“The Year of The Pulse” is 2016, as so declared in 2013 by the United Nations. A pulse, other than the cardiovascular type, is a dried bean, pea, lentil, chickpea, etc. This use of the word pulse indicates beans, one of the oldest foods cultivated by human beings. The importance of beans as an essential part of healthy, balanced eating is sorely under appreciated. They are central in diets and cultures the world over, a better source of protein than meat, essential to food security, a hardy crop, and require far less water to produce than alternatives.
“Beans are probably the best human plant food there is,” plant geneticist George L. Hosfield, Ph.D. told Reuters Health. He explained that beans are full of protein and fiber and low in fat. They also contain important vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, iron, potassium, and zinc. “With the additional bonus of their antioxidants, you have almost the perfect food,” he said. Beans are loaded with soluble fiber and are an important source of two essential amino acids not found in cereals, lysine and threonine. Beans nutritionally complement whole grain and together deliver complete protein. A variety of beans with whole grain is a powerful step toward a better quality of life.
The various regions of the U.S.A. have favorites, pinto and blacks in the Southwest, small red beans and black-eyed peas in the South, and navy in New England. Beans are delicious, versatile, satisfying, economical, and they travel and store well. When cooked one pound of dry beans yields about six cups of highly nutritious, versatile food.
Their combination of high quality protein, low but important good-for-you fats, complex carbohydrates, healthy fiber, and a broad spectrum of minerals and vitamins, including potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins, combine to make beans an almost perfect heart healthy food. Beans are a healthy substitute for meat, containing far less fat and zero cholesterol. They reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and diminish damage from free radicals.
Soluble fiber in beans slows movement of insoluble fiber through the digestive tract resulting in a fuller, satiated feeling that helps to control appetite and assists in healthy weight management, while their complex carbohydrates provide a steady source of energy. Beans are rich in antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid. The highest levels are in beans with dark skins like black and dark red kidney.
Cream of the Organic Crop
Eden Foods has been encouraging organic bean farming since the late 1960s. We purchase EDEN beans from American family farms. Authentically, organically grown by those we know and trust. This network of salt-of-the-earth growers has used organic methods now for decades. Rich, vital soil teems with life and their practiced tending produces the best beans on earth. Most EDEN beans are grown in the Midwest within a few, to a few hundred miles of headquarters. Garbanzo beans and lentils will not grow nearby and come from California, Arizona, Colorado, North Dakota, and Canada.
Cooking beans from scratch is actually quite easy, and well worth it. There is great comfort in the enticing aroma and delicious flavor of a freshly cooked pot of beans or satisfying bean soup. For helpful tips, prep, soaking, and cooking instructions, visit Eden's article Dry Bean Cooking Basics. Dry EDEN beans are what make award winning EDEN canned beans.
As organic bean resources grew, we became certain that convenient precooked organic beans would be appreciated, so the canning of EDEN beans began in 1991 at our certified organic, kosher cannery in east central Indiana. They are prepared in ways that were perfected in our homes. The beans are soaked overnight, a rarity in the bean canning industry, but an important step in making them more tasty and easier to digest. Many are cooked with a bit of kombu sea vegetable. The kombu simply enhances flavors with its amino acid and trace mineral richness, without the need for sodium.
Since April 1999, all canned EDEN beans feature custom cans lined with an oleo-resinous c-enamel that does not contain the endocrine disrupters BPA or BPS.
In learning how to make canned beans, we were told it was necessary to add at least two chemicals, calcium chloride to harden the skins so they would not fall apart in cooking, and calcium disodium EDTA to hold the color. These chemicals are in virtually all canned beans. Due to the vital soil growing EDEN beans, their higher mineral content allows them to be cooked without need of these highly undesirable processing chemicals.