Thursday, June 18, 2009

Camellia Beans

My bayou friend, Ladybug, introduced me to Camellia brand beans. She insisted they were the ONLY beans to consider. Each time she went home to Louisiana for a visit, she would bring me a few bags. After all these years, I have to agree with her, the quality of the Camellia beans is superior.

I love beans and we eat a lot of them. There are many reasons for my love of beans: they taste delicious and satisfying, they are extremely nutritious and health giving, low in calories, high in protein, fiber, calcium, and they are an excellent source of potassium, which is proven to regulate blood pressure. And they are CHEAP!

There are infinite ways to prepare beans and many varieties to choose. Many cultures base their diets on beans and rice. Camellia brand beans has 19 varieties of dried beans, peas, and lentils. My personal favorite is the blackeye pea, followed closely by the pinto. They have rarer beans such as the beloved Southern favorite, lady cream peas. They have pink beans, which are popular in Latin American cuisine. And they have all the types you would expect, black beans, garbanzo beans, several types of lima beans, navy and great northern beans, and of course, the famous red kidney beans for New Orleans Red Beans and Rice. I love them all.

The most hassle free way to prepare beans is the crock pot. After supper, rather than soak beans overnight to cook the next day, just go ahead and put them in the crock pot, after inspecting for stones or other debris and rinsing, add water to a good two inches over the beans, turn on low and cook all night. The next morning your beans should be ready to proceed with your recipe.

Alas, Ladybug succumbed to breat cancer in September, 2001, so she can't bring me the Camellia Beans any more. Now I order several bags at a time from Cajun Supermarket.

I always think of her when I reach for a bag.

1 comment:

  1. this is a very moving piece. I was just talking to a friend on the phone about how my godmom always makes me bring her d&d sausage and camellia red beans for the holidays. she swears by these with two bibles