The white bean is a type of dry bean. It is the fruit of a plant and describes both the pod and the seeds. The seeds are commercially available dried or pre-cooked in cans and jars. White beans can be identified by their off-white, kidney-shaped to oval shape.
White beans originally come from the tropical and subtropical forests of Central and South America. Nowadays they are grown all over the world, mainly in Europe and East Asia.
Dried or canned kidney beans are available year-round. They are harvested from May to October in outdoor cultivation and from April to December in greenhouse cultivation.
White beans cook soft and creamy and have a mild taste. They taste delicious in combination with tomatoes and onions. They are also ideal for soups, stews, casseroles, and purees. They do not have a distinctive taste of their own but absorb the aroma of herbs and spices very well. As a result, dishes can be given a finely spiced note, just as you wish.
Dried kidney beans must be soaked in cold water overnight before consumption. The next day they are then cooked in soaking water for 50-60 minutes. You should only salt them when they are soft, otherwise, they will remain hard. In the kitchen, white beans are mainly used for salads such as the hearty white bean salad or the bean salad with chili and chickpeas, soups, casseroles, purees, stews, and as a side dish. They taste particularly good in combination with tomatoes and onions, for example. Many also know them as the typical English breakfast “baked beans”. The specialty of red beans, on the other hand, is chilli con carne or a fiery kidney bean stew!
When buying dried white beans, you should make sure that they do not have a musty smell. They should be kept in a cool, dark, and dry place and will last for about a year. After that, the skin will harden a bit, increasing the soaking and cooking time.
Canned white beans should be stored in the dark to protect them from discoloration. After opening the can or the jar, the beans can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days.
Nutritional value/active ingredients
White beans contain approx. 25 kcal/ 106 kJ per 100 g and can certainly be described as low in calories. They consist of only a little fat (< 3g), approx. 3g carbohydrates and 2g proteins. They are recommended for vegetarians due to the valuable vegetable protein they contain.