Sunday, February 22, 2009

Apple #371: Beans -- pinto beans

This is the second entry in a series about Beans.


Pinto beans, dry
(Photo by Lori Highfill, sourced from Simple Mom, who has a recipe for crock pot pintos)

Pinto beans, soaked and then cooked. For 12 hours in a crock pot with onion, bacon, and chili powder.
(Photo from Paddlin Pigs BBQ, which also gives the recipe)

Categorized as:
  • Fruit. But they are the official vegetable of New Mexico.
  • Also one of the FAO's pulses.
  • Also a member of the Phaseolus vulgaris species.

General facts:

  • When dry, pinto beans are beige with reddish streaks. "Pinto" means "painted" in Spanish.
  • When cooked, they turn pink and the streaks go away.
  • More pinto beans are grown in the US than any other type of bean.
  • The refried beans that come on your plate with your enchiladas or in your Taco Bell burrito are pinto beans.
  • Pinto beans contain more fiber than any other bean -- one cup provides 74% of your daily fiber requirement.
  • One cup also gives you 100% of your daily folate needs. Folate can help in reducing heart disease.
  • They're fairly high in copper, which helps to keep joints and tendons flexible. Copper is also essential for your body to be able to utilize the iron it needs to carry oxygen in the bloodstream.
  • To use dry pinto beans, you have to soak these for 8 hours in the refrigerator so they don't ferment.
  • Or you can boil them for two minutes, take them off the heat, and let them soak for 2 hours.
  • Either way you soak them, be sure to discard that water. It's got some of the bean-gas in it that you don't want to eat and have to expel later.
  • After the pinto beans are softened, they still need to be cooked. Bring them to a boil and then simmer and skim off the foam.
  • Wait until the pinto beans are fully cooked before adding seasonings.

Next up: Lima beans.

The World's Healthiest Foods, Pinto beans, Pinto beans
J&J Distributing, Fresh Facts, Beans - Pinto
USDA Plants Database, Classification Down to Family Fabaceae
FAO, Definition and Classification of Commodities, 4. Pulses and Derived Products
NationMaster, Encyclopedia, Pulses
Wikipedia, Fabaceae and pulses
Edhat Santa Barbara, Veggie of the Week - Shell Beans

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