This is the second post on the kinds of dried beans and the third overall on this subject.
- Black-Eyed Peas & Yellow-Eyed Peas – Called peas in the South, both of these are actually beans. One (Black-Eyed Peas) has a black spot in the curve while the other(Yellow-Eyed Peas) has a yellow spot in the curve. Cooking faster than most other dried beans, they are also smoother rather than mealy in texture. You can interchange these two peas for each other but no other kinds of beans work. You can usually find one of these peas everywhere across the country.
- Chick-Peas/Garbanzos/Ceci Peas/Spanish Peas – Call them what you want, they are one in the same bean. Carried in most grocery stores and natural food outlets, smaller stores will usually not have the dried beans, but usually carry the canned version. These beans are pale yellow, somewhat round, have wrinkled skins and are firm in texture. No other bean substitutes for them in a recipe.
- Split Peas – Are truly peas and truly split. They come commonly as green in color but can also be yellow. You can freely substitute for each other if you don’t care about the difference in color.
- Whole Dried Green Peas – Can usually be found in most grocery stores, but are not as popular as the split peas. You can make your own by harvesting and drying regular garden peas and letting the pods dry and then shelling them out.
Beans With Their Own Taste
- Lentils – Brownish olive-drab in color, these beans are usually available across the country. Some natural food stores also carry red lentils that are orange in color. A whole lentil is about half the size of a split pea. Tasting somewhat alike, the lentil and red lentil have no other substitute. Most of today’s newer varieties do not require soaking as the older varieties needed.
- Black Beans/Turtle Beans – Ranging in size between navy beans and kidney beans, you will find many varieties available. The skin of these beans are black in color, but are white underneath. These beans are more popular in South America than in North America because of their musky-spicy taste. They can be found in most grocery stores across the country.
- Soybeans – Are the only bean that supplies complete protein without the addition of grain or dairy products. Soybeans are getting easier to find on grocery store shelves while common in natural food stores. If you are growing your own, you will need from 20 to 30 more days than common snap or wax beans for them to mature. If left to dry, these beans are round and tan in color. They can also be eaten green while in the pod.
Keep your fork