There are three common white beans used today: Cannellini, Great Northern, and Navy (or Boston).
Italians favor the cannellini bean, which is great in salads. In the U.S., the most familiar white bean is the navy bean or Boston bean, which is great for baked beans and was a staple food of the US Navy.
Great northern beans are larger than navy beans and take less time to cook. They are excellent in minestrone or chicken chili.
All of these beans are low in fat, high in protein, and remarkably versatile.
Before cooking dry beans, be sure there is no evidence of moisture or insect damage. Also, make sure that the beans are whole and not cracked.
Store dried beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place. When stored properly, most dried beans will keep for up to 12 months.
After boiling beans, save the water! The water you boiled them in is starchy and flavorful; it’s a great addition to soup stocks.
White beans also discourage fat storage by making your body produce alpha-amylase inhibitors, which slow down the absorption of carbohydrates by preventing enzymes from turning simple starches into sugars.
Cook beans at low temperatures to prevent bursting.
Rinsing, then soaking beans overnight in clean water will reduce the cooking time for most dried beans, although freshly dried beans typically require less soaking time.
Beans are high in antioxidants that help prevent loss of skin elasticity caused by too much sunlight.
Beans are filled with biotin, iron, and protein that help to strengthen your hair and nails.
Beans have a low Glycemic Index and can reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
Beans are loaded with fiber, folate, and magnesium. Studies have shown that these can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of certain cancers
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