I decided a while back, before I had my throat cut, that I would do a series about vegetables. I had this one in draft form so thought it time I posted it. I am not sure whether the correct date will come out or not but hope it does.
There is such a large variety of bean, many of which I know about and also enjoy.
BEANS: Bean is a common name for large plant seeds used for human food or animal feed of several genera of the family Fabaceae (alternately Leguminosae).
Runner beans, scarlet runner beans or multiflora beans are plants grown both as food plants or ornamental plants. We currently have beans planted but they are dwarf beans as runner beans take up too much room. I am particularly fond of green beans, cooked or tinned.
We have tried scarlet runners but the weather in Perth is too hot for them. I was disappointed as they are so colourful with their bright red flowers and the red beans. Multiflora is a new one on me but I would I imagine it relates to the flowers or even the seeds being of assorted colours. Apparently runner beans contain traces of the poisonous lectin, found in common beans. Runner beans for sale on a market stall:
Broad beans. Vicia faba, also known as broad beans, fava beans, faba beans, field beans, bell beans or tic beans. They are native to North Africa, southwest and south Asia, and are extensively cultivated in many parts of the world.
We currently have these growing and they are showing flowers so hopefully not too long before we are picking and eating broad beans. We both really enjoy them but we try not to eat too many as they can be quite fattening and contain a large amount of carbohydrate, so smallish servings a couple of times a week. They can be served hot or cold as a salad dish. I prefer them hot.
Mung beans are used a lot in Asian cooking and can also be made into a paste. I've used them in stir fries in the past and also eaten them as bean sprouts which are enjoyable with salads and are said to be very good for us.
Kidney beans are used in many chilli dishes, parricularly in chilli con carne. These are a bean that are very poisonous when raw as they contain lectin phytohaimagglutinin that must be removed before cooking. It is recommended that these beans be boiled for at least ten minutes. Cooking them in a slow cooker cannot guarantee all the toxin will be removed.
It is said that as kidney beans are loaded with potassium and magnesium, they help keep blood pressure in check, while their high fiber content helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, fighting off heart disease. They are also rich in iron and protein, which makes them a great meat substitute for vegetarians. According to Janet Bond Brill they also contain disease-fighting antioxidants. Half a cup of these beans cooked contains 112 calories.
There are so many bean varieties used in cooking or in salads and I would imagine most people are familiar with cannellini beans, borlotti beans, chick peas, lima beans, haricot beans, pinto beans, and black eyed peas. The list goes on and on and I am sure there are plenty more that could be added to this list.
I feel perhaps it best to make this part B(a) and include others in part B(b) as I have at least another six "B" vegies I'd like to talk about.