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Pintos: America’s Favorite Bean

Every year, Americans eat more than seven pounds of beans, and the most popular choice is pintos. Likewise, pinto beans are also the most widely grown crop in the U.S. But, other than being something tasty that you eat as a side dish or use to fill a burrito, what else do you know about pinto beans? If you’ve always been the type of person who never thought about pintos beyond the tortilla, we’re here to help. In today’s blog, we’re going to discuss some fun facts about pintos and give you ideas for unique ways to eat them. Keep reading and then visit 21st Century Bean to order your Organic pinto beans today! 

Bean History

Beans have been grown in Central and South America for over 7,000 years. Eventually, they made their way to America where they have been an important food crop ever since. The name pinto comes from the Spanish name for the bean (frijol pinto) meaning “painted bean”. This is a reference to the color of the bean’s skin which is tan with splotches of red. If you’ve only purchased canned pintos, you might not realize that the pale pink color you see is just the color they turn once they are cooked. 

Dried vs. Canned Pinto Beans

Speaking of cooking, at 21st Century Bean, we sell dried beans — not the cooked ones in the can. If you’ve never purchased dried beans and cooked them yourself, you’re missing out. Dried beans are much less expensive because, with canned beans, you’re paying for the water and the processing that goes into making each can. Canned beans are also high in sodium (unless you purchase the low-sodium ones, but who does that?) With dried beans, you have control over how much salt you use during cooking. 

One final thought on the benefits of buying dried versus canned beans has to do with the freshness factor. Although canned beans are perfectly safe to eat for years after canning, there’s just something about a freshly-cooked bean that just seems better. 

Health Benefits

Like other beans, pintos are rich in vitamins and minerals, protein and fiber, and low in fat. They’re also gluten-free and cholesterol-free, making them one of the best superfoods you can eat! Because they are high in fiber as well as other beneficial nutrients like Magnesium and Potassium, pinto beans are also linked to lower blood pressure and lower levels of cardiovascular disease. 

How To Cook Pinto Beans

Before you start cooking your dried beans, it’s always a good idea to rinse them off under running water. That’s because they are grown in a field where small stones and debris can be picked up during harvest. But, chances are unlikely that you’ll find anything except wholesome, dried beans when you purchase from 21st Century Bean. We adhere to strict quality and food safety standards and all of our beans are triple cleaned to ensure you’re getting the best and cleanest product, every time.  

After rinsing your beans, it’s a good idea to soak them. Soaking your beans first allows them to cook faster and it also aids in digestion. While most people will simply soak their beans in a pot of water overnight in the refrigerator, you can also boil the beans for a couple of minutes, take the pan off of the heat, and allow them to rest for two hours before cooking. Either way, you’ll want to drain the liquid and rinse the beans with clean water prior to cooking. 

To cook your pinto beans, you’ll want to cover them with water (approximately 2 cups of water for every cup of beans) and then bring them to a boil. Once they start to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and continue to cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Keep in mind that beans expand in the pot as you cook them because they absorb water. If you’re trying to feed a family of four and you’d like everyone to have the recommended ½ cup of beans, you’ll want to cook one cup of dried (which will make 2 cups cooked).

New Ways To Eat Beans

Although most people are used to eating beans either refried or as a simple side dish, there are many other ways to enjoy them, including:

  • Blended to create a sandwich spread
  • Added to soups, stews, or salads
  • Combining them with eggs to create breakfast burritos
  • Seasoned and blended to spread on toast
  • Mixed with beef to make a healthier hamburger

No matter how you decide to prepare them, pinto beans have a mild taste making them the perfect flavor vessel for just about any dish.

Shop 21st Century Bean

We hope you’ve learned a little bit more about American’s favorite bean, the pinto. If you’re interested in buying the best Organic pinto beans straight from the farmers who grow them, visit our website to place your order and have them shipped directly to you!