Cannellini beans have a crunchy exterior and a creamy interior.They also go well with parmesan cheese, tuna meat, and red onion. It is perfect for making salads and for making casseroles during the winter months.
There are four different types of white beans in the market. They differ in their size and flavor profile. For example, cannellini beans are the largest of this bean type. They have a meatier yet tenderer flesh. They also have an earthy and nutty flavor. The second largest white beans are the Great Northern beans. These have a firm flesh and a mild, nutty taste. They are perfect for making stews, soups, and French cassoulets.
Navy pea beans are the third largest type of white bean. They impart a creamy texture to any dish, making them ideal for dips, soups, stews, purees, and ragouts. The smallest of the white bean type are the baby limas. Their buttery texture and creamy flesh make them ideal for casseroles, succotash, stews, and soups.
Regardless of the type of white beans you use, you can always expect your dish to be creamy. The larger varieties always impart a nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness. Smaller varieties provide a more buttery and creamier texture to your dish.
Chickpeas are the most popular bean type in the world. It is also very popular among health conscious folks. Some people call them garbanzo beans. What they are famous for is in the making of hummus. These beans have a distinct nutty flavor that can be a wonderful addition to salads. Most chefs and home cooks use chickpeas in the making of vegetarian falafel while others pair them with avocado and spinach. There are also those who roast these beans to make them a bit crunchier and to have that smoky flavor. They are then added to an earthy salad.
Chickpeas are great sources of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates. And while this type of bean is rich in carbs, it is one of the foods that doctors recommend to people with Type 1 Diabetes. The only vitamin that this bean type doesn’t contain is Vitamin D. This makes chickpeas one of the healthiest types of bean you can ever give to your family.
Another popular bean type is kidney beans. These are also rich in protein and fiber. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help protect the blood vessels and the heart. This bean type also contains antioxidants that can slow down the effects of aging, making you feel and look younger. It has iron for healthy red blood cells.
Kidney beans have a white flesh covered in maroon-red skin. It is a great ingredient for chili con carne, minestrone soup, and pasta e faglioli, as well as other dishes. Fill a tortilla with the chili and you’ve got an instant taco. Some people love pairing their chili with steamed rice. It is a hearty meal, made more fascinating by the addition of the nutty goodness of kidney beans. There are people who like to boil these beans and then mash them. Add a few other herbs and spices and you’ve got a delicious dip. Your options are limitless.
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There is one advantage of lima beans over the other bean types. This is one of the very few varieties of bean that contain fluoride. It can help replenish the protective covering of the teeth, helping to prevent tooth decay. It also contains modest amounts of calcium and phosphorus. These can aid the fluoride in ensuring stronger teeth. There are other minerals and vitamins, too, which can provide other health benefits.
There are two types of lima beans everyone should be familiar with. One are the immature beans. These are smaller than the matured versions. People call the smaller versions of this bean type as baby limas. They have a sweeter taste than their mature counterparts. The larger limas are also known as Fordhook beans. Both types of limas have a starchy flesh and a buttery flavor. Lima beans are best sautéed. Most chefs prefer not to turn them mushy. You are always welcome to try, though. They are great for soups and salads.
When cooked, pinto beans can give you a mild flavor and a creamy texture to your dishes. They also provide a hint of sweetness. These beans are malleable and very forgiving when used in a variety of dishes. Most cooks use them in their salads, enchiladas, chilis, and soups. It is so much like black beans when it comes to its culinary uses. The only downside to this bean type is that it requires a long time to soften up. Some chefs parboil the beans and let them soak for about 45 to 60 minutes covered in the pan. This hastens the softening process.
Pinto beans have a bright-orange skin color with reddish-brown specks. If you’re wondering what “pinto” means in Spanish, it refers to “painted”. Some people say that these beans are among the world’s prettiest beans. These are rich in protein and dietary fiber, as well as minerals and vitamins. It is also one of the very few beans that has more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6 fatty acids.
Not many home cooks like to work with raw fava beans. You have to peel them from their pods. It can be a time-consuming process. While it is a hassle, some people find it fulfilling to remove the beans from their pods. This makes the dish extra-special. Most cooks and chefs use canned versions of fava beans, however. There are also fava beans that are available as frozen, dried, or sealed in a cold pack. Canned beans have higher sodium content, although there are manufacturers who try to limit the amount of salt they put into their products.
Fava beans are sweet, buttery, and nutty. They are ideal to use in fresh salads. This type of bean also makes a good companion for asparagus. If you do use raw or pods, make sure to blanch the beans after removing them from their pods. This will make it a lot easier to remove the skin.
Soybeans are nutritious beans that are low in saturated fats yet high in fiber and protein. They are also rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, phytoestrogens, and antioxidants. The nutrient profile of this type of bean makes it one of the healthiest in the world. It can aid in the management of certain diseases of the heart as well as hot flushes in menopausal women.
Soybeans come with a beige color and are often dried. They are versatile beans that one can enjoy in many different dishes. You can make them into tofu or soybean paste. There is also the flour version of this bean. For some folks, it is a much better alternative to conventional flour. One can mash them a bit and mixed with quinoa to add both flavor and texture to your simple dish.
This type of bean is the immature or young version of soybeans. Instead of having a beige color, edamame comes in green. Growers harvest this type of bean when the soybeans are still young with a soft flesh. This makes them a favorite snack among health-conscious individuals. It has almost the same nutrient profile as soybeans, loaded with antioxidants, healthy fatty acids, and protein.
Many people use them as a snack or a topping for their salads. Some will also eat these beans as is, while they are still inside the soybean pod. Some will steam these beans, while others will boil them. The addition of herbs and spices can further enhance the flavor profile of this bean type. Sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and sea salt are all what it takes to turn the edamame into a fantastic appetizer.
People around the world always cook mung beans because of its starchy nature. For people in many cultures, it is a great source of energy. A cup of this bean type can provide 212 calories and 14 grams of protein. Many countries use these beans in their nutrition and feeding programs because of the many health benefits that it can provide. Some cultures turn mung beans into a porridge type of dish.
Mung beans can also come in dried powder form. This can serve as a great protein supplement for those who do not have access to meat proteins. There are bean sprouts, bean noodles, and split beans that you can use in different recipes. These beans are very filling because of its high fiber content. Some also love to mash them and turn into fritters for a healthy snack.
If you think pinto beans are pretty, wait until you see cranberry beans. These are beans that have a very striking cream color complete with red speckles. They look like strawberry crinkles. Underneath their beautiful skin is a nutty flesh that can impart a creamy texture to a number of Italian recipes. They are perfect for pasta faglioli, baked beans, and chili con carne. These beans are also great for bean salads, soups, and stews.
Cranberry beans have one of the highest proportions of protein among the bean family. They also provide more calories per serving. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these beans can be a wonderful addition to your diet of healthy fats. They are good for the blood, too. Unfortunately, cranberry beans do not contain fat-soluble vitamins. It would be best to supply these vitamins through other foods.
There are tens of thousands other beans on the planet. You can spend a lifetime trying all of them out. Suffice it to say, learning the most common types of beans to cook with can help you prepare more delicious and nutritious meals for your family.