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Highest Protein Beans

We’re going to analyse beans so you knew which beans are the highest protein beans.  Protein is important to the diet and will become even more important in a post-“event” situation where you are a lot more active than you are now.  

Beans & rice, rice & beans.  In the prepper world, that’s what’s for dinner. And breakfast.  Lunch, as well.  But not all beans are created equal.  Based on our experience, the preppers’ standby bean is the pinto.  Generally, it’s also the cheapest per pound.  But I would suggest using a slightly different analysis after answering the question, “What are the highest protein beans?”  In other words, find the beans with the highest protein content and figure the cost per gram of protein per serving.

What's for breakfast? Rice & beans.

What's for dinner? For a change, we're having beans & rice.

Why is protein important?

Preppers focus a lot on calories.  It makes sense; calories are our bodies’ fuel.  One rule of thumb is that you should plan to have about one million calories stored per year (3,000 per day × 365 days). But a nutritionist will tell you that you want to avoid empty calories, and that carbohydrates are only one of the macro-nutrients necessary to sustain life. Protein is another, and that’s why we look at protein-rich food sources, such as the highest protein beans.

We need protein because it helps us build and maintain muscle mass, even more critical in a catastrophic or SHTF situation.  

The Highest Protein Beans

Rank

Bean Type

Protein per Cup

(cooked)

Protein per 100g

(cooked)

Source

1

Soybeans (Boiled Edamame)

31.3g

18.2g

USDA

2

Lentils

17.9g

9g

USDA

3

Large White Beans

17.4g

9.7g

USDA

4

Cranberry (Roman) Beans

16.5g

9.3g

USDA

5

Split Peas

16.3g

8.3g

USDA

6

Pinto Beans

15.4g

9g

USDA

7

Kidney Beans

15.3g

8.7g

USDA

8

Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)

15.2g

8.9g

USDA

9

Navy Beans

15g

8.2g

USDA

10

Lima Beans

14.7g

7.8g

USDA

What's this mean for you?

I did an informal survey of preppers and homesteaders.  Over half of them were storing only pinto beans, because that is the cheapest variety per pound (most of the time).  This means that we are missing out on some delicious protein sources that are in some cases only a few cents more per pound.  We’re also missing out on variety.  Sure, with pintos you can make bean chili, and you can make refried beans.  But with navy beans, you can have baked beans, English breakfast beans, or plain ole American pork ‘n’ beans.  With garbanzo beans, you can have hummous and falafel.  And on and on.

If you’re just getting started with prepping, keep it simple. A bucket of pintos plus a bucket of rice is one month’s “rations” for one person.  Once you have a year’s worth of rice and pintos, then start branching out.  Think about recipes and work backwards from there.  Also, if you’re just starting out, check out our “Coffee-break Prepping” series, where I give you quick and easy suggestions for a meaningful prep that can be completed in 30-60 minutes (i.e., think it through during a morning coffee break and complete the task during your lunch break).