Guide to Beans
Beans have been the victim of many jokes through the years, some that will make you chuckle. But we’re not joking when we tell you they truly are a magical food – super good for you and just as tasty. Canned beans are a go-to pantry staple for salads and quick meals, but dried beans are more cost effective and allow you to control the amount of sodium, too. You can make a large pot of beans to use in meals throughout the week.
These tiny beans are tender and savory. Because of their small size and thin skins, lentils require no soaking and cook quickly. Some varieties, like French green, retain their shape better than others. Try making veggie burgers with lentils or throw together a soup with lentils, veggies, and fresh herbs like the recipe below.
Also known as white navy beans, they are versatile with a delicate flavor and texture. Cook gently to avoid mushiness. Combine with pasta, Italian sausage, spinach, and parmesan for an easy dinner or mash into a delicious dip, like this highly-rated recipe below.
Black beans, or turtle beans, are versatile with white flesh and a slightly sweet flavor. These beans have a meaty texture and make a great filler for Latin food and vegetarian dishes. Try them in the delicious recipe below.
Thin skins yield to a creamy texture with earthy flavor in these beans, also known as cranberry beans because of their deep red spots. Think of these when making Italian dishes, such as this one listed below.
Emerald green (when fresh) with a firm texture and subtle nutty flavor, these large beans are in season from late March to early May. Soak and cook dried favas (shown) before using them. Make a bean salad, add to pasta or rice like the recipe listed below, or pair with roasted veggies for a filling and healthy side.
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, have a nutty flavor and hold up well when cooked because of their sturdy texture. As the main ingredient in hummus, this bean is perfect for dips, soups, salads, and stews. They are a great addition to this international dish listed below.