gardening begins here
 A prudent heart shall possess knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15) 
For the Food Storage Series of Articles

Return to the Articles Index

Food Storage - Beans, Peas, Lentils (legumes)

Your use of this website constitutes your acceptance of this Disclaimer Statement: Nothing on this website constitutes a recommendation or advice. The ideas in this article reflect my own understanding and opinions. You will have to take responsibility for doing your own research, and making your own decisions.

All food items (unless otherwise noted) should be stored:

a. clean (free of insects, and insect eggs)
b. dry (low moisture content is generally better, except for certain root vegetables stored whole)
c. cool (40 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 5 to 18 degrees Centigrade)
d. well-sealed

Protein, Carbs, and Fat are the three essential macronutrients needed by the human body.
Stored foods should include good sources of Protein and Carbs and Fat.
You will have to decide for yourself which foods, and how much of each food, to store.

Carbs and Fat also provide necessary calories.
Fat contains 8.84 calories per gram.
White sugar contains 3.87 calories per gram.
Complex carbs have over 4 calories per gram.

Peanuts and soybeans (sometimes called soy nuts) are legumes, but their high protein and fat content makes them similar to nuts and seeds; see the article on nuts and seeds. Beans, peas, and lentils are generally high in protein, but low in fat.

If you are going to supplement your stored food with food grown in a garden, you can easily grow beans, peas, lentils. However, these foods also store well and are inexpensive to buy. So you might want to buy dried beans, peas, lentils, and save your gardening space for other foods.

Beans, peas, and lentils are high in protein, high in lysine, but usually have less than an ideal
amount of methionine (and cystine). There are some notable exceptions to this rule (see below).

Beans, peas, and lentils contain a number of different anti-nutritional factors,
which are naturally occurring substances that inhibit the absorption or use of nutrition.
For this reason, beans, peas, and lentils should not be your main source of stored protein.
But they are a suitable supplementary source of protein, when combined with grains.

Information on which legumes are a complete protein from USDA nutrient database and (which analyzes the USDA database according to essential amino acids).

Complete protein legumes:
A protein source is listed here as complete, if it has all 9 essential amino acids,
each with at least 90% of the ideal proportion of total protein, and it is relatively high in protein.
Ideal amount of protein is based on the Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board's
Dietary Reference Intakes

Canned beans generally have less protein than fresh or dried beans.

Peas, split
dried: 24.55% protein
cooked: 8.34% protein

Cowpeas, (blackeye, crowder, southern, catjiang)
dried: 23.85% protein
cooked: 8.13% protein

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram)
dried: 19.3% protein
cooked: 8.86% protein

Beans, kidney
(red types are a little higher in methionine/cystine)
dried: 23.58% protein
cooked: 8.67% protein

Yardlong beans, mature seeds
dried: 24.33% protein
cooked: 8.29% protein

Winged beans, mature seeds
dried: 29.65% protein
cooked: 10.62% protein

Pigeon peas (red gram)
dried: 21.7% protein
cooked: 6.76% protein

Lima beans
dried: 21.46% protein
cooked: 7.8% protein

Beans, navy
(raw navy beans are a little lower in methionine/cystine)
dried: 22.33% protein
cooked: 8.23% protein

Beans, pinto, mature seeds, cooked, boiled
dried: 21.42% protein
cooked: 9.01% protein

Beans, black, mature seeds
dried: 21.6% protein
cooked: 8.86% protein

Beans, cranberry (roman), mature seeds
dried: 23.03% protein
cooked: 9.34% protein

Similar protein/amino acid profiles also found in:

Beans, great northern, mature seeds
Beans, french, mature seeds
Beans, pink, mature seeds
Beans, white, mature seeds
Beans, yellow, mature seeds

Nearly complete protein legumes:
These legumes are high in protein, but have less than 90% of the ideal amount of methionine/cystine

Adzuki beans
dried: 19.87% protein
cooked: 7.52% protein
high in protein and essential amino acids, but less methionine/cystine than ideal (79% of ideal)
highest amount of lysine as a percentage of protein (148% of ideal)
good complementary food to most grains

Sprouted lentils
high in protein and essential amino acids, including methionine/cystine,
but have little or no tryptophan.

high in protein and essential amino acids,
but less methionine/cystine than ideal (86% of ideal)

Mung beans
dried: 23.86% protein
cooked: 7.02% protein
methionine/cystine (83% of ideal)

Incomplete protein legumes:
These legumes are low in total protein, and some are also lacking in methionine/cystine.
In general, the edible pod beans, including green beans, snow peas, etc., are low in the amount of protein as a percent of total food weight.
Canned beans generally have less protein than dried or fresh.

Peas, edible-podded
methionine/cystine 61% of ideal
cooked: 3.27% protein

Yardlong beans, raw (pods)
complete protein, but low in total protein
cooked: 2.53% protein

Refried beans, canned
complete protein, but low in total protein
canned traditional: 5.4% protein

Snap beans, green or yellow
lysine 94% of ideal; meth/cys 87% of ideal
very low in protein; not a good complement to grains.
raw: 1.82% protein
cooked: 1.89% protein

Return to the Articles Index

{ home | add a site | advertising | contact information | the concept }