Did you know that cranberry beans have anti-cancer properties?
This might spark a lot of interest in this crop already. But before you get all worked up and decide to cram your menu with this wonder ingredient, you might want to know what do cranberry beans taste like.
It is a bean, no doubt. But until recently, cranberry beans were not popular in the western hemisphere.
In fact, it was only centered in areas such as Italy, Africa, Turkey, and parts of Asia.
But the fantastic benefit is these beans are just beginning to unravel. And researchers, as well as dieticians, are readily exploring its goodness.
So before you come aboard the vessel of cranberry beans, let’s see what it tastes like. We also share tips on how to cook these beans as well.
What are Cranberry Beans?
Cranberry beans are one variety of common beans. They have a characteristic red, magenta, or cranberry streak on their bodies.
Some cranberry beans even have black streaks too. The colors of their bodies are typically a light cream to hazelnut to a light tan.
This makes the cranberry beans look striking. A new sub-variety with crimson streaks was developed by ARS or Agriculture Research Service in the US.
However, the streaks of color disappear after cooking the beans. They assume an even almost brown color along with the rest of the body.
These beans have sizes ranging from medium to large, depending on their sub-variety.
In terms of appearance, cranberry bears are very similar to pinto beans. However, the former varieties are substantially larger in size.
The skins of the cranberry beans are also a lot thicker.
What Do Cranberry Beans Taste Like? Do
Cranberry Beans Taste Good?
Apart from their striking appearance, cranberry beans also taste different from other legumes. If you have been eating beans such as kidney or pinto beans, you will get a noticeable difference in taste.
Cranberry beans have a delicate and mild nutty flavor. The nutty taste with the creamy texture is almost similar to that of chestnuts.
This is in contrast to the earthy flavor of a pinto bean that looks very similar to the cranberry bean.
In comparison to other legumes, cranberry beans are much sweeter. It is because these beans have thick skins and creamy insides.
The thick skin also contributes a dense flavor to a cranberry bean dish. Despite its thick skin, when it is raw, it becomes very tender after cooking.
Cranberry bean is also known by several other names. This includes borlotti, Roman bean, saluggia bean, rosecoco bean, gadhra bean, and romano.
Since another Italian flat bean is also called romano, it is easy to confuse the two. But the flat bean is typically green in appearance and is eaten with the pods.
Taste chart of cranberry beans.
Taste – Sweeter than other beans.
Flavor – Delicate and mild nutty flavor.
Texture – Rich and creamy texture.
Nutrition value of cranberry beans compared to others.
In terms of nutrition, cranberry beans are total champions. Legumes are generally high in nutritional value, which makes them a popular food.
Nevertheless, cranberry beans have stellar dietary value, and we discuss them below.
Nutritional value of cranberry beans per 1 cup or 177 grams.
Carbohydrates – 43.3 gm (17.7 dietary fiber)
Protein – 16.5 gm
Fats – 0.8 gm
Potassium – 685 mg
Phosphorus – 238 mg
Magnesium and calcium – 88.5 mg
Iron – 3.7 mg
Zinc – 2 mg
Sodium – 1.8 mg
Selenium – 2.3 mcg
Traces of vitamins, including thiamin, folate, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid.
How to Cook with Cranberry Beans
Cooking with cranberry beans is not complex at all. In fact, even a first-timer can cook it with ease. It is a bean, after all.
Below we share with you the tips on how to cook with cranberry beans.
- You will need to soak them. Soak the beans in a pot or a saucepan with hot or cold water. Make sure that the water level is about three inches above the beans—the ideal time for soaking ranges from eight hours to overnight. Soaking reduces the cooking time of the beans and makes them easier to digest as well.
- After the beans are adequately hydrated, drain the water. Then rinse them.
- To cook the beans, use fresh water. You can add onion, garlic, and other herbs of choice to enhance the beans’ taste.
- The best way to cook cranberry beans is to simmer them over medium flame.
- After the beans become soft, you can add salt to taste.
Cooking with cranberry beans does not require a complex procedure or cautionary measures. However, there are a couple of things that you need to note while cooking it:
- You should drain the water in which the beans were soaked. This water may contain impurities and may also cause flatulence.
- Add the salt only after the beans are thoroughly cooked. Adding salt too early can make the skin tough, making digestion hard.
- Don’t boil the beans rigorously over a high flame. This can cause the beans to break apart and become mushy.
Cranberry beans are more than beans with a beautiful appearance. They have excellent nutritional properties, which makes them highly sought after in many cuisines.
Cranberry beans are native to Colombia. However, they have gradually made their way to many parts of the world.
They are popularly used in Greek, Portuguese, Turkish, and Italian cuisines.
They are easy to cook and are very versatile. You can have them as a stew, pasta, salads, casseroles, and even for baking. So go ahead and try cooking these gorgeous and delicious beans.