The navy bean, haricot or pearl haricot bean, white pea bean, or pea bean, is a variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) native to the Americas, where it was domesticated. It is a small, dry white bean which is smaller than many other types of white beans, and has an oval, slightly flattened shape. It features in such dishes as baked beans and even pies, as well as in various soupssuch as Senate bean soup. Unlike most canned vegetables, which lose much of their nutritive value in the canning process, navy beans maintain their nutritive value when canned.
The plants that produce navy beans may be either of the bush type or vining type, depending on which cultivar they are.
There are three main types of haricot bean: firstly, the long, thin, shiny-ivory one that the Italians sometimes call cannellini. These are delicious in salads, stews, and Tuscan bean and pasta soup; they are also the kind used in France, cooked in the Breton way and served with mutton and lamb.
The second type of haricot is the small round one of tinned baked bean fame. I think they are inferior to, and lack the flavour of, their handsomer cousins.
A member of the same family, tiny green unripe flageolets have a wonderful flavour.
Haricot beans are cheap, they help to bulk out meat and they are also very nutritious and filling. The other advantage is they are very good at absorbing the flavours of the dish. If you’re serving these, there’s no need to serve either rice or potatoes.
Haricot also known as white beans are a good all-round food. They are rich in soluble fibre which helps to reduce the level of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood, thus cutting the risk of heart disease, strokes and even diabetes.
The beans are roughly oval shaped and flattened, with a pure white edible skin. These small white beans are perfect for making baked beans.
Dried haricot beans, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber.
Not only can they help lower cholesterol, they are also of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.
Dried beans also provide good to excellent amounts of four important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein, all with virtually no fat.
Baked and other types of beans contain folic acid, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin B6. Folic acid is excellent for pregnant or child-bearing women.
Iron helps promote healthy blood cell production. Vitamin B6 helps with metabolism and potassium regulates fluids in the body.
A half cup serving of cooked haricots provides 100 calories. However this calorie count may vary, depending upon the ingredients used in cooking.
Vegetarians in particular use haricot beans extensively, and they can supplement and enrich an assortment of dishes. These small white beans are perfect for making baked beans.
Combined with whole grains such as rice, haricot beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein.
They are a good source of potassium, which may decrease the growth and development of blood vessel plaques and is also good for lowering high blood pressure. Beans have strong antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body.
Free radicals increase your chances of illness, aging and cancer. Studies conducted by the USDA reveal that beans have high antioxidant levels.