Make all-natural beans, rice, and grains part of your kitchen with new Brothers Marketplace Beans & Grains.

Packed locally, these new additions to our shelves add plant-based nutrients and new flavors to your home cooking.

Here is our primer on what’s available and some great ways to enjoy them:

Nutty, buttery Garbanzo Beans, also known as chick peas, become smooth, creamy hummus with lemon, olive oil, salt, garlic and tahini. Or roast them in the oven with spices for a high-nutrient snack.

Add silky Cannellini Beans to salads, soups, and stews, or turn them into a protein-packed dip for crackers or veggies.

One helpful tip: soaking beans overnight reduces the cooking time and disperses some of the compounds that can cause gas.

Split Peas, the dried, peeled, and split seeds of peas, are best known for the soup by the same name. A light, green Split Pea Soup with bacon crumbles makes a beautiful spring appetizer. You can also turn them into a variation on hummus or add them to salads and falafel.

Lentils come in all sorts of varieties and a wide array of colors. The most common variety, Brown Lentils bring an earthy, mild flavor. They take only 20-30 minutes to cook and hold their shape nicely in soups, curries, and other side dishes.

Petite French Lentils, also known as Puy lentils, are green in color and offer a robust, slightly peppery flavor. Ready in 25 minutes, they keep a firm texture that makes them ready for salads and other side dishes.

Black Lentils are protein packed and versatile. Spice them with cumin and add a dollop of yogurt and some fresh mint leaves for a Mediterranean–inspired side dish. Or braise them on the stove with chopped onions, carrots, celery and fresh thyme.

Sweet, nutty, Crimson Lentils fall in the mid-range for cooking time at around 30 minutes. They tend to get mushy when cooked, which makes them a great base for Indian dals – with flavors of red chili, coriander, cumin, turmeric and ginger – curry dishes, and Middle Eastern-style lentil soup.

If you prefer a blend, add the Autumn Lentil Blend in warm fall colors to soups, stews and sides. Mix them into a side dish with sweet potatoes and spinach.

In addition to nutrient-rich, nutty staples like short and long grain brown rice, try our Wild Rice Blend, as a side dish for fish or chicken. Add dried cranberries, pecans, and a blend of dried herbs.

With the same whole-grain benefits as brown rice, Himalayan Red Rice has a more complex, nuttier, earthy flavor. Enjoy it in salads and pilaf. Try it with thyme and mushrooms or tart cherries.

Chinese Black Rice is also known as Emperor’s Rice or forbidden rice. It was previously reserved only for the Chinese emperor due to its superior health benefits and high level of antioxidants, and therefore a “forbidden” food for everyone else. Add crunchy almonds and chopped onions to this rich, sweet rice and serve with seafood. Or use it as a base for a Thai salad with mangos and cilantro.

For creamy risottos of all sorts, select Arborio Rice, which releases starches when liquid is added slowly, for that rich risotto texture.

Other Grains
Quinoa is a complete, gluten-free protein that functions like a grain but is actually a seed. It takes less time to cook than many other grains, just 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse it before cooking to remove any bitterness.

Use it as a side dish for tacos, in stuffed peppers, or as a replacement for pasta in a salad.

In addition to the usual white variety, try Red Quinoa. Rich in taste, a little chewy and a bit nuttier, red quinoa works well in cold salads.

Fluffy, crunchy, Tricolor Quinoa is a blend of white, black and red quinoa, making for a bright side dish or base for a chicken or shrimp dish.

Also known as pearl couscous, Giant Israeli Couscous, is made from wheat flour. Toss with vinaigrette, feta, chopped cucumbers, and mint for a fresh salad. Turn it into a spicy main course with crushed red pepper, pan-seared chicken, and fresh herbs.

Fine Bulgur Wheat is made of hulled winter wheat berries that are then processed to remove some of the bran. Then they are steamed, dried, and finely cracked. It’s the base of Middle-Eastern tabbouleh, with chopped parsley, tomatoes, mint, and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. For a different variation, make it into a summer salad with zucchini, summer squash and basil.

Our grain selection also includes two types of Chia Seeds, white and black. A great source of heart-healthy omega-3s, chia seeds can be mixed with coconut milk for a creamy pudding — ready in time for tomorrow’s breakfast — added to muffins, or blended into smoothies.