Thursday, February 16, 2012

What about Beans?

Hello friends.... 
I was blog hopping and saw a recipe for Minestrone soup. She was talking about beans so I thought about that for a moment and thought, hmmm, beans??? So here are some beans and what they are good in when cooking. There are so many to choose from and they are really good for you. But what bean do you use in what? I mean in salads, stews, or even casseroles???? So here is a short list of some....


  •  flageolet........ small, kidney-shaped beans range from a creamy white to pale green and are French in origin.  They cook up fairly quickly and hold their shape nicely
  • Adzuki beans Adzuki..........also known as field peas or red oriental beans, good in doups, sweet bean paste, and Japanese and Chinese dishes
  • Black beans Black Beans............known as turtle beans, too, good in soups, stews, rice dihes, and Latin American cuisines
  • White Beans.............
  • Soy nuts Soy Beans[nuts].....................or roasted soybeans or soya beans, used mostly in snacks, garnish or salads
  • Black-eyed peas Black-eyed Beans............known as cowpeas too, good in salads, casseroles,fritters, and Southern dishes
  • Calico Beans...............
  • Broad Beans [Fava Beans].................
  • Chickpeas Chickpeas [Garbonzo Beans]...............or ceci beans, good in casseroles,hummus, minestrone soup, and Spanish and Indian dihes
  •  Cannelli Beans...............
  • Edamame Edamame.....................or green soybeans, good in snacks, salads, casseroles, and rice dishes

  • Fava beans Fava Beans............or broad or horse beans, good in stews and side dishes
  •  Great Northern Beans............... white, oval shaped medium sized bean about twice the size of navy beans and black-eyed peas. The great northern bean has a mild flavor with a powdery texture and is used in the same dishes as the more common navy bean. They are great in baked beans, casseroles and anywhere a mild flavored bean is called for. They cook in approximately 1 hour and are most often used in soups, stews and casseroles and can be substitutes for navy beans or lima beans.
  • Italian Beans.......
  • Kidney beans Kidney Beans................or chili beans, stews, rice, salads,  a robust bean with a full bodied flavor and soft texture. They can come in many different sizes and colors but in the US are a predominantly dark red, kidney shaped bean. They are mostly used in making chili but are also widely used in salads and rice dishes. Kidney beans cook in 1-1/2 to 2 hours after being soaked for several hours. This bean is very popular in Mexican, Brazilian and Chinese dishes. Kidney beans go well in most any dish calling for a large, firm bean.
  • Lima beans Lima Beans.....................or butter or Madagascar beans or Butter Beans, are a seed, and are considered a vegetable.  used in succotash,casseroles,soups, and salads  In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, lima beans' soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Lentils Lentils...................  are a separate branch of the legume family tree and look like small, flat round disks. Lentils come in a huge variety of colors and flavors ranging from black to orange to green. Lentils need no presoaking, cook in only 45 minutes and have a pleasant, peppery flavor. Lentils are a very popular legume used throughout much of the world. Brown lentils don't hold their shape well after being cooked, however green lentils do.  Lentils have a high nutritional value second only to soy beans in protein content. They make a great soup all by themselves and can also be ground and made into meatless patties. Lentils sprout in two days, being crisp and sweet, they are a great addition to salads and stews, side dishes and Indian dishes
  •  Pinto Beans................. a member of the kidney bean family, is an oval shaped, tan colored bean that's mottled with a light brown pattern on it's shell. It's very popular across the Southern United States and is the most common bean eaten in the US with a consumption rate of almost 45% of all the beans eaten. Part of the reason for this is they are generally the cheapest bean you can purchase. But that doesn't mean they are cheap in nutrition or flavor. The nutrition in pinto beans compare favorably with their higher priced cousins and they have a pleasant, earthy flavor and powdery texture that blends with many other foods. They are popular for making chili, soups and baked beans and can be substituted for recipes calling for kidney or red beans. After soaking, pinto beans require about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to cook, increasing 3 times their dry volume during which time they lose their mottling and turn a nice brown color. Pinto beans are a favorite when making refried beans and are great in Tex-Mex and Mexican bean dishes. You can safely substitute pinto beans when your recipe calls for kidney, anasazi, Roman or borlotti beans.
  •  Navy Beans.................. also known as the pea bean, originates from Italy and is prized for it's smooth texture and nutty flavor. The 'white pea bean' was such a popular food on America's early naval vessels it became known as the navy bean. It is a small white oval, mild flavored bean that when cooked has a powdery texture. They are most often used when making pork and beans or baked beans. Most always found in minestrone soup, they can also be used in other soups and stews. One cup of dry beans makes about 2-1/2 cups of cooked beans and takes about 1-1/2 to 2 hours for them to cook. The navy bean substitutes well for great northern beans or baby limas and is also good in salads.
  •  Mung Beans...................  a very small, round bean closely related to the field pea. Here in the United States, mung beans are chiefly sprouted and are the main sprout here in grocery stores. Mung bean sprouts are characterized by their crisp, nutty flavor, ideal for stir fry and are also commonly eaten raw in salads. Mung beans are also used in Indian recipes skinned and split to make dal (sometimes written as dhaal, dhal or dhall.). The Sri Lankans use them to make idli. Split peas can also be substituted for this purpose. Mung beans are also considered low on the gas producing scale.
  • Oh yeah and of course the "Jelly"
  • Legumes — a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils — are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fiber. A good source of protein, legumes can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more fat and cholesterol.
  • Dried beans and legumes, with the exceptions of black-eyed peas and lentils, require soaking in room-temperature water, a step that rehydrates them for more even cooking. Before soaking, pick through the beans, discarding any discolored or shriveled ones or any foreign matter. Depending on how much time you have, choose one of the following soaking methods:
    • Slow soak. In a stockpot, cover 1 pound dried beans with 10 cups water. Cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
    • Hot soak. In a stockpot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 pound dried beans and return to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover tightly and set aside at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
    • Quick soak. In a stockpot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 pound dried beans and return to a boil. Boil 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
    • Gas-free soak. In a stockpot, place 1 pound of beans in 10 or more cups of boiling water. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Then cover and set aside overnight. The next day 75 to 90 percent of the indigestible sugars that cause gas will have dissolved into the soaking water.
    • Selecting, Storing, and Cooking Beans

      Most beans are extremely affordable, especially if they are available in bulk (with the possible exception of fava beans, which are less often available and so can cost a bit more).
      Canned and dried beans can sit around in a cold dry place for a very long time. Cooked beans can be frozen for up to a month if wrapped tightly in plastic, and for up to five days in the refrigerator.
      Cooking raw dried beans is also a mostly carefree operation. The time spent preparing beans is largely unattended time so requires just some advance planning. Personally, I almost always have a small pot of beans soaking in my refrigerator because they are a key to my daily diet. If you do cook your beans from scratch, I highly recommend preparing the whole bag because once cooked, they freeze very well. Of course, canned beans are a perfectly legitimate way to add more beans to your meals.
      When cooking kidney beans, boil them for at least ten minutes, then strain and rinse them to remove a dangerous toxin. Then cook them however you like.

      Soaking and Cooking Times for Different Types of Beans

      Adzuki Beans
      soak for 4 hours
      cook 1 hour
      Black Beans
      soak for 4 hours
      cook1 to 1 1/2 hours
      Black-Eyed Peas
      No need to soak
      cook 1 to 1 1/4 hours
      Brown Lentils
      cook 30 to 45 minutes (No need to soak Lentils)
      No need
      cook for 30 minutes
      Fava (Broad Beans)
      soak for 12 hours
      cook for 3 hours
      Ful Nabed (Broad Beans)
      soak for 12 hours
      cook 3 hours
      Garbanzo Beans (Chick-Peas)
      Soak for 4 hours
      cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours
      Great Northern Beans soak for 4 hours
      Soak for 4 hours
      cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours
      Green Lentils
      cook 40 to 50 minutes Red Lentils
      Cook 30 to 45 minutes
      Lima Beans
      Soaks for 4 hours
      cook 1 to 1 ½ hours
      Mung Beans
      soak for 4 hours
      Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour
      Pigeon Peas
      No need to soak
      cook for 30 minutes
      Pink, Calico, or Red Mexican Beans
      soak 4 hours
      cook 1 1/2 to 2 hours
      Pinto Beans
      soak for 4 hours
      cook1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours
      Red Kidney Beans
      soak for 4 hours
      cook1 to 1 1/2 hours
      Small White (Navy) Beans
      soak for 4 hours
      cook1 1/2 to 2 hours
      soak for 12 hours
      cook 3 to 4 hours
      Split Peas
      No need to soak
      cook 45 minutes to 1 hour
      White Kidney Beans (Cannellini)
      soak for 4 hours
      cook1 hour
      Whole Peas
      soak for 4 hours
      cook40 minute
    Dried beans and peas are a good source of  B vitamins, potassium, iron and fibre, with the added bonus of containing  lots of complex carbohydrates, little fat and no cholesterol. They are inexpensive and a healthy option to include in your 5 - A -Day,  with one serving  of cooked beans (about 90ml/3fl.oz/a handful) containing around 80 calories.  In addition, beans beans are thought to help prevent colon cancer and reduce blood cholesterol.

    In some people, a sudden large increase in eating beans can cause intestinal discomfort. You can minimize adverse effects by:-
    • gradually increasing your intake 
    • making sure you change the soaking water several times
    • ensuring you drink sufficient water (don't over-do it)
    • exercising regularly
    The latter two points encourage your gastrointestinal system to process the increased dietary fibre.
    So if you like beans as much as I do consider "tooting" come along with eating beans and try some Beno or any of the above hints to reduce the gas. 

    Which is your favorite bean????

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