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Types of Beans – Names, Characteristics and Recipes

23 mayo, 2021

Make sure there are beans on the table! Yes, since they represent healthy and creative gastronomy, they recover and maintain soils for agriculture (according to FAO) and reduce the environmental impact caused by livestock. In addition, growing them is easy and inexpensive, they provide an alternative to those who do not consume meat, they benefit your body, they are an economical food and available to everyone, among other advantages. Did you know all this? Well get ready for a new culinary adventure with RecetasGratis, in which you will learn everything about these legumes and many creative recipes to prepare them that are delightful.

Discover the different types of beans, their characteristics, benefits and how to cook them. Keep reading!

What are beans

Legumes are a group of plants belonging to the Fabaceae family (Fabaceae), made up of a wide variety of trees, shrubs, vines and some herbs. These plants share certain characteristics in common, related to appearance, among which their stipulated leaves and pod-shaped fruits stand out. Today, around 19,000 species of fabaceae or legumes are known, this group of plants being the third with the largest variety in the world.

Legumes are the fruits of legumes, that is, legumes are plants whose fruits are called legumes. Legumes have a high nutritional value and an important ecological contribution, they are also part of the human diet ancestrally, approximately since the Neolithic period (the beginning of the human being as a farmer).

Within the group of legumes, the beans stand out for their popularity, existing about 150 species in the world, of which around 50 are in Latin America. Within the group of beans are: peas, broad beans, soybeans, mesquite, huizaches, black beans (black beans), among others. So beans are legumes.

Properties and benefits of beans

Bean plants are creeping and climbing herbs that have a fruit bearing the same name, which grows in an edible pod. The bean, as a fruit, has an outstanding nutritional content, very important for the human organism: high protein content, many carbohydrates (good source of energy), high fiber content, little fat and healthy, many minerals (mainly calcium and iron) and vitamins (the vitamin B complex stands out).

Undoubtedly, the nutritional attributes of this legume directly influence the body and the planet, providing incredible benefits, including some still unknown to most, since there are many unfounded myths about beans. Let’s rediscover, then, this food knowing the benefits and properties of beans:

  • They help you lose weight without deteriorating your health. Although beans contain more than half their weight in starch, which is why they are considered to be fattening, they have little fat and this is healthy (1.5% to 6.2% lipids) and between 14-33 g of protein per 100 grams of product.
  • They benefit diabetic people. Due to its low glycemic index and high nutritional content, it is a perfect food for diabetics despite having a high level of starch and other carbohydrates, as they do not excessively raise glucose (even combined with certain foods).
  • Prevent constipation. Thanks to its high fiber content, which contains especially cellulose and hemicellulose, it favors both the digestive tract and generates a low glycemic index.
  • They are related to a reduction in the synthesis of fatty acids in the body. This could also be related to a lower concentration of body fat.
  • They provide an excellent quality protein if you combine them properly with other foods. If you combine the amino acids from legume (lysine) and the amino acids from cereal protein (corn or rice), you can compensate for the lack of sulfur amino acids (methionine + cystine) in beans. Thus, you will obtain proteins of high biological value.
  • Contain powerful antioxidants from the flavonoid family. In the peel of beans (particularly those with intense or dark tones) there are antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have anti-cancer, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory qualities, among others.
  • They contribute to the planet For two reasons: beans are a magnificent food alternative given the high environmental impact caused by highly industrialized livestock, and planting beans recovers and maintains poor land (difficult to cultivate), which also favors ecology.

Currently, there are varieties of beans on the verge of extinction due to lack of consumption.

Types of beans - Names, characteristics and recipes - Properties and benefits of beans

Types of beans and their characteristics

To classify beans there are mainly three criteria: the botanical taxonomy (plant taxonomy), the agronomic and the organoleptic (due to their characteristics, especially in size and color). Classification based on organoleptic characteristics is more familiar to us, as we use it commonly. This type of classification can vary a bit by country, so it is a bit more difficult to unify. Based on this classification, here are the most popular types of beans that exist:

  • Black beans or black beans: these legumes are the most iconic representatives of Latin American food and almost all of these countries sport some traditional recipe with black beans. The appearance of these beans is oval and black in color with a little white spot.
  • Anasazi beansThese types of beans are often prepared as refried beans or as soups. They are characterized by their oval shape, red color and white spots.
  • Soya beans: this food is highly appreciated both for gastronomic tradition (in Asia) and for alternative food styles (vegans and vegetarians) due to its great nutritional content and its versatility in the kitchen. This legume, native to Southwest Asia, is used to prepare sprouts, milk, vegetable meats (it contains vegetable proteins of high biological value), tofu (highly nutritious food, excellent for desserts and meals), sauce, oil, flour, fermented foods, etc. Its most outstanding characteristics are its beige color and its almost round shape.
  • Pallar beans or green beans: This legume is used in the kitchen, usually to prepare soups and succotash. It has a round, green appearance and a sandy texture.
  • Aduki beansAlso known as azuki or Asian beans, they are widely used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. The aduki are characterized by their oval shape and reddish color.
  • Red or common beans: this type of bean is very present in North American (especially Texan) and Mexican gastronomy due to its pronounced flavor. They are used for preparations with chili, bean salads, tacos, baked beans, refried beans, among others. This bean is characterized by its red color and its kidney shape.
  • Black head beans or tape beans: they stand out in the culinary world for their sweet and smooth flavor, as well as for their creamy but firm body. They are generally used a lot in southern cooking. This legume is distinguished mainly by its small size and its black and white color.
  • White beans: its most outstanding feature in the culinary world is its ability to easily absorb flavors, which gives it great versatility as a food. They are characterized by being smaller than many other types of beans, white, dry, oval in shape and slightly flattened.

Easy Bean Recipes

Now that you know the different types of beans that there are, taking into account that they are the most used, since we remember that there are more than 150, let’s see how to cook them. These legumes have an incredible culinary versatility, everything consists in the curiosity of each one. Just check the international, national, naturist cuisine and the rest, leave it to your creativity. That said, get ready to enjoy dips, soups, stews, salads, purees, rolls, vegetable meats, sweets and a long etcetera. Enjoy your meal!

Recipes with black beans

Recipes with red beans

White Bean Recipes

Bean Types - Names, Features, and Recipes - Easy Bean Recipes

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Galvez, A .. (2015). The role of beans in the nutritional health of the Mexican population. 11-25-2019, from Revista digital universitaria Website: