Table of content A-Z

 

dried beans

 

Synonym: Bean seed

botanical name: Phaseolus vulgaris


Trockenspeisebohne

 

Introduction

 

Beans are known in general as legumes or pulses, but this is not entirely correct. Botanically, the bean seed belongs to the same family as the green or French bean; however, the difference is that the bean seed is the ripe, dried seed of the bean plant, and strictly speaking, only the seed is a legume or pulse. In contrast, green beans are called fruit vegetables; they are harvested earlier, when the seeds are still fresh and immature.

 

Origin, areas of cultivation

 

The bean originated in the tropical and subtropical forests of Central and South America. It was brought to Europe in the 16th century. Here and in Eastern Asia it is still cultivated to the greatest extent.

 

Among the main suppliers to Germany are the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, Romania, and Argentina.

 

Availability

 

Dried beans are available all year.

 

Appearance, taste, characteristics

 

Bean seed is planted in fields and not harvested until the herbage is dead. The pods are always removed and only the seeds are used. Similar to grain, they are cut, threshed, and then dried.

There are manifold varieties of beans; more than 100 kinds differ in shape, colour and flavour, and to some extent also in nutrient content and use. Some varieties are mentioned below and briefly described:

 

* AdzukibohneAdzuki bean (Vigna angularis)

This is a small, dark-red bean with a sweet taste. It originated in Japan and is primarily a dried bean. More rarely it is also eaten with its pod as a fresh bean. More can be found here .

 

* AugenbohneCowpea / black-eyed pea (Vigna unguiculata)

This bean is sometimes called black-eyed pea because of the way it looks: along the side of the yellow-white bean is a black spot, the 'black eye'. It is grown in all tropical and subtropical countries. Fried beans are popular in Africa. More can be found here .

 

* BorlottibohneBorlotti bean

This bean comes from Italy and belongs to the family of scarlet runner beans. It has a brownish skin with red streaks or spots. The spots turn green when the beans are cooked. Borlotti beans are good for salads.

 

* Brown bean

The brown bean comes from the Netherlands. When cooked, it becomes mealy and tastes slightly sweet. It is popular especially in the area of the East Frisian Islands, used in soups and salads.

 

* FlagelotbohneFlageolet

This light-green, thin, flat bean contains less starch than most other legumes. It has a fine aroma and is especially suited for salads. In France above all, it is popular as an accompaniment to roast leg of lamb.

 

* Rote KidneybohnenKidney bean /Red bean

The kidney bean is grown in Africa and America and looks indeed like a kidney. Kidney beans are dark-red on the outside; they have a mealy texture and a sweetish flavour. They are often used for salads and are a typical ingredient of the very spicy South American meat dish chili con carne.

 

* MungobohneMung bean (Phaseolus aureus)

Mung beans are often used in Chinese restaurants to produce 'false' soybean sprouts. Perhaps this is where the name 'green soybean' stems from. They are olive-green and the size of peas. Mung beans are especially popular in China and India and are very well-suited for making stews.

 

* Climbing-mountain-bean (Phaseolus pubescens)

The seeds of this bean are yellow, reddish-brown, black or speckled. It comes from Southeast Asia, which is also the main growing area. They are especially small and are sometimes used in the countries where they are grown in place of rice.

 

* Schwarze BohneBlack bean

These slightly kidney-shaped beans come from South America. Outside they are black like lacquer, while inside they are white. They are slightly sweet. The black bean is used in Mexican burritos and enchiladas and for soups and salads.

 

* WachtelbohnePinto bean

The pinto bean is reddish-brown and speckled with beige and resembles a quail egg. It is kidney-shaped, and is a mealy, firm-cooking variety, well-suited for adding a decorative touch to salads. In addition the beans are used, like black beans, as a filling for burritos.

 

* White bean

White beans are a true classic; they have the most uses of all dried beans. The name is a collective term for white to cream-coloured beans. They cook up creamy and softer than the coloured types.

 

Varieties of white beans are:

-            Cannellini beans. These are white, soft-cooking, mealy beans that stem from Italy. They are somewhat larger than pearl beans and slightly kidney-shaped.

 

 

-            Great northern beans. These resemble the lima bean in shape and are related to kidney and pinto beans. They have a very characteristic flavour. They are white, oval and mealy. These beans are eaten chiefly in the USA, where they are grown in the Middle West and are used mainly for 'baked beans'.

 

-            Lima bean / Madagascar bean (Phaseolus lunatus). Lima beans originally came from Peru. They are beige and relatively large. They have a mild flavour and a soft, not too mealy consistency. When they are cooked they become soft but do not fall apart, and they are therefore suitable for preparing vegetable dishes, stews and salads. In the preparation of lima beans the cooking water should always be discarded, because these beans release harmful cyanide into the water. The beans can be eaten without hesitation, however. More about the lima bean can be found here .

 

-            Pearl bean

The pearl bean takes its name from its creamy white colour and its pea size. It contains quite a lot of starch and is frequently used for stews.

 

Ingredients

 

Beans are very nutritious. They supply high-quality vegetable protein and are rich in carbohydrates and low in fat (with the exception of the soybean).

 

They contain appreciable amounts of vitamins, above all vitamin B1, and minerals, especially potassium and magnesium, along with considerable iron. In addition to these nutrients, particularly the shells of the beans contain large amounts of fiber, which provides for healthy intestinal activity.

The content of secondary plant substances in beans is also worth mentioning, in particular phytoestrogens, saponines, and protease inhibitors.

100 g contain:

 

 

Lima beans, cooked

White beans, cooked

White beans, tinned

Kidney beans, tinned

White beans, dried1

Cowpeas. dried1

Energy (kcal)

80

1122

602

63

237

239

Water (g)

76

62

79

77

10

11

Protein (g)

4

9

5

6

21

24

Fat (g)

<1

<1

<1

<1

1.6

1.4

Carbohydrates (g)

15

17

9

9

35

33

Fiber (g)

4

8

4

5

23

21

Vitamin A (RE) (µg)

43

27

13

1

67

5

Vitamin E (mg)

0.6

0.1

0

0.1

2.1

-

Vitamin B1 (mg)

0.2

0.2

0

0.1

0.5

0.8

Vitamin B2 (mg)

0.1

0.1

0

0

0.2

0.2

Niacin (mg)

1

2

1

1

1

3

Vitamin B6 (mg)

0.1

0.1

0

0.1

0.4

0.4

Folic acid (µg)

12

58

27

27

187

540

Vitamin C (mg)

10

1

<1

<1

2.5

1.5

Potassium (mg)

181

4733

2553

341

1337

154

Sodium (mg)

3

13

1403,4

1994

3.5

12

Calcium (mg)

79

48

31

30

113

96

Magnesium (mg)

28

56

32

39

140

250

Phosphorous (mg)

61

181

98

103

426

409

Iron (mg)

1.1

2.5

1.3

1.6

6.2

6.7

1 The nutrient density is greater in dried fruits. They have more energy, vitamins and minerals per 100 g than the same amount of fresh produce because the water, which has practically no nutrients and contributes greatly to the weight of fresh fruits, is gone.

2 It is possible that other calorie-containing ingredients were used during the cooking process than during the preserving process.

3 Salt is normally used for preservation, and our cooking salt contains sodium.

4 The diverging data regarding potassium and sodium may be due to the fact that not the usual cooking salt with sodium was used during cooking, but rather a different type with potassium.

 

Harmful substances

 

It is common knowledge that beans should not be eaten raw. The reason is that they contain the harmful protein substance phasine, which leads to stomach and intestinal complaints that can even be fatal.

 

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

 

Dried beans will keep for a year if they are stored in a cool, dry, dark place.

 

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

 

As already mentioned, beans should not be eaten raw. Uncooked, the dried seeds are not palatable in any case. After being cooked, however, they have manifold uses; bean salad, bean soup, or side dishes are only several examples. The modern whole-food cuisine in particular has introduced many tasty bean dishes.

Dried beans must be soaked for about 12 hours before they are cooked. The cooking time is then about 1-1.5 hours. Further preparation tips can be found in the chapter "Legumes, pulses".

 

Seasoning tip

 

Pepper, bay leaf, oregano, tarragon, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander and cumin can be used to enhance the flavour, but garlic, parsley, marjoram, and thyme also taste good with beans.


 

 

_________________________

 

  This article was written by

         

 


 

  With the website www.the-green-pantry.com the Fritz Terfloth Foundation of Münster offers consumers independent and competent information about plant foods and their health effects. All texts are subject to German copyright law. Information about the conditions for use of the texts by third parties can be found here.


Auf Ihrem System scheint kein FlashPlayer installiert zu sein oder es ist
ein Update des Players notwendig. Sie können den Player hier herunterladen: