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Food-Info.net> Questions and Answers > Food products > Legumes and beans

What are legumes ?

Legumes are the edible seeds that grow in pods on annual plants, bushes, or vines of the Leguminosae or Fabaceae family. The seeds can be eaten fresh, sprouted, dried and ground into flour, or prepared in countless other ways.

Leading members of the legume family include beans and peas (Phaseolus), lentils (Lens), and peanuts  (Arachis). There are more than 10.000 varieties of beans and lentils known and used worldwide. Other members included alfalfa, clover and lupin.

Legumes are sometimes called “the poor-man's meat” owing to their use as a primary protein source for many cultures for thousands of years. They are still a dietary staple in many parts of the world.

 



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