Tepary beans are a semi bush legume that has a long history in the southwestern United States. Native peoples have grown these beans since the pre-Columbian times. Tepary beans are more drought-tolerant than the common garden bean and resistant to many bean diseases.
Bush Bean, Tepary Bean ORGANIC
Bean – Tepary- Bush
Tepary beans are a semi bush legume that has a long history in the southwestern United States. Native peoples have grown these beans since the pre-Columbian times. Tepary beans are more drought-tolerant than the common garden bean and resistant to many bean diseases. We received this beautiful bean from our Mike Reese of Rio Del Ray Beans.
The bean pots are small with flat, lentil looking beans inside. A culinary treat and packed with flavor, tepary beans should be cooked like any other bean.
Suggested Planting Requirements: The common bean likes a well-drained soil rich in organic matter and a moderate amount of nutrients. The tepary bean, on the other hand, can thrive in less than ideal locations. Tepary beans are very drought tolerant. Germination requires moist soil, but plants will flourish in dry conditions once established. Too much water inhibits bean production and can lead to disease. Historically they were cultivated by various methods, most commonly after an infrequent rain in the desert or after floodwaters along a river or ephemeral stream had subsided. Despite the warning against transplanting your beans, on our farm, we almost always start our seeds in the greenhouse and plant them out. This allows for perfect spacing on our small farm. Depending on your preference you may start indoors for short-season growing, or seed directly once soils have reached at least 48F, after the last frost. If you plant them too soon in cold soil, your seeds will likely rot. Soak beans for 24 hours before planting for expedited germination.
Growing Recommendations: Avoid overhead watering to prevent diseases. Space the plants 6- 8″ to provide ample airflow and prevent fungal issues. Tepary beans are semi-bush and can climb if you give a structure to grab onto.
Harvesting & Storage: Let beans pods form until beans are hard inside the pot. You can let the plant die back and then pull the whole plant (pods and all) to harvest the beans. You can remove beans by hand or dance on the plant in a tarp to release the beans. Beans can be cooked like any dry bean.
|Days to Germination:||5-10 +|
|Days to Maturity:||65-70+|
|Height at Maturity:||5’-7’|
|Lighting Requirements:||Full Sun|
Available package: 9 grams (approx. 30 seeds)
More on Tepary Beans and Recipes:
Tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius)
Tepary beans a semi-bush bean originating in the desert areas of Mexico and the American Southwest. They grow best in extreme heat and under arid conditions. Tepary beans’ taproot is twice as long as common beans’ (Phaseolus vulgaris), which allows teparies to take advantage of even small amounts of soil moisture efficiently.
Nutritionally, tiny tepary beans (1/4” long, the size of large lentils) are higher in protein, iron, calcium, and fiber than most beans. Their nutritional benefits, sweet, nutty flavor, and relatively quick cooking time make teparies well worth searching out.
Jay Bost, in the June 2006 Seeds of Change newsletter, wrote a fascinating article about tepary beans. His discussion of the growing conditions under which teparies thrive makes me interested in trying them in Greece, which has the necessary hot, dry summers:
“Due to its native habitat in the Sonoran Desert, domesticated tepary beans … are considered by many to be the most drought-tolerant annual legume in the world. They are capable of producing a harvest of beans with a single rain in the harshest conditions; when irrigated, they produce higher yields only up to a certain point, after which excess moisture becomes a detriment and leads to overproduction of foliage and low bean production. In fact, it appears that moisture stress is necessary to trigger fruiting. Part of the tepary bean’s secret to success in dry areas is to grow quickly when water is available. While pinto beans take 90 to 120 days to maturity, teparies take only 75 to 85. As water shortages become a reality in many parts of the U.S. and around the world, teparies will undoubtedly play an important role in dryland agriculture. In fact, tepary cultivation is now taking place in dry areas of Africa and is being revived in southern Arizona.”
Bost details teparies’ nutritional benefits:
“Part of the tepary bean’s appeal, in addition to its drought tolerance, is its superior nutritional content. It has a higher protein content (23–30%) than common beans such as pinto, kidney, and navy, as well as higher levels of oil, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium. While higher in all of these desired nutrients, tepary beans are lower in polyunsaturated fat and in the anti-enzymatic compounds, which make common beans hard to digest (Hamama and Bhardwaj 2002). Tepary beans are proving to be an ideal food for people prone to diabetes or suffering from diabetes because of the beans’ high fiber level. This makes them a “slow-release food”; that is, tepary beans’ sugars are released slowly and steadily, rather than in a spike as in many high carbohydrate, low fiber foods common in our diets.”
Tuscan-Style Tepary Beans with Rosemary and Mushrooms
- 1 cup dry Rio Del Rey Organic White Tepary Beans
- 5 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- One bay leaf
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Three fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 ½ cups mushrooms of your choice, chopped
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- One whole sprig fresh rosemary for garnish
- Rinse beans in water and soak overnight.
- Drain water from the beans and rinse them.
- Add the broth and the soaked beans to a large cooking pot.
- Add garlic, sage leaves chopped rosemary, bay leaf, black pepper, 2 Tbsp olive oil.
- Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer beans, covered for at least two hours.
- When the beans are tender, and most of the broth has been absorbed, go through and mash about 1/3 of the beans using a fork. This will help thicken the beans to a creamy state upon serving.
- Remove the bay leaf and sage leaves; pour the beans into a pot. Add salt to taste.
- Warm a skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté on until they are crispy on the edges, and cooked through. Stir in 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and the flat-leaf parsley. Add a pinch of salt to the mushrooms if desired.
- Fold the mushrooms into the beans and pour the bean dish into a serving bowl. Top with the one fresh sprig of rosemary and serve! Delicious as leftovers too, these beans will last in the fridge up to a week when properly stored, tightly.
Tepary Bean Dip — A Healthy Snack
Here’s a link to the Chicago Tribune story, and the recipe is posted below.
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Gwen Ashley Walters
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour 45 mins
Serves: 4 cups
Serve with sliced vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, and jicama, or with crackers or tortilla chips, especially blue corn chips.
- 1-1/2 cups dried tepary beans
- Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Zest of half a lemon ~ 1 teaspoon
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Three medium cloves of garlic, minced
- One teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Mexican oregano
- 2 to 3 chiltepin chiles (optional)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- Garnish (optional):
- One tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Cilantro sprig
- Pick through the beans and remove any sticks or debris. Rinse well and drain. Place in a saucepan and cover with at least 4-inches of water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender but not mushy, about 1-1/2 hours, adding more liquid as necessary to keep covered. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
- Place the beans in a food processor. Pour in 3/4 to 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid (or water) and process until chunky. Add more cooking liquid or water if necessary to get a thick, dip-like consistency. Add the remaining ingredients (olive oil through sea salt) and blend until mostly smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if desired. Transfer to a bowl. May be made up to two days before serving. Store covered in the fridge. To serve, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, top with a sprig of cilantro. Serve with sliced vegetables, crackers, or tortilla chips.
|Dimensions||5.00 × 0.10 × 3.00 in|
1lb, 1/2 lb, 9 grams