The black turtle bean is a small, black, oval shaped bean. They turn a dark brown color when cooked. This is a common bean in South and Central America.
High in iron, the black turtle bean has an earthy, sweet flavor. They cook up in 1/2 to 1 hour, expanding three times their dry size and are often served in thick soups with rice. This bean is a basic staple for many Mexican, Caribbean and Latin American soups and side dishes.
The navy bean, also known as the pea bean, originates from Italy and is prized for it's smooth texture and nutty flavor. The 'white pea bean' was such a popular food on America's early naval vessels it became known as the navy bean. It is a small white oval, mild flavored bean that when cooked has a powdery texture. They are most often used when making pork and beans or baked beans. Most always found in minestrone soup, they can also be used in other soups and stews. One cup of dry beans makes about 2-1/2 cups of cooked beans and takes about 1 to 2 hours for them to cook. The navy bean substitutes well for great northern beans or baby limas and is also good in salads.
Our small red beans have a firm texture and a slightly sweet flavor. These tasty beans are commonly used in Louisiana style Red Beans and Rice and in Mexican Refried Beans. They are also perfect for soup, baked beans and chili recipes. You can use small red beans whenever azuki, kidney or pinto beans are called for in your recipes.
To prepare them, soak 1 pound of dried red beans overnight in at least 8 cups of cold water. Drain and rinse. Place in a large soup pot and cover the beans with cool water. Bring to a boil for 30 minutes, add ham shanks, garlic, chopped onion, tomato and cajun seasonings to make Louisiana style red beans. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 60-90 minutes or until tender. Serve over rice, with warm cornbread.