ADZUKI (or Aduki) - A small deep red bean. Somewhat sweet, with a delicate texture. An excellent source of fiber, folate and a good source of iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. It is usually sold in a dried form, but can also be purchased as a paste or flour. It has a sweet taste and is used in many Asian dishes, but is especially useful and flavorful in desserts.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer for 90 minutes. Delicious with rice or barley and Asian flavors such as soy sauce.
Anasazi - A dried bean considered to have originated in New Mexico as a traditional Native American food for over a thousand years. This bean, which has a dark red and white color, is a relative to the pinto bean. When cooked, the bean becomes light beige or pink colored and provides a meaty texture with a mild flavor that is somewhat sweet tasting. Uncooked beans can be stored in glass containers for up to a year, while cooked beans should be refrigerated and can last for up to a week. This bean may also be referred to as a cave bean, a New Mexico cave bean, a New Mexico appaloosa, the Aztec bean, and Jacob's cattle bean.
BLACK BEANS - A small, oval, black bean. They have an earthy flavor with a soft texture. An excellent sour of folate and a good source of fiber and iron. Black beans are available dried or precooked. They are also known as Turtle Beans.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer 90 minutes. Great in Latin American-style soups, stews, and sauces.
BLACK-EYED PEAS - (or Cowpea) - A oval, creamy white bean with a black "eye." Soft textured. An excellent source of fiber and folate and a good source of iron. This bean is available as a fresh or dried bean to be used in soups, side dishes, and casseroles. In the Southern United States, there is a popular dish known as "Hoppin' John" that uses the bean as the main ingredient. It is also known as a Black-Eyed Cowpea.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer 60 minutes. A southern tradition is to cook them with rice and greens. Toss with a vinaigrette dressing and chopped tomatoes.
CANNELLINI BEANS - A white oval dried bean with a thin skin and mild flavor. It is also known as the white kidney bean and is available canned or dried. If Cannellini beans are unavailable, white Navy Beans or Great Northern beans can be substituted.
CHICKPEAS - (Garbanzo Beans) - Large, round, cream-colored bean with a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. An excellent source of folate and a good source of fiber and iron. It is used as an ingredient in soups, salads, side dishes, pasta dishes, and dips as a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern, Indian, Italian, Spanish, and Latin-American cuisine. Dried or canned chickpeas are availabe in most supermarkets.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2-1/2 hours. Used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. Add to salads and soups.
CORONA BEAN - A large, broad white bean, common to Italy, but not commonly grown in many regions throughout the world. Similar in appearance to a large lima bean, it is a very meaty bean that becomes much larger when cooked. As a dried bean it is used in soups, stews, and served as a side dish.
CRANBERRY BEAN- A dusty pink bean, streaked or marked with red strips. An excellent source of fiber and folate and a good source of iron. Cranberry beans must be shelled before cooking. They are also known as an Italian Borlotti. Pinto Beans can be used as substitutes or if necessary, Red Kidney Beans.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer for 60 to 90 minutes. These are popular in Italian cooking. Good as a bean salad or cooked with pasta.
FAVA (or Broad Bean) - Oval-shaped light brown beans with an earthy flavor and creamy texture. An excellent source of folate and a good source of fiber. Fava Beans can be purchased fresh or dried. When using dried beans, it is best to use beans that have been split so that the very tough skin is easier to remove and the cooking time will be faster. As with any dried bean, soaking is required to re-hydrate the beans before they are cooked.
To Cook - Remove tough skin before cooking. Bring to a boil, then simmer 40 minutes. Great in soups and salads. Puréed for tasty dips.
FLAGEOLET BEANS - A popular French shell bean, the flageolet has an inedible green pod about 3-inches long and small, light-green, kidney-shaped seeds. Fresh flageolets are occasionally available in the summer; look for well-filled, pliable pods that contain even-sized beans and do not show evidence of drying. Dried flageolets are packaged in plastic bags or boxes or sold in bulk. Canned French flageolets are available in specialty food markets. Braised flageolets are the traditional French accompaniment to leg of lamb. They may also be added to soups and stews or eaten cold as a salad with lemon and oil. Dried beans must be soaked before they are prepared.
GREAT NORTHERN BEANS - Medium-size, oval white bean with a delicate taste with a firm texture and tender creamy flesh. An excellent source of fiber and folate and a good source of iron. They are available canned or dried. They are used in baked bean dishes and soups. When Great Northern beans are not available, White Kidney Beans or Navy Beans are good substitutes.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer for 90 minutes to 2 hours. A nice addition to stews and salads.
KIDNEY BEAN, RED OR WHITE (Cannellini) - A large, kidney-shaped, deep reddish brown or white bean that has a bland taste with a soft texture. A good source of folate, fiber and iron. They are available fresh in the shell, dried, frozen, and canned. The beans can be cooked as their own dish or can be added into other dishes, such as chili, casseroles, refried beans, and salads. Dried beans require soaking before cooking.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer for 90 minutes. A hit in southwestern chilies, soups and salads. White cannellini beans star in Italian stews and minestrone soups.
LENTILS - Small green, brown, or red legumes with a round, flat shape. Flavorful, with a firm texture. An excellent source of fiber, folate and phosphorous and a good source of iron. See About Lentils
To Cook - No need to presoak. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Tasty in soups and stews; a terrific addition to salads.
LIMA BEANS - (Butter Beans) - Flat, oval, creamy white bean. The smallest dried ones have the mildest taste. Baby and regular size have a buttery, mushy texture. An excellent source of folate and fiber, and a good source of iron. They are available fresh in the shell, dried, frozen, and canned. This bean is commonly referred to as Calico, Madagascar, or Butter Beans, and are available as baby or mature beans.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer 45 to 60 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as they disintegrate quickly. Good for soups and stews. Taste great with butter and herbs.
LUPINI BEANS - A large dried bean that is round in shape, white in color and similar to a Fava Bean. Native to Italy, the bean is soaked overnight and often marinated to remove the bitter taste. It is also known as Albus Lupin, White Lupin, European White Lupin, or Tremmocos.
MARROW BEANS - A plump looking dried bean, common in Italian cooking, white in color and round in shape. When cooked, the bean has a creamy, meaty texture that provides a flavor that is somewhat similar to smoked bacon. It goes well with braised meats, soups, stews, or when served as a side dish. Great Northern Beans can be substituted if necessary, but, however, they do not provide the same size or flavor provided by Marrow Beans.
MUNG BEANS - A tiny, round dried bean with a thick outer skin that may be green, brown, or black in color. Originating in India, they are also known as Yellow Mung, Yellow Split Mung or Moong Dal, where it is often used to make curries and a dish called "Dal."
This bean is used to produce transparent bean sprouts, which become a crunchy and flavorful ingredients for salads, egg dishes, stir-fried dishes, and sandwiches.
NAVY BEANS - A small white bean that holds its shape well. Good, strong flavor. An excellent source of folate and fiber and a good source of iron. It is also called the Yankee Bean, Boston Bean, Fagiloi, Haricot Blanc (white), or the Pearl Haricot Bean. It is a common ingredient used in soups, salads, bean dishes (canned pork and beans), and chili. Cannellini, Flageolets, Great Northern, or Dry Lima Beans could be good substitutes when necessary.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 90 minutes. Excellent in salads, simmered dishes, and gratins.
PINK BEANS - A variety of legume that is small and oval-shaped, pale pink in color, and grown throughout the world. The bean pods are picked when they are young and tender and then dried for use in a variety of food dishes. The pink bean is most often used for soups, stews, rice dishes, refried bean dishes, and chili con carne.
Also known as Habichuelas Rosadas in Spanish, pink beans can be substituted for or added with kidney and pinto beans in any recipes requiring the pink beans.
PINTO BEANS - Medium-size beige-and-brown-speckled bean. Earthy flavor and a mealy texture. An excellent source of folate and fiber and a good source of iron. The oval-shaped bean makes a good refried bean and is used in other dishes, such as beans and rice, chili, soups, and stews. They are available dried or precooked in cans. Dried beans must be soaked to rehydrate before using.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours. Use in southwestern bean dishes and stews. Often used for refried beans and are great in corn tortillas.
RED BEANS - Small, dark red beans that have a slightly sweet taste. They are available canned or dried. The dried beans require soaking to rehydrate. These beans are popular to use in Mexican dishes, such as refried beans.
They are also referred to as Small Red Beans.
RUNNER - (Includes Aztec, Giant Pinto, Madeira, Black, White and Scarlet) - Heirloom beans that are nearly an inch in length and swell to at least twice their size. 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.
To Cook: Bring to a boil, then simmer 45 to 60 minutes.
SOYBEANS - (Dried Yellow Soybean) - Medium-size oval, yellowish bean. Very bland flavor and firm texture. An excellent source of folate and a good source of calcium, fiber, iron, and phosphorus. Soybeans are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Black Soybeans, common in Asian cooking, have a slightly sweeter flavor than Yellow Soybeans, which have a bland bean flavor.
The dried or mature bean is used to make a variety of products, such as tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, and snack foods. Soybeans are not a popular cooking bean because of the bland flavor. It can be presoaked and then used as an ingredient for soups, stews, and casseroles. Soybeans are also referred to as Soya, Soya Bean, Soja, or Soi.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 3 hours. Soybeans are eaten mostly when processed with tofu, tempeh or soy dairy products. But they make an excellent table bean. Mix shelled fresh or frozen soybeans with other flavorful ingredients or eat them straight from the pod as a snack.
SPLIT PEAS - Small green or yellow halved peas. Earthy flavor with a creamy texture. An excellent source of fiber and folate, and a good source of phosphorus and potassium.
To Cook - No presoaking is necessary. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 50 minutes. Makes a comforting soup.
WHITE - (Small White or Pea) - A name given to a group of beans that are basically white in color and have similar textures and flavor. This group of beans includes navy, Great Northern, and Cannellini (white kidney) beans. Different varieties of white beans are interchangeable in recipes. An excellent source of fiber and folate, and a good source of iron and potassium.
To Cook - Bring to a boil, then simmer 2 hours. Used in soups, salads, stews and dips.