(adzuki) - These small, dark red beans, native to the Orient, are
thought to be useful in treating kidney ailments and other ills. They
are loaded with nutrients and are a good source of calcium, phosphorus,
potassium, iron and vitamin A.
Anasazi - Similar to pinto beans, these red and white speckled
beans were originally grown by Native Americans. Try them tossed with
noodles as a cold side salad or mixed with rice or quinoa as a
complement to any meal.
Black turtle - These small, compact black beans are especially
popular in Mexican and Southwestern cooking. Fresh cilantro, crushed
garlic, and a little hot sauce are all you need to transform a pot of
black beans into a distinctive side dish or quick lunch.
Black-eyed peas - Also known as cow peas, black-eyed peas are
a southern staple. They are rich in potassium and phosphorus and loaded
with fiber. Try them the traditional way, served with steamed greens and
a splash of vinegar.
Garbanzo (chickpeas) - Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas are a
staple food in the Middle East and are high in potassium, calcium, iron
and vitamin A. These round, pale yellow legumes are traditionally used
to make hummus - a thick mixture of chickpeas and tahini used as a dip
or spread - and they are also great with grains.
Kidney Beans - These medium-sized red beans get their name
from their distinctive shape. Kidney beans are a mainstay in Mexican
meals, and they work equally well in soups and stews. Try mixing them
with other cooked beans and tossing them in a light vinaigrette for a
quick and easy, super nutritious salad.
Lentils - A member of the pea family, these small, disk-shaped
seeds have been found in excavations dating from the Bronze Age. These
little legumes are nutritional dynamos - they are high in calcium,
magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, sulfur and vitamin A - and
are available in brown, red, and green varieties.
Lima Beans - Lima beans have a distinctive flavor and are
loaded with potassium, phosphorus and vitamin A. They take a little
longer to cook, but they are worth the wait. Serve them hot, tossed with
fresh basil or rosemary and a little olive oil.
Mung Beans - These small, dark green beans are grown in India
and the Orient. Sprouted, they are the mainstay of stir-fries and make a
wonderful addition to salads. Try tossing a handful of sprouted mung
beans in soups just before serving, or mix them with millet and a little
ground cumin for a savory side dish.
Navy Beans - The hefty size and hearty texture of these
flavorful white beans makes them the perfect bean for soups and stews.
Or try mixing them with diced carrots and slivers of green pepper for a
hot side dish or cold salad.
Split Peas - These flavorful members of the legume family come
in both yellow and green varieties and make a wonderfully substantial
soup that is easy to make and loaded with nearly any grain and are
especially delicious with buckwheat or wild rice.
Pinto Beans - Along with black turtle and kidney beans, pinto
beans are a favorite from the Southwest. They are rich in calcium,
potassium, and phosphorus, and they make great soups.
Soybeans - The soybean has been a major source of food and oil
in the Orient for thousand of years, but it was unknown in Europe and
America until 1900. The soybean is the only legume that's a complete
protein by itself, and it is the most versatile bean around - you will
find soybeans in a variety of forms, from dried or toasted soybeans to
tofu, miso, tempeh and tamari.