April 21, 2014, by Ken Jorgustin
An important part of a long term food storage plan and/or a portion of one’s overall gardening plan are beans & legumes. The bare minimum recommendation of a beans & legumes portion of an overall 1-year food storage inventory is 60-pounds (90-pounds preferred) per adult.
The legume family, of which all beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts are a part, is one of the largest in the plant kingdom. Below is a partial list of 15 common legumes.
Much of this information is credited to Alan T. Hagan.
660 calories per cup (raw); 42g protein
Also known as “turtle beans”, they are small, dark brownish-black and oval-shaped. Well known in Cuban black bean soup and commonly used in Central and South America and in China. They tend to bleed darkly when cooked so they are not well suited to being combined with other beans, lest they give the entire pot a muddy appearance. The skins of black beans also slip off easily so for this reason they are generally not recommended for pressure cooking for fear of clogging the vent. This can be lessened by not presoaking before cooking.
130 calories per cup (raw); 4g protein
Also known as “cowpeas” or “field peas” there are many varieties of these peas eaten across the Southern United States, Mexico, and Africa with black-eyed peas being the most commonly known in the U.S. The coloring of field-peas is as varied as the rest of the legume family, with black-eyed peas being small, oval shaped with an overall creamy color and, of course, their distinctive black-eye. Dried field-peas cook very quickly and combine very tastily with either rice or cornbread. They’re also reputed to produce less flatulence than many other beans.
729 calories per cup (raw); 39g protein
Also known as the “garbanzo bean” or “cecci pea” (or bean), they tend to be a creamy or tan color, rather lumpily roundish and larger than dried garden peas. Many have eaten the nutty flavored chick-pea, even if they’ve never seen a whole one. They are the prime ingredient in hummus and falafel and are one of the oldest cultivated legume species known, going back as far as 5400 B.C. in the Near East. Chickpeas tend to remain firmer when cooked than other legumes and can add a pleasant texture to many foods. I like them in red spaghetti sauces in particular and they are often used in Spanish cuisine in a tomato based sauce. Roasted brown then ground they have also served as a coffee substitute.
111 calories per cup (raw); 10g protein
Not as well known in the U.S. as in Europe and the Mediterranean favas are also known as “broad beans” or “horse beans” being broad in shape, flat and reddish brown in color. This is one of the oldest legume species in European cultivation, but it does require more effort to consume. The hull of the bean is tough and not conducive to being tenderized by cooking so is often peeled away. The skinless bean falls apart so is made into a puree. A small number of people with Mediterranean ancestry have a genetic sensitivity to the blossom pollens and undercooked beans, a condition known as “favism” so should avoid consuming them.
GREAT NORTHERN BEANS
620 calories per cup (raw); 40g protein
A large white bean about twice the size of navy beans they are typically bean flavored and are frequently favored for soups, salads, casseroles, and baked beans. One of the more commonly eaten in the U.S. Milled into meal these mild flavored beans can be included in many baked goods as a protein booster or used to thicken soups and stews.
53 calories per cup (raw); 8g protein
Like the rest of the family, kidney beans can be found in wide variety. They may be white, mottled or a light or dark red color with their distinctive kidney shape. Probably best known here in the U.S. for their use in chili and bean salads, they figure prominently in Mexican, Brazilian and Chinese cuisine.
678 calories per cup (raw); 50g protein
Lentils are an odd lot. They don’t fit in with either the beans or the peas and occupy a place by themselves. Their shape is different from other legumes being roundish little discs with colors ranging from muddy brown, to green to a rather bright orangish-red. They cook very quickly and have a distinctive mildly peppery flavor. They are much used in Far Eastern cuisine from India to China. Next to mung beans they make excellent sprouts though their peppery flavor tends to strengthen somewhat so are best mixed with milder sprouts.