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Pinto Bean

Pinto beans and other beans such as kidney beans, navy beans and black beans are all known scientifically as Phaseolus vulgaris. This might be justified from the fact that all these species originated from the same ancestry roots of common bean. A superbly delicious, nutritious and nutty flavored bean which has proved to be a great caretaker of our health, Pinto Bean is supposed to be the most common bean.

Owing to its mottled skin, the Spanish named the mottled beans as Pinto Bean which literally means "painted bean". However people around the world know this bean by many different names such as French bean, snap bean, bush bean, pole bean, common bean, kidney bean, pinto bean,
dou fu-tofu (bean curd), green bean, navy bean, string bean, wax bean and many more.

This is the most common bean in the United states and especially in Mexico where it is recognized as an important symbol of regional identity. It has fetched great recognition as a state vegetable of Mexico.

Four Main Varieties of Pinto Beans include:

  • Sierra
  • Burke
  • Othello
  • Maverick.

Pinto Bean: As a Common Food

  • Pinto Beans are one of the most important ingredients in the Mexican cuisines.
  • Mash them, fry them or prepare in any way you wish to prepare them, Pinto Beans get adapted easily as a perfect blend of taste and superb delicacy.
  • Pinto Beans also make up for a delightful filling for burritoes.
  • Rice and pinto beans are usually served with cornbread or corn tortillas as a staple meal in places where there is limited money for meat. These beans prove a perfect replacement for meat and also cover the nutritious arena.

Nutritiously Delicious: Pinto Bean
An ideal blend of proteins, low cholesterol fibres, carbohydrates, minimum fats, all essential minerals and vitamins in sufficient quantities make Pinto Beans a doctor's food. Not only this the raw and mouth-watering taste makes it an hearty delight.

Pinto beans are an excellent source of two important B vitamins--thiamine (vitamin B1) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and many beneficial minerals including molybdenum, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, and copper which helps our body to be healthy and fit.

Pinto Beans are an exceptionally good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or

hypoglycemia. Simply combine these beans with whole grains such as rice, and gorge on this virtually fat-free high quality protein diet.

These beans with low cholesterol and fats level help maintaining the sugar levels of our body.


Medicinal usage

Pinto Bean pod tea is very useful for dropsy, sciatica, chronic rheumatism, kidney and bladder problems, uric acid accumulations, and loss of albumin in the urine during pregnancy.

Externally as well it promotes healing of ulcers and sores.

Acne can be cured by prolonged usage of the decoction prepared from the beans.

Bean meal can also be applied directly to the skin for moist eczema, eruptions, and itching. Wash the skin every 2-3 hours with German chamomile tea and apply new meal.

Several interesting facts about Pinto Beans
Interestingly the Pinto beans are also named as cowboy beans after the Mexican cowboys employed in Texas.
Frijoles is the common name given to the cooked beans.

"Álava pinto bean", is a red variety of the pinto bean which originated in Añana, located in province of Álava.

Myths Related to Pinto Beans
Pinto Beans have a long history of strange beliefs attached to their growth. These beans demarcated life after death and are regarded as a firm fortune teller. they have been associated with future forecasts since times immemorial.

One European myth suggested a classic way of finding the future. The people used to prepare three beans in different styles each style representing different outcome. It was then left on the person to find on the midsummer's night. If he found an untouched bean, he would be rich. the half peeled bean depicted comfortable life and the fully peeled bean through light on poverty stricken life. Now this went in an organized manner as which ever bean was found first led to what the future will be.

Another popular legend throws light on how the well known mathematician Pythagoras was killed due to his blind belief about the beans. According to him, some souls while leaving their bodies attained the form of beans and that was the reason why he never ate beans. Now he had not the slightest idea that this belief will lead him to his mercilessly planned death. He was killed in a bean field which he refused to trample as he thought he would heart the souls hanging upon the bean vines there and gave his enemies a quick and easy chance to kill himself.

In many countries in the far east, bean flowers are scattered in accordance to tranquilize and appease demons. The beans are associated with death and dead spirits. Now if even one seed in a row comes up white instead of green, it is associated with death traditionally.

Many people till date believe that scattering bean outside their house will safeguard them from ghosts and spirits for years to come.

Romans have their own history of spiritual beliefs which includes beans as a remedy against evils. It is believed that the Roman emperors followed a ritual of spitting beans out of his mouth signifying the ousting of the evil spirits from his house.

Thus beans were assessed to be a powerhouse of positive powers and life force of all living things which would deter against evil spirits.

Easy to Cook and Great to Serve Recipes
Pinto beans can replace the kidney beans in almost all chili recipes.

Blend Pinto Beans with sage, oregano, garlic and black pepper for a delicious spread that can be used as a crudité dip or sandwich filling.

Spread layer cooked pinto beans, chopped tomatoes and onions and shredded cheese on a tortilla. Broil in the oven until hot and cheese melts. Top up with chopped avocado and cilantro.

Add pinto beans to vegetable soups. And make more nutritious and delicious.

Heat pinto beans together with cooked rice. Add cooked chopped vegetables such as carrots, zucchini and tomatoes. Season to taste and enjoy this simple-to-prepare one pot meal.

Pinto Beans with vegetables
Wash the beans well and drain. Place in a large kettle and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and set aside for 1 hour. Drain the water and add fresh water to cover beans. Now add the remaining ingredients, chopped onion, green bell pepper, chopped rib celery, dried leaf basil, dried leaf thyme, chili powder & tomato paste to the beans. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beans are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt, if necessary.

Pinto Bean Pie
You need One cup cooked pinto beans, mashed with a little of the cooking liquid, 1 1/3 cups coconut (small can), 1 cup chopped pecans, 4 eggs, 3 cups granulated sugar, 1 tbsp vanilla, 2 sticks melted butter or margarine and3 unbaked 9" pie shells. Now to turn them into tasty Pie you will need to mix all ingredients together and pour into pie shells. Bake for 1 hour in a 300° oven. Makes three 9-inch pies. And crunch them heartily.

Pinto Bean Nachos

Already feeling hungry!

Alright then preheat your oven to 425°. Arrange half of tortilla wedges in a single layer on a large baking sheet; lightly coat wedges with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes or until crisp. Repeat this process once again with remaining tortilla wedges and cooking spray.

Now heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin, chili powder, and garlic & cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add pinto beans, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes. Partially mash bean mixture with a potato masher until slightly thick. Place 8 chips on each of 6 plates. Spoon about 1/2 cup bean mixture evenly over tortilla chips on each plate; top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons queso fresco, 2 1/2 tablespoons salsa, and 2 1/2 tablespoons avocado. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cilantro and serve proudly.