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Know your Pink bean

Know your Pink bean - Introduction

  • The Pink beanPhaseolus vulgaris, is a small oval-shaped bean, reddish-brown in colour, closely related to the kidney bean.
  • The most famous pink bean is the Santa Maria pinquito (spanglish = pink and small(ito)), which is commercially grown on the mesas above Santa Maria, California, and is a necessary ingredient in Santa Maria Tri-tip barbecue.

Know your Pink bean - Common names

  • The pink bean is famously known as the chili bean, but in addition is also known by the Spanish name Habichuelas Rosadas

Know your Pink bean - Varieties

  • Some varieties of the pink bean include the O’odham pink bean, and the Sedona pink bean

O’odham pink bean

  • The O’odham (O’dham) Pink Bean is a bush bean native to the desert borderlands of Sonora and Arizona. 
  • This bean has been an important resource for the O’odham people since the early eighteenth century.  
  • Reports from the early 1900s indicate that, as a staple crop of the Tohono O’odham, nearly two million pounds were produced annually.  
  • Unfortunately, this highly cherished crop that was once widely cultivated across the south-west has few remaining producers.
  • The bean is a medium-sized, uniformly colored, pink bean that is moderately drought resistant and heat tolerant.  
  • When the late summer rains come across the Southern Arizona desert, this tasty, creamy-textured bean ripens and is ready for harvest.  
  • A traditional harvest includes uprooting the entire plant, leaving it out to dry and then threshing the plant with sticks to remove the pods before they are winnowed in the wind.  
  • Once harvested, the protein-rich beans are boiled or baked with meat or other animal fats.

Sedona pink bean

  • The Sedona pink bean was developed by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station in the United States, and was released in 2005. 
  • The bean is an upright, disease-resistant cultivar of the pink bean.
  • It averages 50 cm in height and exhibits an upright growth habit, with gives it moderate resistance to lodging. 
  • Sedona has white flowers and blooms 41 to 44 days after planting. 
  • Sedona is a midseason bean, maturing 93 days after planting and has a range in maturity from 90 to 95 days, depending on season and location. 

Know your Pink bean - Cuisine

  • Pink beans are very similar to pinto beans, but are rounder and smaller. Most commonly, pink beans are used to make refried beans and chili con carne, but are also popular in soups and stews.
  • Pink beans have a hearty, meaty flavour, a refined texture, and are often used in chili, soups, stews, and similar dishes. 
  • The pink bean is harvested when it is young and still tender, before being dried for use in cooking. 
    • To prepare pink beans, they must first be soaked in water overnight, and then drained. 
      • Typical cooking time is around 1.5 hours on the stove top, or 6-8 minutes in a pressure cooker. 
      • They are generally cooked with oil or fat, and salt, and then added to other dishes.
      • Soak for four hours or longer before cooking.
      • Substitutions: pink beans = kidney beans = pinto beans = red beans

      Know your Pink bean - Nutrition

      • Pink beans are a very nutritious and low-fat food, containing only 149 calories and 0.5 grams of fat per 3 ounces (100 grams). 
      • High in protein, pink beans are a good choice for vegetarians, or anyone trying to increase protein intake. 
      • They are also a good source of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and calcium.