White Beans – Interesting Facts

Originating from South and Central America, white beans can be found in the cupboard both dried and tinned. Dried white beans are more nutritious and aromatic, but require more preparation time – the beans need to soak for 12 hours before using. Ideally, you can find white beans in their pods at a market. The beans must be extracted from their pods before cooking and then require a shorter amount of time to cook.

Although fresh beans must be cooked quickly, dried beans have a shelf life of at least one year. Once they start to appear wrinkled, they should be used quickly and may require a longer cooking time. Tinned beans stay good for a number of years.

Food Facts Food Facts

White Beans (dried, raw)

Class

Phaseolus

Calories

324 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

43.9g carbohydrate, 18.4g fibre, 2.7g fat, 21.3g protein per 100g

Season

harvested from June to October, dried year-round

Storage

cool dry place in an airtight and lightproof container

Shelf life

at least one year when stored properly

White Beans – Soup, Salad or Side

White beans are the perfect ingredient for soups and stews because of their soft, creamy texture. The filling and healthy beans are known for their versatility. They spice up any salad, work well as a filling side, make a delicious puree and are always a tasty antipasti. A specialty is the French cassoulet with white beans, bacon and, depending on the region, lamb meat.

After soaking the beans for 12 hours, make sure to cook the white beans in the same water used for soaking as it now holds a lot of the nutrients. The cooking time should take around 60 minutes. Salt should only be added once they are cooked, otherwise the shell will remain hard. Tinned beans are already cooked and ready for preparation. The dripping water does not contain any nutrients so do not worry when it comes to washing them in order to get rid of the tinned taste.

White Beans – Fresh From the Garden

Fresh white beans can be bought in their pods. Once the beans are removed, they should take about 20 minutes to cook. White beans should never be eaten raw as they contain a protein substance called phasin which can cause stomach and intestinal problems and can lead to severe poisoning. When cooked, this protein disintegrates and the beans can be eaten without a problem. This applies to most legumes.

White Beans – Rich in Nutrients

White beans contain calories as well as carbohydrates and because of the high fibre content, keep you feeling full for longer – like all legumes. Many suffer from flatulence after consuming beans and this comes down to the insoluble dietary fibres that aid digestion and intestinal activity. Soaking beans for longer can help against such flatulence, and also adding some caraway to food will calm the intestine.

White beans are an ideal source of protein and contain the following nutrients: magnesium, potassium, calcium and phosphorous. White beans can help with lowering cholesterol: the beans contain soluble fibre that binds bile acids which contain the cholesterol – these are then excreted.

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White Bean Recipes

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