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Beans 101


WEDNESDAY: Legumes, nuts, and other proteins

collection of wooden bowls with legumes

We have almost 200 lbs of beans at my house!  Dried beans, canned beans, frozen beans…If you need some beans, I’ve got them.

P3020012 (WinCE)

Most beans can boast 8 or 9 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein!  They are definitely a power food!  But there are so many different kinds!  Here is a quick reference to the different types of beans.

Also known as Stove top Cooking Time Best Uses
Lentils dal 1 hour Side dishes, soups, stews
Soy Beans Edamame, tofu, Tempeh 3 1/2 hours Snacks, salad garnish
Red Kidney Beans Adzuki 2 hours Meaty flavor, Good in Chili, soups, salads, casseroles
Pinto Beans Cowboy beans, Mexican beans, 2 hours Good in Mexican Food/ made into refried beans. Good in casseroles and soup.
Great Northern 1 1/2 hours Baked beans, soups, stews
Lima Beans Butter beans, Madagascar beans, Fava 2 hours Succotash, casseroles, soups, salads
Black Beans Turtle beans, black Spanish beans 2 hours Good with ground beef, soups, stews
Garbanzo Beans Chickpeas Used in salads, casseroles, or pureed for hummus
Black eyed peas cow peas, cherry beans 1/2 hour soups, over rice, oriental and Mediterranean dishes
Navy Beans Fagioli, Pea bean 2 hours Soups and stews


We had white chili for dinner the other night!  It was delicious. With many different recipes out there, I basically used:

  • White kidney
  • Black eyed peas
  • onions
  • garlic
  • carrots
  • chicken
  • chicken broth
  • Salt/ pepper
  • and chili powder.

A recipe very similar to this one, but I tend to put my own amounts.  Like more beans, less chicken.  Adding some tortilla chips for dipping is an easy way for my kids to polish off a bowl of chili and ask for more.

Here are some of our favorite bean recipes:


Black Bean BurgersB

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Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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Thanks for the great bean ideas. I read that when using canned beans, if you will rinse them in water (I do it until they don’t have fizzy bubbles left) you’ll have less complaints of digestive gas. It seems to work for me. The kids will be more happy about it, too, and will have to make up a different rhyme about “the more you toot.”

I’m not a big bean fan, but I’m working beans into our diet more for all the reasons that you listed. We eat a lot of chickpeas (in hummus and falafel)and edamame and lima beans – I love all of those beans – and I’m playing around with other beans that I don’t care for as much (like black and pinto beans). If you start with dried beans, they’re super cheap as well as good for you!

we eat beans around here all of the time. our favorites are black and pinto. i need to find a good way to make lentils. what is your favorite?

[…] Cooking your own dry beans, rather than buying canned beans is healthier, however, its very time consuming.  That’s why if we cook a pot of beans, I will portion the beans into small 1 cup freezer bags and take them out as we use them. Cooked beans can be frozen or refrigerated for long periods of time.  They thaw very quickly, and can be used in so many different meals.  Visit this post for bean cooking times. […]