I would like to introduce a local company from Portland, Oregon: The Better Bean Company, founded by Keith Kullberg. It is a locally grown line of freshly made beans that are all-natural, VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, SOY-FREE and SUPERFOOD. I was impressed with The Better Bean’s colourful rectangular-shaped tubs at a few local groceries in Oregon; they caught my eyes immediately. Bright colours are my thing, too! Their containers are fully recyclable (#5 plastic), BPA-Free, re-usable, and microwave safe with a strong lid that peels off easily. I will be reviewing Cuban Black Beans, Uncanny Refried Black Beans, Wholly Chipotle Bean Dip and Three Sisters Chili.
★ PRODUCT NAME: The Better Bean Company
★ WEBSITE: www.betterbeanco.com
★ TYPES: As of August 2012, they carry five different flavours: Rethought Red Beans, Cuban Black Beans, Uncanny Refried Black Beans, Wholly Chipotle Bean Dip and Three Sisters Chili.
★ ABOUT: The Better Bean Company is founded by Keith Kullberg in Portland, Oregon. Their mission statement is “We exist to bring back beans, in all of their age-defying, cholesterol-reducing, cancer-fighting glory. And we’re doing it by making them as succulent and tempting as they are hearty and nutritious. We’re doing it with fresh, local ingredients and spices, and we’re doing it with gourmet recipes. Because these are not just beans” (The Better Bean Company, Manifesto).
The branding plus the heat levels labels were fantastic for The Better Bean Company: they are clear and straightforward. These bean dishes are inclusive to anyone especially with strict gluten-free diets by making them mild because some people may not like them salty, acidic, spicy or with strong onions. These bean dishes generally aren’t very salty or heavily infused with flavours, but provide a good foundation or base. Anyone can customise whatever they like such as more salt, jalapeno peppers or lime juice to enhance the flavours of these freshly made beans. I personally like my beans blended, salty and creamy with a bit of heat (medium-high) while Doni liked his extremely spicy and creamy. As a side note, these bean dishes are handy for anyone who don’t have time to make them, but may require additional ingredients depending on their preferences.
While being mildly spicy, you could taste the wholesome black beans with a very faint smoky and sautéed onion flavour. I assure you it does not have a strong onion flavour if you mind the taste. The packaging is accurate based on the heat level, which I greatly appreciate (plus, it is not spicy at all). It provides the creaminess to my dishes. If you have salty chips, they are a great addition. If you want more heat, add hot sauce or heat it up with loads of diced jalapeno peppers. Cuban Black bean has a nice foundation of being mild that is inclusive to anyone, while some may want heat, which require dicing up some jalapenos and mix it in.
★ INGREDIENTS: BLACK BEANS, WATER, ONION, POBLANO PEPPER, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, SAFFLOWER OIL, LIME JUICE, SEA SALT, GARLIC, CORIANDER, OREGANO
★ Vegan Quick Quesadilla with Cuban Black Beans
This is the same type of black bean dish as the Cuban Black Beans (as reviewed above), but Uncanny Refried Black Beans has more flavour and a bit of heat! It has some heat from the jalapeno and serrano peppers, but they are not “very” spicy though, but “comfortably” spicy to consume. When it comes to “very” spicy dishes, that would mean grabbing loads of bread and coconut milk, but don’t worry, this one is not just yet “very spicy.” After heating the bean dish up for a couple of minutes, it went well with salty chips.
★ INGREDIENTS: BLACK BEANS, WATER, ONION, TOMATILLO, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, SAFFLOWER OIL, JALAPENO PEPPER, SERRANO PEPPER, SEA SALT, GARLIC, HABANERO PEPPER
I could see red beans very well: healthy, wholesome and freshly made. The aroma has a slight, yet very faint smokey note to it that just seems characteristically like a light chipotle to me. Wholly Chipotle! tastes like homemade beans, with fairly balanced flavours with a hint of lime juice. The lime juice ingredient provides the balance and acidity of these organic red beans. Since it is called for medium heat, it doesn’t deliver the ultimate heat yet. The Uncanny Refried Black Beans has more heat though since they both have medium heat levels. They are great for dips when cold.
★ INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC RED BEANS, WATER, ONION, TOMATILLO, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, SAFFLOWER OIL, LIME JUICE, JALAPENO PEPPER, ROASTED CHIPOTLE PEPPER, SEA SALT, GARLIC
I was very intrigued to try The Better Bean Company’s chili dish, because it’s more unique than just bean dishes, plus it comes with corn, squash and ancho. After heating and grabbing a few bites, the flavour is a bit similar to Wholly Chipotle! bean dish (as reviewed above) due to the chipotle flavour. It is a very healthy, mildly spicy, wholesome chili. This is a perfect condiment or side dish, but not the dish itself.
★ INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC RED BEANS, BLACK BEANS, WATER, ONION, TOMATILLO, CORN, SQUASH, POBLANO PEPPER, YAM, LIME JUICE, SAFFLOWER OIL, CIDER VINEGAR, GARLIC, SEA SALT, JALAPENO PEPPER, ANCHO PEPPER, CUMIN, OREGANO, CHIPOTLE PEPPER
This item(s) was kindly sent to me to review by The Better Bean Company. All products that are mentioned and reviewed here on my vegan blog are of my own personal opinions and I am not being compensated to review them, only just to share my thoughts. Any products mentioned here should be used at your own discretion and with caution. I only review cruelty-free and vegan products. I will not review any products that I don’t love. If I receive a product complimentary of the company, it will be stated so in the post, otherwise, all products are purchased myself for my own personal use.