Legumes – podded vegetables
Also spelled adzuki or aduki. In the Far East, the azuki bean is commonly eaten sweetened, it’s boiled with sugar to make a red bean paste. In Japan they have a popular Azuki flavoured ice cream and Pepsi released an Azuki-flavored product in 2009.
The black-eyed pea, also called black-eyed bean, has a variety of uses and is eaten world wide including South America, Vietnam, Portugal, Greece and India.
Broad beans are eaten while still young and tender, they can be eaten with their shell on or it can be removed. The beans can be fried and then salted and/or spiced to produce a snack that is very popular in Thailand, China, Mexico and South America.
Also known as French Bean and Runner Bean, these beans are eaten worldwide and can be brought fresh, frozen or canned. These beans are eaten as a green vegetable, salad ingredient and also fried in tempura batter.
In rural India Horse Gram is consumed as a whole seed or as sprouts. The whole seeds of horse gram are widely cultivated as cattle feed. The beans need to be soaked and cooked for a long time.
The Guar bean or Cluster bean. Guar is the source of Guar gum but can also be eaten as a green bean. Guar gum is used in many products including, cheese, ice cream and cold meat processing.
Chickpeas, also known as the Indian Pea, are high in protein and one of the earliest cultivated vegetables. They are eaten in many countries including Africa, the middle east and India. Chickpeas are the main ingredient in humus.
Phaseolus vulgaris is grown worldwide for its edible bean, popular both dry and as a green bean. The leaf can also be used as a leaf vegetable.
Is also known as the potato bean and the Indian potato. The beans and the tubers are both edible.
There are a variety of lentils available including red, green, puy and black. Lentils are widely used around the world.
Lima bean (butter bean)
Lima beans, like many other legumes, are a good source of dietary fiber, and a virtually fat-free source of high quality protein. They are eaten worldwide but are particularly popular in Italy and the USA.
Mung beans are small, oval in shape, and green in color.
Pronounced Moat bean, these beans range in color from light brown to dark reddish brown. Once sprouted the beans taste sweet.
Okra is grown for it’s edible seed pods. It’s known in many English-speaking countries as lady’s fingers or gumbo. Okra has many culinary uses and is eaten worldwide.
In early times, peas were grown mostly for their dry seeds. Peas are usually boiled or steamed, this makes the taste sweeter.
Peanuts are used in a variety of culinary ways, as an ingredient, as a snack, to make peanut flour and for peanut oil. They are eaten in many different countries including, India, Far East, USA, UK and South America.
Also known as the tropical green pea, these can be used dried or fresh.
These are small edible beans and much is yet to be found out about the possible uses of this bean in agriculture.
The Soy bean is a popular and well utilised bean. It has many uses including, vegetable, drinks, lactose free milk, meat substitute, Oil, Meal, Flour, Infant formula, Meat and dairy substitutes and extenders, cattle feed, soap, cosmetics, resins, plastics, inks, crayons, solvents, clothing and bio-diesel.
Tarwi (Lupin) – The Tarwi Bean a South American legume grown in the Andes. Pre-Incan people first domesticated this lupine more than 1,500 years ago. Tarwi is notable for its high protein and oil content. Despite the bean’s favourable nutritional values, Tarwi is largely unknown outside the highland areas of Peru, Bolivia, and Equador.
Tarwi beans are not commonly used due to an overwhelming bitter taste that the bean possesses. The bitterness can be removed by soaking the seeds in water for an extended period of time (usually a day or two.) The bean is no longer bitter and completely edible (and enjoyable) after being soaked.
Dolichos bean (hyacinth bean)
Dolichos bean is an ancient legume crop widely grown throughout the world for its vegetable or pulse for human consumption or as animal forage or feed.
The Tepary bean, is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico and has been grown and eaten there for centuries. It is very popular to grow as it will survive in very dry conditions and can grow in deserts.
The Urad bean, also know as black gram, originated in India and is eaten widely throughout south east Asia. It is most commonly used as the main ingredient for Dal.
The Velvet bean plant is infamous for its extreme itchiness produced on contact. Cooked fresh shoots or beans can be eaten. This requires that they be soaked from at least 30 minutes to 48 hours in advance of cooking, or the water changed up to several times during cooking, otherwise the plant can be toxic to humans. They come in two different colours, black and white.
The Winged bean is also known as the Goa bean and Asparagus Pea and Winged Pea. This bean has been called the “one species supermarket” because practically all of the plant is edible.
The crisp, tender pods are eaten both fresh and cooked. They are at their best when young and slim. They are sometimes cut into short sections for cooking uses. Although called the Yardlong bean they actually grow to around half that.