Rosecoco Beans in Kenya: All You Need to Know

3 June 2023|General Discussion

Rosecoco bean is a legume also known as borlotti in Italy, or cranberry bean in America due to its color stripes. However, rosecoco closely resembles pinto beans in every aspect, well except for the size. They both have colored stripes but the rosecoco is longer in length.  

cranberry beans, rosecoco, romano, borloti

Pinto is a Spanish name that translates to English as ” paint” referring to the markings or spots or stripes in the bean.

Other names: Romano Beans or Roman Beans


First off let’s talk appearance, they’re short, plump, medium-sized, and oval in shape. White in color with red or maroon streaks across. 

Dried Rosecoco,Kidney, and Black Beans
Dried Rosecoco,Kidney, and Black Beans


Originating from South America and Columbia to be specific, later they spread to Italy and Spain through explorers in the 15th and the 16th Century, and then to the rest of the world where they are grown at least everywhere today.

Rosecoco Taste

Cooked rosecoco has a nutty texture, (almost like peanuts) and milder flavor when compared to red kidney beans. They taste so similar to pinto beans but they are more flavorful thanks to the thinner skin and larger size.

Where to find rosecoco

You can either get them dried, canned, or fresh(green). The fresh ones are sold still with their pods in the farmers’ markets. The canned and dried can be found in supermarkets (canned are already cooked). The fresh ones cook faster and taste better in my opinion.


If you got canned ones then you’re good to go, for the fresh ones however, you need to shell them from the pods. It is relatively easy just twist opposite lengths and the pod will pop out releasing these beautiful beans. Then proceed to wash, then boil your beans in salty water for like 20 minutes and they will be done and cooked through.

For the dried ones you need a little more patience. Before cooking, soak them for at least 4 hours or overnight(more preferred). Soaking is important as it softens the beans reducing the cooking time and making them more digestible. 

Next is boiling them till tender, they cook longer than their fresh version. You should add water enough to cover them in a pot and salt it then heat on. Salting earlier at this point helps in seasoning them evenly, especially in the insides. 

For the cooking method, you can use a stovetop or even preferably a pressure cooker or an instant pot. Stovetop simmering will take 1 hour to 2 hours while pressure cooking will be between 20 to 40 minutes. However, stove cooking or slow cooking gives more tender beans as the process is gradual and delicate. Pressure cooking on the other hand will save energy and time.


Now that you have your cooked cranberry beans, let’s explore different ways you can cook them further and uses for each, the options are limitless!

  •  Bean Stew: This is the most common way to finish off your beans, stewing involves frying your beans in; onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and herbs of your choice. Then simmered with the addition of water or the drained broth from the initially boiling beans. This is done till everything is cooked and tender. Bean stew is used to accompany starchy dishes like; mashed potatoes, pasta, white rice, or breads e.g Chapati
  •  Bean Curry: Same procedure as stewing above, but here we use a load-some of spices, majorly; coriander(Cilantro), cumin, garam masala, curry powder, chilies, and turmeric among others. Bean curry is thicker in consistency, creamy, and richer than stews. It is majorly used as a side dish or for the same accompaniments as above
  •  Bean Soup: The drained broth from your boiled rosecoco can be thickened with vegetables such as celery to make a light soup. You can optionally blend everything together, the beans and their broth, and simmer them down for a rich homogeneous soup that is a good starter dish
  •  Baked Beans: If you hate the slimy texture of canned baked beans then why not make your own? Combine necessary ingredients and then bake as required
  •  Bean Burgers: Cooked drained beans are mashed and combined with breadcrumbs herbs and spices, molded into patties then grilled or baked then assembled as ordinary burgers.

Nutritional Information

Provided by the USDA: Per 100g serving (Mature Raw)

Calories: 335kcal

Fat: 1.23g Carbohydrates: 60g Dietary Fiber: 24.7g Sugars: 0g Protein: 23g

Potassium: 1330mg Phosphorus 372mg Magnesium 156mg Calcium 127mg

Kindly note that the above data is for raw and mature rosecoco(cranberry) beans, and it will differ with different cooking methods or for the fresh green beans.

Health Benefits

Rosecoco, Cranberry Beans in Pods
Rosecoco, Cranberry Beans in Pods

Nutrition: Cranberry beans are nutrition-rich, packing high amounts of; proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber. The high mineral content of phosphorus and potassium and Vitamins especially Vit. C. All these are important for normal body operation and development. These beans pack all these and at high levels ensuring you attain your daily requirements for each. Dietary fiber present helps in digestion too

Blood Sugar: Plant proteins have a low amount of sugar as compared to other protein sources, especially animal proteins. To add on plant-based proteins have dietary fiber which helps with the regulation of blood sugar levels. Animal protein is in fact associated with Diabetes type 2.

Fat Levels: Rosecoco beans have a low-fat level of less than 1.5%, thus a lower cholesterol level compared to animal proteins. This is good for a healthy heart

Antioxidants: These help with anti-inflammatory properties, especially from polyphenols and flavonoids. Antioxidants expel the free radicals that cause damage to cells by oxidation

Recommended Links

Review: The 6 Best Green Groceries in Nairobi

Leave a Reply