Bean Guide

Guide to Beans

Dried beans or otherwise known as legumes are easy on the wallet and available all year-long.  Extremely easy to store (think long-term storage).  Beans are low in fat, gluten-free and full of nutrition.  Beans are easy on the food bill.  So what’s not to love about beans.

Beans can be used in dips, soups, stews, salads, casseroles and used in making some treats.

Here are some do’s and don’t for beans.

  •  Do keep the water at a gentle simmer when cooking beans to help prevent the skins from splitting.
  • Do add cold water to beans periodically during cooking to ensure they’re covered at all times.
  • Don’t add baking soda to beans.  It destroys the B vitamin thiamine and could negatively affect the flavor.
  • Don’t add tomatoes or tomato products to the pot until the beans are tender.  They slow down cooking time

Black Bean:  Small and black widely available and a staple in Latin American dishes.

Pinto Beans:  Medium size mottled pinkish tan, kidney-shaped.  Used in Latin American cooking.

Navy Bean:  Small white rounded bean.  Mild in flavor used in baked beans and a substitute for other white beans.

Cannellini Beans:  Large white Italian kidney bean, most often used in salads and soups.

Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans:  Medium size, tan and acorn shaped.  Used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes.

Fava Beans or Broad Beans:  Large, green when fresh and brown when dried.  Used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes.

Kidney Beans:  Large, light or dark pink or red.  Used most often with rice and chili, stew and soups.

Lima Beans:  Small and large varieties in green, white or beige. Used in side dishes, casseroles and soups.

Great Northern Beans:  Large Kidney shaped and mild flavor.  Used in stews and with dips.

STORE BEANS:  Store in a dry and tightly closed container in a cool dark place.

SOAK BEANS:  Rinse and discard bad beans.  Place beans in a bowl cover with cold water.  Oak a room temperature for at least 8 hours.  Drain and rinse beans.

COOK BEANS;  Place soaked beans in a pan and add water to cover by 2 inches.  Boil uncovered, over medium heat for 1 hour or until tender.

Now go make some beans.  ENJOY!  Brownie Black Beans  Garbanzo Apple Cake gluten-free

31 thoughts on “Bean Guide

  1. I’ll keep this in mind! My dad makes an awesome bean soup that I need to figure out how to prepare. I know he does soak them!

  2. These are some great tips for cooking beans and a great guide on how to use different kids of beans. We usually just stick to black and red beans when we cook but we need to experiment with other types of beans.

  3. I didn’t know any of this with beans! How interesting! I would have never known how to keep them form splitting! I am going to keep this in my pins to use it as a reference!

  4. I’ve never been the best with beans when starting from the beginning with them. Loving this guide, makes it easier for me.

  5. Very helpful guide for beans. I grew up eating beans, and still cook them from time to time. You have some beans listed, like Fava beans, that I have not yet tried, but now I think I’ll search them out :).

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