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Bambara Beans

Bambara Beans

  • Organic Nutritional Value

    Bambara beans are considered highly nutritious, and have been termed a complete food. They consist of about 65% carbohydrates, 18% protein, and are rich in essential amino acids including isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, and valine. Its chemical composition is comparable to that of the soy bean.


    Bambara beans are chickpea sized, hard, round seeds that, like peanuts, ripen underground. The seeds vary in color from black, dark brown, red, white, cream or a combination of these colors. Bambara beans have a nutty, earthy flavor not unlike a cross between a chickpea and a pinto bean.



    Bambara beans are prepared in a number of ways. They can be eaten fresh or boiled after drying. They are roasted or fried and mixed with maize or plantains. They can be ground into a flour and used to prepare porridge. The flour is used as a thickener in soups or added into bread dough for extra nutrition. Milk can be made from the beans. A fermented product similar to tempeh can be prepared. Large seeds are used as a pulse and the smaller seeds are more often used to make the flour. The seeds can be extracted for oil as well. While the seeds are canned commercially in some African countries most production of Bambara beans are eaten locally.

    Ethnic/Cultural Info

    Bambara has several names throughout Africa, including earth pea, jugo bean, pois de terre, pois Bambara, and Bambara groundnut.

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