There are all sorts of beans out there, and it can be hard to keep them all straight. But if you’re looking for a versatile, delicious, and healthy bean, you can’t go wrong with great northern beans or navy beans.
These two types of beans are very similar, but there are also some crucial differences that you should know about.
In this article, I’ll compare two popular bean types: navy beans vs great northern beans.
I’ll cover everything from their taste and texture to their nutritional value, so you can decide which type of bean is right for you.
Table of Contents
The main difference between great northern beans and navy beans is their size. Great northern beans are larger and more oval-shaped, while navy beans are smaller and more kidney-shaped.
Let’s take a deeper look at the key differences between these two types of beans:
Size and Appearance
Great northern beans are larger and more oval-shaped, while navy beans are smaller and more kidney-shaped. This is most apparent when you compare them side by side.
Navy beans are typically about half the size of great northern beans. This difference in size can affect the cooking time, texture, and flavor of the finished dish.
Navy beans get their name from their dark blue color, which can also range from grey to black. Great northern beans, on the other hand, are off-white or cream-colored.
Another essential difference between great northern beans and navy beans is their texture. Great northern beans have a firmer, less mushy texture, while navy beans are softer and more creamy.
This difference in texture is due to the different sizes of the beans. Great northern beans have more starch and less moisture, which gives them a firmer texture. Navy beans have less starch and more moisture, which makes them creamier.
The different textures of these beans can make them better or worse for different dishes.
Great northern beans are good for salads and soups because they hold their shape and don’t turn to mush. Navy beans are good for stews and purees because they become very soft and easy to mash.
Great Northern beans have a subtle, slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with other ingredients and is more palatable for many people.
In contrast, Navy beans have a strong, earthy, and more robust flavor that can be used to add depth to a dish, but it can be off-putting for some
Great northern beans are suitable for dishes where you want a strong bean flavor, like chili or baked beans. Navy beans are good for dishes where you don’t want the bean flavor to be too overwhelming, like soup or puree.
When it comes to nutrition, both great northern beans and navy beans are excellent sources of fiber, protein, and iron.
Great northern beans have slightly more fiber than navy beans, with 20 grams of fiber per cup compared to 15 grams for navy beans.
Navy beans have slightly more protein than great northern beans, with 22.33 grams of protein per 100 grams compared to 21.86 grams for great northern beans.
Both beans are also very high in iron, with about 25% of the Daily Value per cup.
So, when it comes to nutrition, there is not much difference between great northern beans and navy beans. They are both excellent sources of fiber, protein, and iron.
Yes, you can substitute great northern beans for navy beans and vice-versa in recipes. The different sizes, textures, and flavors of these beans will not make a big difference in most dishes.
The one exception is when you are cooking beans from scratch. The different sizes of great northern and navy beans can affect their cooking time, so using the correct type of bean in recipes is vital.
If a recipe calls for great northern beans, use great northern beans. If a recipe calls for navy beans, use navy beans.
The Bottom Line
Navy Beans vs Great Northern Beans are two popular beans with some key differences. Great northern beans are bigger and have a firmer texture, while navy beans are smaller and have a creamier texture.
Great northern beans also have a more pronounced flavor, while navy beans have a more subtle flavor. Regarding nutrition, there is not much difference between these two types of beans. They are both excellent sources of fiber, protein, and iron.
So, which type of bean is better?
It depends on your personal preferences and what dish you are making. If you want a strong bean flavor, go with great northern beans. If you want a milder flavor, go with navy beans.