Diversity in dry common beans

Diversity in dry common beans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jeff, I am interested in starting to store food for “long Term”. “Great”, say I, you can start with beans and rice; in this article I will cover common beans.

The common bean background…

Beans have been harvested and cultivated as far back as you care to look into the history of such things.  There are several groups of “beans” Phasesolus vulgaris or the common bean is what I will be covering today.  Common beans include

Black Turtle Bean (Black Bean)

Pinto Beans (Brown Beans)

Kidney Bean (Chile Bean)

White Beans (Navy Beans)

Lima Bean

Beans are high in starch, protein, and dietary fiber, and are also a good source of folic acid, selenium, iron, potassium, thiamine, vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc.

WOW Jeff that is awesome, but why beans? Well if stored in a cool dry place, dried beans will last basically forever! Woo Hoo!! They do on the other hand start to lose their nutritional values after a few years and the older they get the longer they will need to cook.

Speaking about cooking, you want to make sure that you boil your beans for at least 10 min during the cooking process. Common beans, especially red kidney beans, have a toxic compound called phytohaemagglutinin, in fact if you cook your beans in a slow cooker and they never reach a boil they will be up to 5 times more toxic. WHAT!?! You’re kidding me Jeff!! Nope! I was as amazed as you were.

One other thing before you run out and start storing beans (we will cover the storage in another post), get some and cook some! Make sure your family likes beans, get a variety of beans, cook a variety of beans a variety of ways, remember store what you eat and eat what you store.

So there ends my little post…”But wait Jeff, this is slapdash at best what about peas, garbanzos, lentils or fresh beans like green beans and snow peas?” Well those aren’t common beans and they are going to be the topic of another post…he he he