I just cooked Organic Anasazi Beans today for the first time! I found them in the bulk section of our health food store for just $2.25 a pound. The beans themselves are beautiful and I found that they taste great! They are sweet in a subtle way that really compliments the “bean” flavor. I was so surprised that they cooked so quickly as I really did not look up any information about the bean until after I’d cooked them. I soaked them overnight, then put them on to cook in the morning, thinking they would take the same amount of time as pinto beans, but to my surprise, in 30 minutes the beans were tender all the way through! I’m so glad that I checked them before they turned to mush!
This is an article from eHow.com called Facts About Anasazi Beans:
Similar to many other beans, the the Anasazi bean is a dry bean that is high in fiber, starch and protein. Highly adapted to the arid climate of the Southwest, Anasazi beans are also moderately drought resistant. Although Anasazi beans have been marketed as gourmet heirloom beans, they are actually believed to be a close relative of the original bean, which is thought to have stopped germinating hundreds of years ago. Anasazi beans can be found in grocery stores, primarily in southwestern states. While organic food dealers have made them available for purchase online, they are much less expensive in the grocery store.
Native to the North American Southwest region, the Anasazi bean was named after the cliff-dwelling Native American people that inhabited the area now known as the four corners of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. The Anasazi bean is thought to have been a staple in the diet of the native people who lived in this region. While not much is known about the specific origins of the bean, evidence suggests that native people have been cultivating and consuming them for more than 1,500 years.
Anasazi beans, sometimes referred to as Aztec or Cave beans, are typically small, kidney-shaped beans that are instantly identifiable by their unique color. A bright, multicolored bean, the Anasazi possesses a deep shade of red interspersed with a creamy white. Due to their distinctive pattern, Anasazi beans are often thought to be a predecessor of other beans found in the pinto family. The Anasazi bean has a mild, sweet flavor with a slightly mealy texture, making it ideal for Latin, Mexican and Native American dishes. Similar to other dry beans, Anasazi beans must be stored in a cool, dry place until they are ready for use.
While dry beans are general soaked for two to four hours prior to cooking, Anasazi beans yield better results when soaked overnight or for at least eight hours. Known to cook much faster than ordinary pinto beans, Anasazi beans are often used to replace pinto beans in a variety of dishes including chili, soup and popular Latin dishes such as chalupas and nachos.
In addition to being a good source of fiber, Anasazi beans are also an excellent source of potassium, folic acid and iron. While dry beans are known to contain certain carbohydrates that cause flatulence, the Anasazi bean has been found to contain less than 25 percent of these complex carbohydrates, making them much easier on the digestive system.