Great Northern Beans (Phaseolus Vulgaris) are white beans related to the Kidney Bean. About 3/8 of an inch long, they're larger than the Navy Bean and oval shaped with a mild flavour and mealy texture. Popular in soups, stews, and casseroles, they blend well with pinto and other beans or can substitute for navy or cannellini beans. The Common Bean Great Northern beans are also called "Common Beans." It's believed that they were first bred in South America, so they are also known as a "New World Bean." These "common beans" were spread through Central and South America by migrating farmers. 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 beans contains about 8 grams of dietary protein. Tasty Tips and Storage Great Northern Beans have a mild flavour, so they readily take on the taste of other ingredients. In France, they are favourites in cassoulet, and in North America, they're often used in Boston Baked Beans. Enjoy Grainworks Organic Great Northern Beans in soups, chilies, salads and more. Like most beans, Great Northern beans benefit from soaking before cooking. Soak them for six to eight hours before 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.