The Ultimate Guide To Beans


Kidney Beans, Cannellini Beans, Haricot Beans, Navy Beans.. and many, many more! There are SO many varieties of beans, and they don’t get the love they deserve. Like my previous post about Tofu, we are going to shine a light on why you should be eating more beans, and share recipes that go beyond making chilli.

How long have beans been around?

According to Wikipedia

“Beans are one of the longest-cultivated plants in history. Broad beans, also called fava beans, are in their wild state the size of a small fingernail, and were first gathered in Afghanistan and the Himalayan foothills. An early cultivated form were grown in Thailand from the early seventh millennium BCE, predating ceramics.”

That is a LONG time, and for good reason. They are easy to grow in their natural habitat, and packed full of nutrients including protein- making them a much easier option than having to hunt for meat, which used considerably more time and energy back in those times.

Even in these modern times, beans persist! Despite the fact we can all just go and buy meat in a supermarket using minimal energy- we are still eating beans. There are many reasons for this of course- some cultural, but also financial. Beans are CHEAP. Particularly if you buy them dry, and in large quantities. But tins/cans of smaller quantities are still affordable, and certainly cheaper than meat.

What Kinds Are There?

This varies wildly aroud the world, but here in the UK the most common kinds are:

  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
  • Tofu, Bean curd & Soybeans
  • Broad Beans & Fava Beans
  • Red & Adzuki Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans & Refried Beans
  • Butter Beans, Haricot & White Beans

Fun Fact: The nations favourite, Baked Beans, are Haricot beans- also known as Navy Beans in the US.

text reads the ultimate guide to beans and what to make with them besides chilli!

Why Should I Eat Beans?

Because they are a super cheap source of Protein, Fibre, and a whole host of other nutrients. Each type will have a different nutritional profile, but let’s look at a few examples.

All amounts pertain to 1 cup of beans.

Kidney Beans

  • Protein: 15.3 grams
  • Fiber: 13.1 grams
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 24% of the DV
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 58% of the DV
  • Copper: 48% of the DV
  • Manganese: 37% of the DV
  • Iron: 29% of the DV

Black Beans

  • Protein: 15.2 grams
  • Fiber: 15 grams
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 35% of the DV
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 64% of the DV
  • Iron: 20% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 29% of the DV
  • Manganese: 33% of the DV

Haricot (Navy) Beans

  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Fiber: 19.1 grams
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 64% of the DV
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 36% of the DV
  • Iron: 24% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 23% of the DV
  • Manganese: 42% of the DV

As you can see, they all provide between 13-15g of both Protein AND Fibre per 1 Cup serving, and a good percentage of other nutrients too!

Doesn’t it take a long time to prepare beans?

If using dried beans- yes. They will need soaking, preferably overnight, before you can cook with them. If you buy them in a tin/can however, you can use them right away! Dried beans are cheaper, but need time- you’ll need to decide whether that’s worth it for you.

What can I make with Beans, besides Chilli?


Seriously- you can make bean dip, sandwich filling, bean soups and stews- even BROWNIES. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Here are a few recipes for you to try, including 2 dessert recipes!

Roasted Chickpea Lemon Pasta

Maria at The Planted Pantry has a delicious take on chickpeas, infusing them with lemon flavour in this pasta dish!

Kung Pao Cauliflower & Kidney Beans

BBC GoodFood has put a spin on traditional Kung Pao by utlising cauliflower and beans!

Tuscan White Bean Burgers

The Wonderful Forks Over Knives team have created a different sort of bean burger using Cannellini Beans instead of the usual black/kidney beans.

Black Bean Brownies

The wonderful Chocolate Covered Katie is the queen of healthy desserts- no one will guess the secret ingredient in these brownies!

Chocolate Covered Katie is again serving more bean based delicious-ness with this edible cookie dough!

There you have it- the ultimate guide to beans and why you should be eating them. I really hope you’ll consider eating more beans as part of your diet, they really are a great source of Protein, Fibre and more- and at such a great price!

Did you learn something new? Are you going to try any of these recipes? Let me know in the comments below!


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