Bean is the broad name given to a wide variety of plant seeds or peas, and legumes belonging to the Fabicae family. These include Mung Beans, Lima beans, Broadbeans, Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), Red Kidney Beans, String Beans and Green Beans. Some other common varieties include Pinto beans, Black beans, Fava beans, Black-eyed Peas, Haricot beans, Cannelini beans
Beans are a staple ingredient in many cultures. They are highly nutritious, filling and extremely versatile. Depending on the variety, beans can be used for curries/stews, pastas, salads ie. Bean Salad, Corn Salad), sauces (ie. black bean sauce), dips, bakes, pies and many other dishes. Sometimes they are served as a dish by themselves, as in Frijoles Refritos (Refried Pinto Beans) or Baked Beans. Most have a distinctive 'beany' flavour which is unique but not very strong.
Mainly bean-shaped, although there are exceptions such as broad beans, which are oval shaped and flattened, or chickpeas (garbanzo beans), which are rounded and lumpy.
Selecting and Buying
Dried beans require a lengthy soaking/cooking process, but will absorb more flavour than canned beans
Preparation and Use
Leave soaking in water prior to preparation for cooking. You can boil for couple hours until beans are tender. You may add tomatoes, onions, beer, jalepenos, cliantro, bay leafs and bacon + spices for Frijoles Borrachos aka Drunken Beans!
Conserving and Storing
You can store beans in a mason jar or Tupperware at room temp.