Small Red Chili Beans
Red Beans as a Garden Plant
Small red beans need loose, well-drained soil in order to thrive. They do best with a slightly acidic soil pH of 6.0-7.0. Like other beans, small red beans can grow in either a vine-like or bush-like way, this will likely depend on what your space constraints are. If growing the vine-like varieties, consider using a trellis or some other type of support. This will allow for easier harvesting of the red beans.
Unlike many other beans, small red beans are typically not consumed when they are still young. Small red beans are kept on the vine for around 120 days, well past their prime. Around this time, the pods should be dry and stiff and should break open easily. Sometimes, if the pods are dry enough, they will simply fall apart as the beans are being harvested.
Store harvested red beans in a sealed container in a cool and dark place until they are ready to be used for cooking or planting the following year.
Small red beans (Phaseolus Vulgaris) are a cousin of the kidney bean. Both are very versatile and are commonly used in soups, stews, and chilis in the Caribbean and Americas. Small red beans are probably most well-known for their presence in the New Orleans classic, red beans and rice. They can provide a complete source of plant protein when combined with rice, or be prepared with bacon or sausage for a simple and delicious classic meal. Serve small red beans chilled with fresh herbs for a lovely salad.
- Soups and stews
- Rice and beans
Red beans originated in Peru about 8,000 years ago and then made their way to the Caribbean where they are some of the most widely available beans in the region.
Small red beans arrived in Louisiana near the beginning of the 1800s when the Haitian Revolution drove primarily French land-owners to Louisiana; small red beans came with them. Red beans and rice carry cultural significance in the state; ham was served on Sundays and the leftover ham bits and bone would then be used to season the red beans and rice on Monday.
Small red beans, like other legumes, are packed with plant protein and have an abundance of vitamins and minerals including iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. They can be part of a heart-healthy diet as they contain high amounts of fiber and are very low in fat. Additionally, small red beans have a high Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) score, meaning they contain antioxidants that combat free-radicals.