There are many types of beans that belong to the Fabaceae family, which literally means bean or pea family. Cranberry beans, which are originally from Colombia, are one such beans that are known by numerous names in different countries. In New Zealand, they are called shell beans whereas in Italy they are known as borlotti beans. These beans are also called French horticultural beans in the United States. The color of these beans is ivory and sometimes red with certain magenta-colored markings on their surface. The inside is creamy white in color and they have a mild chestnut like flavor.
Cranberry beans nutritional benefits are many since they are rich in fiber. It is considered as a heart food since it has the ability to lower cholesterol, control the levels of blood glucose in diabetics and reduce the risk of cancer. This legume (bean) is also rich in antioxidants, which fight against the free radicals in the body. The beans are also excellent sources of phytochemicals, molybdenum and folic acid.
These beans are highly nutritious similar to many other beans and are a rich source of fiber, calcium and proteins. They also have a low calorie count (only 90 calories per serving) and are free from cholesterol.
Cranberry beans are an excellent choice in the innumerable legumes recipes. They can also be used for making bean salads, stews and various other soups. In case of unavailability, pinto beans make an excellent substitute for this bean variety, since they are more or less similar in size, taste and flavor. Here are some delicious cranberry beans recipes that are easy to make and enjoyed by the young and old alike.
(Vicia faba L.), also called as fava bean, broad bean, field bean, horse bean and bell bean, is an erect leafy winter or summer annual. It expanded around the world during Neolithic period – from Antalya (Turkey) towards Europe; from Egypt across North Africa and eastwards to Afghanistan and onwards to China, India and in more recent times to Latin America and North America.
Cultivated faba bean is used as human food in developing countries, and as animal feed (mainly for pigs, horses, poultry and pigeons) in developed countries and in North Africa. In addition to boiled grains, it is consumed as vegetable green seeds/pods, dried or canned. It is a staple breakfast food in the Middle East, Mediterranean region, China and Ethiopia.
Faba bean has a protein content of 24-30 percent. Although the global average grain yield of faba bean has almost doubled during the past 50 years, the total area sown to the crop has declined by 56% over the same period due to the cheap availability of fertilizers (devaluing some of the short-term economic benefits of biological nitrogen fixation) and competition with policy-favored cereal and high-value urban cash crops.
Faba bean is grown on 2.5 million ha of land globally, with Central and East Asia contributing 36% and Sub-Saharan Africa about 21% of the total area.