It's Bean Time Across the U.S.!

Todays Table October 2014 Headshot

Cindy Brown
President, Chippewa Valley Bean Co, Inc.

Fall is prime bean time from field to table.  Not only are beans harvested in the fall, but the cooler weather leads many home cooks and professional chefs to ramp is the use of beans in dishes such as chili, soups, stews and cassoulets.

On our farm in Wisconsin, we are in the middle of harvest time, picking and processing our red kidney beans destined for local canneries and supermarket shelves across the globe.  And we are not alone.  Today in the U.S., there are between 1.8 million and 2 million acres of edible dry beans (which they are called regardless if they are canned or bagged) in production.  Planted between May and June, we know the beans are ready to be picked when the plant turns from green to golden yellow.  Beans are harvested in the U.S. beginning in late August through late October.

Beans truly are marvelous little packages of nutrients and goodness.  Because of their protein and iron content, they can be counted in the Protein Group, making them a great choice for vegetarians.  Naturally low in fat and free of saturated contain other valuable nutrients, making them count toward the Vegetable Group, as well.  In fact, one-half cup of cooked beans contributes 24-35% of the daily value for fiber.

As a grower of beans, I support all forms - canned or bagged.  But, I also understand preparing bagged beans requires hours of soaked and cooking - time that many families just don't have.  That's what is so great about canned beans.  They can be enjoyed right out of the can, with a little re-heating as a side dish, or added to recipes for a terrific flavor and nutrient boost - making them easy to incorporate in your everyday meal planning.  From my family to yours, I hope you consider incorporating these nutrient powerhouses into your family meals.