Cranberry Beans (Phaseolus Vulgaris) are related to the Kidney Bean. These are very similar to Pinto Beans in flavour -- though somewhat plumper -- and are about 1/2 inch long. Also referred to as a biriotto, crab eye, Roman, romano, rosecoco or saluggua bean, they have a sweet, mild flavour and creamy texture. Cranberry beans have pink skin and maroon mottling. The Cranberry Bean It's believed that cranberry beans were first bred in the Andes. The oldest-known domesticated beans date back to the second millennium. All beans are marvels of nature's kitchen: filled with beneficial phytonutrients, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber and protein. They're storehouses of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium and folate. Beans are cholesterol-free and contain no saturated fat. One-half cup serving of cranberry beans contains about 8 grams of dietary protein. Tasty Tips and Storage Cranberry beans are interchangeable for Pinto beans in Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. Like their Mexican and Italian cousins (Pinto and Kidney), they will turn pink when cooked. They're delicious in recipes with sweet or savory spices. Enjoy them in soups, chilies, salads and more. Like most beans, cranberry beans benefit from soaking before cooking. Soak them for six to eight hours prior to cooking, or bring to a boil in water, remove from heat, cover and soak for 1 hour. Always drain soaking water before cooking. To cook add fresh water and cover the beans by two inches. Boil uncovered for about 10 minutes and skim off any foam. Traditionally, a strip of Kombu seaweed is used in Asia to help soften beans (added at the beginning of cooking). Cover pot and simmer for about one and a half hours. Add seasonings as desired; beans benefit from adding salt during the last half hour or so of cooking. Like most stored foods, beans are best stored in the absence of oxygen and light, which can speed rancidity and fade bean colour. Store in a cool dark pantry in our resealable bags or an airtight container. Refrigerated/frozen storage isn't recommended for dried beans, which will last for a year or more properly stored in the pantry.