Beans

There are many varieties of beans, most of which can be traced back to Central and South America.

 

Varieties of beans

p beansA. Snake or Chinese beans

These may be called yard-long beans, asparagus beans or long podded cow peas. These green beans are similar to regular green beans but are very long (30-50 cm). Supply is limited. They are used traditionally in Asian and Indian cooking.

B. Green beans (runner or dwarf beans)

They are usually 10-15 cm in length and 1 cm in diameter with rounded pods. The pods are quite tender so it is not necessary to remove any strings. The complete pod is eaten although the ends can be trimmed if desired.

C. Butter beans

Similar in shape to regular green beans but they are very pale yellow/cream colour. The complete pod is eaten although the ends can be trimmed if desired.

D. French or flat beans

Usually about 15 cm in length, they are a flat pod with slightly ridged sides. Most newer cultivars have very few, if any strings, so the complete pod is eaten, although the ends can be trimmed.

Broad beans

The pod may be eaten if the beans are immature. When fully grown only the large and flat bean is eaten and the pod is discarded. The inside of the pod is soft and furry. To open the pod run a vegetable peeler quickly down the seam. Use gloves when podding to prevent staining of hands. Chefs often peel the beans.

What to look for

Beans are best when they are young. Look for fresh and tender pods which make a good snapping sound when broken. Broad beans should be slightly plump with a gloss still on the skin, a good green colour and not too big.

Availability

November, December, January, February, March, April

Note: Supply more plentiful in summer. Broad beans are available early in the season.

Store

Refrigerate in plastic bags. Use promptly.

How to prepare

If desired, top and tail (cut the ends off), then slice or leave whole. Broad beans are always used podded except when very young.

Ways to eat

The taste of beans is best when they are cooked until tender but still slightly crisp. Serve as a side vegetable sprinkled with chopped nuts or fresh herbs. Cold, raw or blanched, beans can be used in salads or used as a crudite with a dipping sauce.

Cooking methods

Boil, grill, microwave, steam, stir fry.

Nutrition

Green beans are a good source of dietary fibre, niacin and vitamin C, a source of folate, riboflavin, vitamin A, and vitamin B6 and contain a dietary significant amount of potassium.

Butter beans are a good source of dietary fibre, folate and vitamin C, a source of niacin and zinc, and contain a dietary significant amount of potassium.

Broad beans are an excellent source of dietary fibre, a good source of folate, niacin and vitamin C, a source of biotin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, and contain a dietary significant amount of potassium.

Nutrition tables

BEANS, GREEN RUNNER or DWARF  Raw    
Nutrition Information       
Serving size: 1 cup, chopped = 136g     
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 194/46 2% 143/34  
Protein (g) 2.9 6% 2.1  
Fat, total (g) 0.3 0% 0.2  
 - saturated (g) 0.08 0% 0.06  
Available carbohydrate (g) 5.7 2% 4.2  
 - sugars (g) 4.4 5% 3.2  
Dietary Fibre (g) 4.8   3.5 A good source of dietary fibre
Sodium (mg) 0 0% 0  
Niacin (mg) 10.7 107% RDI* 7.8 A good source of niacin
Vitamin C (mg) 11 27% RDI* 8 A good source of vitamin C
Folate (µg) 35 17% RDI* 26 A source of folate
Riboflavin (mg) 0.34 20% RDI* 0.25 A source of riboflavin
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg) 73 10% RDI* 54 A source of vitamin A
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.26 16% RDI* 0.19 A source of vitamin B6
Potassium (mg) 354   260 Contains potassium
Iron (mg) 0.9 8% RDI* 0.7  
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ  
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. 
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)  
Source: FOODfiles 2018      
         
BUTTER BEANS Raw      
Nutrition Information       
Serving size: 1 cup, chopped = 136g     
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100 g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 149/36 2% 110/26  
Protein (g) 3.1 6% 2.3  
Fat, total (g) 0.3 0% 0.2  
 - saturated (g) 0.06 0% 0.05  
Available carbohydrate (g) 2.9 1% 2.1  
 - sugars (g) 2.4 3% 1.8  
Dietary Fibre (g) 4.6   3.4 A good source of dietary fibre
Sodium (mg) 4 0% 3  
Folate (µg) 50 25% RDI* 37 A good source of folate
Vitamin C (mg) 20 51% RDI* 15 A good source of vitamin C
Niacin (mg) 1.9 19% RDI* 1.4 A source of niacin
Potassium (mg) 313   230 Contains potassium
Zinc (mg) 2 17% RDI* 1.5 A source of zinc
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg) 20 3% RDI* 15  
Iron (mg) 0.5 5% RDI* 0.4  
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ  
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. 
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)  
Source: FOODfiles 2018      
         
BROAD BEANS Boiled, drained, no salt added    
Nutrition Information       
Serving size: 1 cup = 170g       
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100 g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 479/114 6% 282/67  
Protein (g) 9 18% 5.3  
Fat, total (g) 0.5 1% 0.3  
 - saturated (g) 0.09 0% 0.05  
Available carbohydrate (g) 14.7 5% 8.6  
 - sugars (g) 4.1 5% 2.4  
Dietary Fibre (g) 7.1   4.2 An excellent source of dietary Fibre
Sodium (mg) 10 0% 6  
Folate  (µg) 177 88% RDI* 104 A good source of folate
Niacin (mg) 4.6 46% RDI* 2.7 A good source of niacin
Vitamin C (mg) 32 81% RDI* 19 A good source of vitamin C
Biotin (mg) 5.1 17% ESADDI** 3 A source of biotin
Pantothenic acid (mg) 1.2 23% ESADDI** 0.7 A source of pantothenic acid
Thiamin (mg) 0.17 15% RDI* 0.10 A source of thiamin
Iron (mg) 2.7 23% RDI* 1.6 A source of iron
Magnesium (mg) 41 13% RDI* 24 A source of magnesium
Phosphorus (mg) 163 16% RDI* 96 A source of phosphorus
Potassium (mg) 383   225 Contains potassium
Zinc (mg) 1.2 10% RDI* 0.7 A source of zinc
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg) 50 7% RDI* 29  
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ 
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. 
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)
**Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake
 
Source: FOODfiles 2018      

Retailing

Beans are highly perishable and are sensitive to ethylene. Keep separate from ethylene producing fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Buy small quantities regularly. Display on refrigerated shelving. Sell beans in loosely packed plastic bags. Use QR code on labels.

Store at 7–10ºC with a relative humidity of 90-98%. Broad beans should be stored at 0–2ºC. Beans are ethylene sensitive so store separately from ethylene producing products.

Purchase beans with the New Zealand GAP logo.

Recipes

Green sauce and bean purée
Green sauce and bean purée

Serve with any barbecued or roasted meat - it is delicious. This dish was inspired by a meal created by Chef Casey McDonald, Craggy Range Vineyard,... View Recipe

Bean and potato salad
Bean and potato salad

A delicious summer salad. View Recipe

Vegetable and bean burgers
Vegetable and bean burgers

These yummy vegetarian burgers make an easy and nutritious meal. Watch the video on how to make them. View Recipe

View more Recipes

Images

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