The common bean is an herbaceous annual legume original from Central and South America. Although this plant is among world’s oldest cultivated crops, it was only around 1500 that beans firstly appeared in Europe thanks to Portuguese and Spanish navigators that imported them from Latin America. While, at the beginning of 1600 beans were mainly consumed by rich noble classes, during the following centuries this legume has become a very popular cooking ingredient as it was easy to grow, affordable and particularly rich in protein.
All beans varieties are very nutritious, rich in vitamin A, B, C and E and they contain minerals and trace elements such as potassium, iron, calcium, zinc and phosphorus. Beans are also rich in lecithin, a phospholipid that promotes the emulsification of fats, preventing their accumulation in the blood and thereby reducing cholesterol levels.
Because of their low glycaemic index, which promotes a gradual absorption of carbohydrates by the body, beans are particularly suitable for diabetics. Furthermore, they are low in fat and high in protein, properties that make them a valid alternative to meat consumption by providing a balanced diet, in particular the ratio between carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.
MAIAORGANIC Beans selection:
Black-eyed Peas belong to “Vigna” genus and are native to the Mediterranean regions. In Italy they have been grown since a thousand years before the common bean, so they can be considered a traditional product. Characterized by their light coloured skin and the small black eye, they have a very delicate flavour. They are excellent in soups or simply boiled and dressed with a drizzle of olive oil.
Borlotti Beans present an oblong shape and a mottled red and cream colour. This variety is selected in Piedmont, where it is considered a typical product. Tasteful with a quite robust texture, they are particularly suitable for salads and great for the classic Italian dish, “pasta e fagioli”.
Cannellini Beans have a completely white outer shell and an elongated shape; even if originally from Argentina, they have been growing in Italy for ages by now. Their delicate flavour makes them ideal for cold or warm salads and soups.
Red Beans’ outer skin is red amaranth and remains crunchy, while the interior tends to become mealy when cooked. For this reason, they go well with both cereals, as well as salads, and are widely used in traditional Mexican cooking (enchiladas, burritos).
Black Beans are smaller in size, almost round and their shell is black with a small white eye. This bean variety presents a delicious spicy flavour that adapts very well in rice dishes with spicy sauces. They can also be used as main dishes prepared with traditional Creole recipes, such as “Moros y Cristianos” or “Feijoada”.
* Chefs Tips *
All our Beans Varieties
8 hours of soaking at least
50-60 minutes of cooking
*Before using Beans rinse them thoroughly under running water and remove any debris that you may find
*Find the perfect texture by tasting your Beans while cooking
*Avoid the inconvenience of intestinal gas by seasoning the Beans with a teaspoon of grounded Ginger
*Facilitate your digestion and give a special touch to your soups by cooking Beans with Thyme, Bay Leaves & Cumin Seeds
*Stay classic with a great Italian milestone: Venetian Pasta & Borlotti Beans
*Have a tasty and Vegetarian meal with some Black-eye Pea & Mushroom Croquettes served with fresh Salad and Cherry Tomatoes
*Spice up your dinner by preparing a hot Chilli
*Feel like traveling in the Caribbean by having some Frijoles Negros or Black Bean & Butternut Squash Burritos
*Never forget a drizzle of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
*Still hungry? Have more here!