Immature legume pods and green seeds are used as vegetables. The green pods contain good quantities of most nutrients, especially protein, vitamins, and minerals, but little of oils and carbohydrates. They also add useful fiber to the diet. They can be adequately prepared by boiling for 20 minutes. The immature seeds contain similar nutrients to the mature seed with some Vitamin A and C, and are easier to digest than dried, cooked seeds. A few leguminous vegetables contain toxic substances. All should be well cooked before eating. Good production requires the appropriate variety and season. However, they need not mature during dry weather. As can be seen by comparing the charts (order from ECHO) concerning pulses (grain legumes) and leguminous vegetables, many species are used for both purposes.
See A Comparison of Leguminous Vegetables.
• Bush bean, green podded. Phaseolus vulgaris. 'Contender'- 55 day. Grows to 6 1/2" flavorful, stringless, and fleshy beans. Resistant to powdery mildew and bean mosaic virus; does better than most at ECHO, but we have never found a bush bean that will produce during our hot, humid summers.
• Chickpea (Garbanzo). Cicer arietum. Cool season crop, very drought tolerant; immature beans used as a vegetable.
• Cowpea. Vigna unguiculata. Thailand longbean (catjang). See Pulses.
• Fava or broad bean. Vicia faba. Cool season crop suitable for high altitudes. 'Quitumbe' is a smaller seed preferred for making flours; 2800-3400 m on equator; 800 mm rain in growing season; pH 5-6.
• Jackbean. Canavalia ensiformis. Ideal pH 5-6. Very young pods edible; mature bean HIGHLY TOXIC; very drought tolerant.(EDN 20-2,25-2).
• Lablab bean.Dolichos lablab. Ideal pH 5-6.5. Red-best variety for eating young pods because even relatively large pods are still tender. Field varieties(mix available): Highworth, White, Rongai-edible but pods become fibrous at a young stage. (EDN 20-5, 30-1).
• Pigeon pea. Cajanus Cajan. "Vegetable" types have larger green seeds than pulse varieties. Very adaptable to many soils. A mixed variety trial and a short-duration variety are available (EDN 29-4,5, 38-6).
• Soybean. Glycine max. AVRDC Tropical vegetable soybean variety trial.
• Sword bean.Canavalia gladiata. Only very young pods edible; mature beans HIGHLY TOXIC; drought tolerant.
• Winged bean. Psophocarpus tetragonolobus. Bogor-very vigorous vine, short pods. Square-produces edible tuber. Chimbu-long, crimson pods, moderate vigor. Flat-remains flexible even when long; transports better because pods lay flat. Siempre-good yields. Day-neutral-tuber-producing, recommended for longer days and higher latitudes (EDN 9-1, 11-6).
• Yardlong bean (Asparagus bean). Vigna sesquipedalis. Purple-podded-productive; attractive color; shorter than green-podded. Green- podded yard-long bean. Guilin-from China; long and thin.
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