How Versatile!

Beans often get a bad reputation because of their gas-producing qualities. However, they are incredible tasting, filled with nutrients, inexpensive, and super easy to cook! There are so many varieties of beans, the possibilities are endless!


Fiber:Beans are a great source of fiber! Homemade hummus is an easy, and delicious snack option!

Protein:Beans are packed with protein. In just ½ cup of beans, there are 8 grams of protein!

Low fat:Beans are naturally low fat,

and contain no saturated fat.

Add them into your daily diet to

reduce risk of diseases.

Local Dry Beans?

Most people might be surprised to know that beans grow well in our corner of the state. Here are some varieties that have been around our area for several generations:

Rockwell: From Whidbey Island, perfect for stews!

Early Refuge:An all-purpose dry bush bean that has been grown in Whatcom County by the Leibrant family for 100 years.

Saxon: A dry pole cranberry-type bean from the South Fork Valley. Good eaten fresh as well as dried.

A recipe for you to try at home...

Quick and Easy Black Bean Burger

Preparation time: 20 min. (longer if you cook your own beans)

Serves 4. Recipe inspired from


  • 15 oz. or 1 can of Black beans
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ½ medium sized onion, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup instant oats
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mash black beans with fork until mostly pureed.
  4. Stir in condiments, garlic, onion, and cumin until well combined.
  5. Add oats.
  6. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into patties.
  7. Bake for 7 minutes, flip and bake for another 7 minutes.
  8. Add your favorite veggie burger toppings and enjoy on a whole grain burger bun!

The Staples of a Healthy Diet and Food System

For our area to have food security, we need to know which varieties of staple foods will grow best. Local researchers at the Backyard Beans & Grains Project and WSU Extension are doing the important work to figure it out.

Creating lifelong healthy eaters by connecting the cafeteria to the classroom and the community