, how it got its name, and five recipes
What Are Navy Beans and How Did They Get Their Name?
Navy beans have been a part of the culinary landscape for years, but have you ever thought about why they’re called “navy beans?” Not only are these small, white beans a staple of American cuisine, but their origins and name are also incredibly interesting. Read on to learn why navy beans are called as such, and check out some of our favorite recipes featuring this delicious ingredient.
Navy beans, also known as haricot or white beans, are small and oval-shaped. These beans are rich in fiber, protein, and antioxidants and are incredibly versatile in the kitchen. Despite their name, navy beans don’t actually come out of the sea, rather they’re grown and cultivated in agricultural fields. So, how did they get their name?
The answer lies in the history of the United States Navy. In the 19th century, canned navy beans were an essential part of a sailor’s ration. Because canned beans didn’t require any preparation, they were a perfect way for the sailors to stay nourished during long voyages at sea. As these beans became a staple of the navy’s diet, they soon became known as “navy beans”.
Since then, navy beans have become a staple of American cuisine and can be cooked in many different ways. Here are a few recipes that feature this versatile bean:
White Bean Soup – This hearty soup is sure to warm up any cold day. To make it: sauté some aromatics like garlic and onion, and then add in navy beans, vegetable stock, and your choice of spices. Let the whole thing simmer and serve when the beans are tender and creamy.
Fried Bean Tacos – Turn navy beans into a crunchy taco filling by coating them in some cornmeal, rosemary, and paprika, and then frying them until golden and crisp. Serve them in a soft taco shell with toppings of your choice.
Stuffed Peppers – Navy beans are a great base for stuffing vegetables like bell peppers. Simply combine cooked navy beans with your favorite veggie fillings, like quinoa or sautéed veggies, and bake until hot and bubbly.
Mediterranean-Style Bean Salad – Make a tasty salad with navy beans, cucumber, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Whisk together a lemony dressing and pour it over the salad; you won’t be able to stop eating it!
Navy Bean Hummus – Make a delicious, non-traditional hummus with navy beans and tahini. For added flavor, consider adding finely chopped herbs or roasted red peppers. Serve with toasted pita wedges and snacks of your choice.
As you can see, navy beans are an incredibly versatile ingredient that can add a delicious punch of flavor and nutrition to your meals. Whether you’re a fan of soup, tacos, salads, or hummus, navy beans are sure to be a hit.
Navy beans, also known as haricot beans, are a small, white, pea-shaped bean. These beans are a staple ingredient in many cuisines around the world and are a primary source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Not only are navy beans extremely nutritious and versatile, but the process of growing them to be prepared for dinner plates is equally as fascinating. To better understand how navy beans move from farms to dinner plates, this blog post will take a closer look at their life cycle, from planting to harvest, as well as the journey they must take to reach us here in the United States.
The Navy Bean Life Cycle
Navy beans are classified as a legume and grow on bush or vine plants which typically reach heights of 3 to 5 feet tall. The unique life cycle of the navy bean begins with the planting of seeds in the spring. Before the seeds are planted, the soil are fertilized and tilled to some depth. After planting, the navy bean plants take approximately 45 to 70 days to reach maturity, at which point they reach a height of 3 to 5 feet and yellow flowers begin to form.
It’s important to note that during this life cycle, the environment in which the navy beans are planted have a direct influence on the plants and the seed’s quality. For example, navy beans love cooler temperatures and if the average temperature during the growth period is higher than 85°F, the pods will not ripen, thus impacting their quality and yield. Therefore, farmers ensure that the environment is just right to ensure a successful harvest and great tasting beans.
Once the navy beans reach a mature growth and yellow flowers form, the beans begin to develop inside the pods. This ripening process takes an additional 2-3 weeks. During this time, the beans swell in size and the pods turn a golden-brown color. This is the sign for farmers to know that it is time to harvest the navy beans.
Navy Bean Harvest & Post-Harvest Processing
The harvesting of navy beans, and any other legume, begins with a method called ‘pulling’. Pulling requires the farmer to manually, or mechanically, use their hands to grasp the plant and pull the plant out of the soil. The pulled plants are then left in the field for several days, allowing the sun to dry them so that their pods can be easily removed.
Once the pods are removed from the plant and dried, the navy beans are then transported to a processing facility. Here, the beans are machine or hand shelled, graded, and then sent off to be cleaned. To clean the navy beans, they are placed in an air machine that uses air to separate the beans from dirt, rocks, and other debris. Once cleaned, the beans may also undergo further processing, such as being cut into smaller sizes or frozen, before being shipped off to grocery stores or restaurants across the country.
The Journey to Our Dinner Plates
After the navy beans are through post-harvest processing, they are now ready to be shipped off to retailers like grocery stores or restaurants. Before they arrive, however, they must first travel through a supply chain of producers, brokers, wholesalers, transporters, and retailers. The navy beans will typically begin at the producer, which is usually a farm or processing plant, and then go through a series of middlemen, known as brokers and wholesalers, and eventually reach them retailers to be sold to consumers.
During this journey, the navy beans must also be stored and transported safely. Before the navy beans are shipped off to retailers, the producers or wholesalers must first ensure the beans are cooled down to a manageable temperature. This helps to prevent spoilage and contamination during the shipping processes. The navy beans must also be carefully packaged in thick, insulated containers to protect them from pressure, temperature changes, water damage, and even jostling during transportation.
Once the navy beans reach the retailers, like grocery stores or restaurants, they are then placed on dinner plates and served to consumers. But it’s important to remember that the journey doesn’t end there. Once the navy beans are consumed, they can go through a composting process, which uses nutrients and microorganisms to help break down organic materials, like the navy beans, into usable fertilizer and soil. This recycling process helps to nourish the earth and soil, and in turn, help to make it an ideal place for future navy bean crops.
The Significance of Navy Beans
From planting to harvest and then onto dinner plates, the process of getting navy beans to our dinner tables has gone through a lengthy and complicated series of steps. This process illustrates the value of these small white beans and reminds us of their importance in many cultures around the world. Not only are navy beans packed with nutrition and provide a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, but they also have a rich history and complex life cycle that know that extends far beyond that of a simple dinner plate. Therefore, the next time you enjoy a meal that few navy beans, take a moment to think about the amazing journey these beans have endured to make it to your plate.
|Vitamin E||0.01 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.6 ug|
|Vitamin C||0.9 mg|
|Vitamin B1||0.24 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.07 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.65 mg|
|Vitamin B4||0.0447 grams|
|Vitamin B5||0.27 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.14 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.14 mg|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
Daily Value 0.055 mg
Daily Value 0.004 mg
|Aspartic Acid||1.056 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||1.259 grams|
|Total Sugars||0.131141 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||0.08 grams||
|Stearic acid (18:0)||0.02 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||0.1 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||0.07 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||0.07 g|
|Omega-3 Alpha-linolenic acid (18:3)||0.18 grams||
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.18 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||0.14 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||0.5 g|