Navy beans are plump, oval white beans belonging to the "common bean" family of legumes. They are dense and smooth with a hearty texture and are very popular in the United States and Great Britain. Navy beans are also called haricot beans, Yankee beans, Boston beans and pea beans. Navy beans are best known in the popular dish, Boston baked beans. It was traditionally prepared on Saturdays and left in brick ovens overnight to cook. It was consumed the next day, allowing colonial New Englanders to eat a hot meal while still observing the Sabbath. The navy bean is Massachusetts' state bean and Boston is still known today as "Beantown."
Navy beans are a good source of folate and vitamin B1, as well as the minerals manganese and iron. They are an excellent source of protein, and when combined with a whole grain they provide protein comparable to that of meat or dairy foods, without the high calories or saturated fat. Navy beans are also rich in fiber. Their high fiber content keeps blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after a meal.
Many classic American bean dishes call for navy beans, like navy beans soup and Boston baked beans. Navy beans can be used interchangeably with other white beans. Bob’s Red Mill Navy Beans excellent in many dishes, especially soups, stews, chilis and puréed bean spreads.