Small red beans (Phaseolus Vulgaris), Aka Mexican red beans, are a cousin of the kidney bean. Both are very versatile and are commonly used in soups, stews, and chilis in the Caribbean and the Americas. Small red beans are probably most well known for their presence in the New Orleans classic, red beans, and rice. They can provide a complete source of plant protein when combined with rice, or be prepared with bacon or sausage for a simple and delicious classic meal. Small red chili beans maintain their tasty texture after cooking, making them an excellent candidate for stews and chilis. They are an important part of the cuisine in the Caribbean and the Americas.
Small red beans need loose, well-drained soil in order to thrive. They do best with a slightly acidic soil pH of 6.0-7.0. Like other beans, small red beans can grow in either a vine-like or bush-like way, Unlike many other beans, small red beans are typically not consumed when they are still young. Small red beans are kept on the vine for around 120 days, well past their prime. Around this time, the pods should be dry, stiff, and easily break open. Sometimes, if the pods are dry enough, they will simply fall apart as the beans are being harvested. Store harvested red beans in a sealed container in a cool and dark place until they are ready to be used for cooking or planting the following year.
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