November is National Native American Heritage Month and we are excited to be showcasing indigenous ingredients in the club this month. Our featured heirloom beans and grains are deeply rooted in Native American cuisine and culture. From Rio Zappe beans to Pima Club Wheat Berries, these traditional foods have been a staple of the indigenous diet for centuries. We'll explore the history and significance of each ingredient in the club, and show you how to cook them up at home!
THE FAMILY BOX CONTAINS:
Organic Rio Zappe Beans, Anazazi Beans, Organic White Tepary Beans, Cranberry Beans and Organic Pima Club Wheat Berries
REGULAR SIZE CONTAINS:
Organic Rio Zappe Beans, Anazazi Beans, Organic Pima Club Wheat Berries
BEAN ONLY CONTAINS:
Organic Rio Zappe Beans, Anazazi Beans, Cranberry Beans
*Gluten Free Substitution Rainbow Quinoa
ORGANIC RIO ZAPE BEANS
Beloved by chefs and revered as "the noblest bean" by The Washington Post, this 100% organic heirloom bean club exclusive comes to us from family owned Fifth Crow Farms. It will blow your mind as a refried bean (as featured in Food & Wine Magazine), and it makes an amazing mole taco!
The Rio Zape is a very special bean, so special it's in the Slow Food Ark of Taste! Rumor has it that the bean was unearthed in the ruins of the Anasazi cliff–dwelling people in the American southwest. It is similar to the popular pinto bean but way more tasty, and is purple with dark burgundy slashes.
HOW TO ENJOY THEM
The Rio Zape gives off a delicious dark gravy and has a creamy texture and a complex flavor with a hint of chocolate. They are a natural fit for any mole dish. Whether you make your own as in our recipe for Rio Zape Mole Tacos or use a pre-made mole sauce like this Oaxacan Mole Sauce from Bunches and Bunches it's a match made in heaven. It makes an excellent refried bean that is so simple to make it can hardly be called a recipe.
ABOUT THE FARMER
Fifth Crow Farms is an organic family owned farm in Pescadero, California. Grounded in a values-based approach to land stewardship, Fifth Crow Farm is a dynamic and diversified organic farm in Pescadero, CA. Founded in 2008 with a shoestring budget, a supportive local community, and ambitious dreams, they strive to bring eaters the highest quality, best tasting, and most nutritious food possible.
Fifth Crow Farm wants their farm to be more than a business: they strive to make it an engine for positive change in the food system. They are stewarding the land in a way that not only respects but improves habitat for wildlife and builds better soil for future farmers. They also believe in creating a healthy, fulfilling, and fair work environment, and providing their customers with the best tasting, most nutritious, highest quality food possible.
You'll find many a cook that waxes poetic about the many virtues of this beautiful little maroon and white mottled bean. It is thought to be an ancient ancestor of pinto beans because of the color but that's where the comparison stops. It is revered for not only it's sweet, dense flavor but also its quicker cooking times and the fact that there is no need to soak them.
Anasazi Beans have been grown by the Anasazi people in what is now called the four corners region of the United States dating back to at least 130 AD. They are sometimes called New Mexico Cave Beans because they were found in the ruins of their famous cave dwellings in New Mexico and Colorado.
These beans come to us from the Adobe Milling Company in Dove Colorado which holds a registered trademark on Anasazi name.
WHAT TO DO WITH THEM
These are exceptionally delicious and beloved by chefs. The fast cook time means they're probably the bag that will disappear the fastest out of your box. As with all beans we recommend at least cooking some with only salt and seasoning later. Cooking time on these is just 90 minutes to 2 hours WITHOUT soaking. If you need to soak because un-soaked beans are hard on your digestive system, Dr. Weil suggests soaking for 4-8 hours, changing the water and cooking for one hour. Remember to always salt the cooking and soaking water for the creamiest texture and to prevent your beans from exploding out of their skins.
We are obsessed with this elevated weeknight recipe for Anasazi Braised Supper Beans from Lynne Rossetto Kasper of The Splendid Table. Juniper berries are a common ingredient in indigenous cooking so we're crushing on this recipe for Anasazi Beans with Juniper Berries. The anasazi goes particularly well with southwestern food which is why we'll be making this southwestern vegetarian chili for those bowl games.
ORGANIC PIMA CLUB WHEAT BERRIES
The O'odham people of the American Southwest have been growing wheat for centuries. "O'las Pilkan" in the language of the Akimel O'odham (river people) is also known as pima club wheat, a hardy grain that can withstand the harsh desert climate. Ramona farms continues the tradition of growing O'las Pilkan as their people have been doing for generations. The soft white wheat berries can be used in place of rice or other whole grains in any recipes. Combine it with tepary beans for a traditional O'odham "poshol."
TRADITIONAL POSHOL RECIPE
2 lbs. brown tepary beans (cleaned, rinsed & soaked)
1/3 cup whole wheat kernels
1/4 cup dried roasted sweet corn or white corn (optional)
1/2 onion (quartered or diced)
1 clove garlic (optional)
1/8th tsp. of cumin ( 2 pinches)
2 dried red chile pepper (whole)
1/4 lb. bacon fried & crumbled (optional)
- Sort and rinse beans.
- Add water to cover plus 2 to 4 inches.
- Bring all ingredients to a rapid boil for 30 minutes.
- Reduce heat, cover, and simmer to 6 hours (or until tender).
- Great When Cooked In A Crock Pot!
Recipe courtesy of Ramona Button
WHITE TEPARY BEANS
These organic heirloom beans are the original superfood of the Sonoran Desert having sustained Native American people for countless generations. Highly acclaimed for it's nutritional value the stotoah bavi (white tepary bean) is noted for its unique and delicious naturally sweet yet savory flavor and creamy texture. The white tepary bean make delicious hummus, soups, salads, dips and spreads.
Ramona Farms shares with us their traditional foods grown on the ancestral lands of the Akimel O'Odham (Gila River Pima) tribe in Arizona's Sonora Desert. An ingredient in the Slow Food Ark of Taste, the tepary bean is believed to be the world’s most drought tolerant bean, and higher in fiber and protein than most other beans with a low glycemic index and superior taste.
ABOUT THE FARMER
We are honored that Ramona is sharing with us the food traditions of her tribe, the Akimel O'Odham (Gila River Pima) Community. Ramona's father, Francisco ‘Chiigo’ Smith, an O’dham farmer, grew many traditional crops on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona. Her mother was an herbalist and traditional healer. Together they taught Ramona the value of their traditional foods and way of life. She continued the traditions with her own family, farming on this ancestral land with her husband.
In the late 1970’s, some community elders asked Ramona and her husband us to grow the Bafv (tepary bean), which had nearly become extinct due to the lack of water that put many of the local subsistence farmers out of business. They discovered that her father had left a few seeds of the white and brown tepary beans in glass jars in a trunk in the old adobe house that she grew up in. They knew that it was to become their mission to ‘bring the bafv back’ to the community.
The tepary bean is part of the Slow Food Ark of Taste and its roots go back thousands of years in our native foodways. The remains of the tepary have been found in archeological sites in Mexico that are 5,000 years old and it has been grown in what is now California and Arizona for thousands of years. This incredibly hearty bean was a staple food source for Native American tribes who cultivated it to survive in the incredibly arid conditions.
It is through Ramona's tireless efforts that we can now enjoy this delicious part of our American cultural heritage and honor the traditions of the Akimel O'Odham people and their ancestors that have cared for the land for generations.
CREAMY WHITE TEPARY BEAN HUMMUS
Cook the tepary beans in a pressure cooker or stovetop until very soft (45 minutes in pressure cooker). Strain the beans reserving the liquid and put them in a blender. Add lemon juice and tahini. Place the chopped garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with kosher salt. With the back of your knife mash the garlic and salt into a paste and add to the blender. Add 2 tablespoons of the bean cooking liquid to the blender and blend on high speed. Add more bean liquid until you reach your desired consistency.
WAYS TO ENJOY THEM
These sweet little white beans are a favorite of ours for all sorts of dishes from soups to salads. Try our Tepary Bean and Roast Parsnip Soup on chili winter evenings, add them to smashed avocado toast for a protein packed twist on an easy lunch, make Tepary Bean and Tuna Salad for sandwiches to go with your weeknight soup, and Tepary bean and Fennel Ragout makes great use of a fall farmers market haul.
This versatile and velvety, thin-skinned bean produces a rich, indulgent bean broth. While Cranberry is an odd name for a lovely, versatile bean which has been bred around the world to become Madeira, Borlotti, Tounges of Fire, Wren’s Egg and more. With so many names, it's clear it can be used in almost any dish that beans are needed for.
Try this in a traditional Pasta e Fagioli where the luxurious bean sauce the cranberry gives off really shines. It's also a great bean to use in any soup. We love this Cranberry Bean and Kale Soup from the New York Times.
ABOUT RANCHO GORDO
Rancho Gordo beans by Steve Sando are kinda a big deal. It started as a hobby of growing heirloom beans and figuring out different ways to cook them and quickly led to farmer’s markets. When the people started loving all the varieties he grew, as much as Steve did, he knew he was onto something good. Read More...