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Cooking With Legumes: Anasazi Beans

Anasazi beans take their name from the tribe that first cultivated them in the New Mexico, thousands of years ago. Unsubstantiated sources say archaeologists in the 1950s rediscovered some 750-year-old beans in a clay pot amidst ancient ruins and were still able to sprout them! Due to their pleasing speckled coloring – deep maroon flecked with white – Anasazi beans are sometimes called Appaloosa beans.

These heirloom beans are most commonly used in Latin, Mexican and Southwestern cuisine; they turn pink when cooked and are used in refried beans, chilis and hearty stews. Packed with protein, fiber and healthy starch like all beans, Anasazis are also rich in potassium, iron and folate. Though related to the pinto bean – another Southwestern staple – Anasazi beans are said to have only 25 percent of the pinto’s gas-producing properties!

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Liquid per cup of legume: 3 cups

How to cook Anasazi beans: Soak 4-8 hours. Drain water and replace with fresh, cold water for cooking. Place on stove and bring to a boil in a pot with a lid. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, tilting lid slightly to allow steam to escape, and cook for up to an hour, or until tender.

Try Anasazi beans in this recipe: Vegitarian Chili