Organic Pinto Beans
Pinto Beans as a Garden Plant
Pinto beans are well-suited for warm, subtropical climates. Bear in mind that pinto beans are not frost tolerant and will not do well in areas without long, hot summers. After planting, they take 90-150 days to be harvested as a dry bean, but they can also be eaten as a green bean if they are harvested early enough.
Pintos need well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 to 7.0 and should be soaked the night before planting. Pinto beans can be planted as bush-like (determinate) or vine-like (indeterminate), the way in which they are planted will differ based on the type. Bush-like plants need to have extra spacing in between rows while vine-like plants need a trellis or some sort of support as they grow. Err on the side of underwatering versus overwatering, pinto beans do not do well when their roots remain too damp.
Pinto beans are often prepared as refried beans, served alongside rice or cornbread in the south, consumed with broth, or served in a burrito. They are wonderful in chili and other soups and when they are served alongside another grain they form a complete plant protein. If pinto beans are eaten young and green, they can be included in stir fry or salads.
- Refried beans
In Spanish, pinto beans are referred to as ‘frijol pinto’ which translates to ‘painted bean’. Pinto beans are aptly named because of their speckles that are reminiscent of paint splatters. Pinto beans were likely introduced to Central and South America around 20,000 years ago. When the Spaniards came to the New World they discovered beans and brought them back to Europe in the 15th century. Pinto beans carry a significance in numerous cultural dishes. Pinto beans are particularly popular in northern Mexico and are often consumed as refried beans or combined with broth. Epazote, a spice, is traditionally consumed with pinto beans as it adds flavor and is thought to aid digestion. Pinto beans are prominent in New Mexican food culture, so much so that one of the official state vegetables is the pinto bean! In the southeastern United States, pinto beans were once considered food for the poor. They were frequently eaten with cornbread and cabbage.
Pinto beans contain the most fiber of any bean. The fiber content in pinto beans contributes to satiety and can help lower cholesterol levels. Individuals who struggle with low blood sugar or diabetes may find that incorporating pinto beans into their diet proves beneficial for regulating blood sugar, thanks to the high quantities of fiber.
Pinto beans also have a range of other nutrients, like iron, phosphorus, protein, magnesium, and copper. Take a cue from traditional diets that have stood the test of time and start consuming pinto beans for their many health benefits!