Rich in magnesium, these legumes have a velvety texture and a subtly sweet taste that goes well with smoky flavors, such as bacon or chipotle. Pair brightly colored vegetables and fruits with the shiny purple-black beans for festive salads. Black beans are available dried or canned.
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Small, plump, and spotted, these beans are an excellent source of folate (important for pregnant women). Their earthiness complements salty meats, like bacon and ham.
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These large, rosy beige kitchen mainstays (also known as white Italian kidney beans) are creamy and delicately flavored.
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Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are consumed more than any other beans in the world. Round and firm, with a nutty flavor, they’re the basis of hummus.
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Great Northern Beans
These small, white, kidney-shaped beans are an especially good source of calcium. Because they’re mild and easily absorb seasonings, they work well in stews and soups.
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This popular chili ingredient, known for its reddish skin and white interior, packs protein, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and about the same amount of cancer-fighting antioxidants as blueberries.
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Green, flat, oval-shaped lima beans—both the larger, potassium-packed butter (or Fordhook) beans and the sweeter baby limas—have a buttery flavor and a starchy interior that can turn mushy, so they’re best in quick sautés. They are often sold cooked and frozen.
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These light brown beans have substantial amounts of fiber and protein. Their earthy flavor and smooth texture works well in dips and stews or in Mexican refried beans.