Beans go by a number of different general names such as Legumes, dry bean, common bean, and ‘a pulse’. For convenience sake beans are divided into two broad subdivisions - coloured beans and white beans. Almost every region of the world that grows beans has different specific local names, but most of these dry edible beans are members of the scientific classification Phaseolus vulgaris.
Dry edible beans store easily and maintain their nutritional properties well. It is estimated that there are well over 400 different types or varieties of edible beans grown throughout the world. Most beans are consumed in local diets and don’t find their way onto our western grocery shelves. Size, shape, colour, texture and slight variations in taste add variety to a serving of starch or carbohydrate.
“A lot of people are sustained on a meal of rice and beans a day".
Canada is fortunate in that it grows beans in excess of its needs and exports its surpluses around the world. Here in Ontario we have been growing white (pea) beans since the early 1900’s and have tried our hand at growing a number of different coloured beans as well.
“A lot of people are sustained on a meal of rice and beans a day”.As a food, beans can play a role in reducing the risks of developing some chronic conditions and diseases. Edible beans give us the richest source of vegetable protein within our food supply. They are cholesterol free and low in fat, as well as a very high source of dietary fibre. Beans are also an excellent source of energy containing complex carbohydrates as well as a host of vitamins, minerals (see the chart) and other phytonutrients.
The bean’s mix of dietary fibre and complex starches give beans an attractively low Gylcemic Index (GI). Bean-rich diets have been shown to prolong satiety. Because they are digested slowly blood sugars rise slowly and do not peak at levels as high as starch rich diets. For this reason beans are recommended in the management of diabetes. Beans have been noted to impart other health benefits in that they may help in the control of intestinal disorders (colorectal cancer, and irritable bowel syndrome) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recently there have been some studies to suggest that beans may be helpful in the fight against HIV.
Flour made from beans is 100% gluten free and provides more calcium, iron, potassium, B-vitamins and fibre than most other gluten-free flours making them ideal for managing diets for those with celiac disease.
Beans are high in folate (folic acid) a B-vitamin that is instrumental in nerve and brain development.
Beans are truly a “functional food".
Come join us and explore “Beans the original functional food".
Cooked beans can be kept 4 or 5 days covered and in the fridge and up to 6 months when frozen in airtight, freezer containers.