Dry beans are produced in pods and belong to the family of plants called legumes. The shape of the bean distinguishes it from other legumes like peas and lentils. Usually beans are kidney-shaped or oval, while peas are round, and lentils possess a flat, disk-like shape. The term "dry beans" refers to both beans that are dry-packaged in sealed bags and those that are pre-cooked in cans. Dry beans include varieties such as Pinto, Navy, Lima and Black beans, but not green beans, string beans or soybeans.
Season: available year-round
Substitutions: 2 cups fresh beans = 9-10 oz frozen beans; 3/4 cup dried beans = 1 (16 oz) can of beans, drained and rinsed