The Ultimate List of Legume Foods and their Relatives

  • By Jen OG
  • January 27, 2021
  • In News


For those keen to stave off meat and embark on a plant-based diet, the legume proven to be an excellent protein source and fibre-rich ingredient to get you started. Not only are legumes delicious, but their numerous uses are excellent to help you create a variety of dishes, no matter what you’re craving.

What are legumes?

Contrary to public misconception, not all legumes are created equal. Legumes all come from plants but they can either come from the seed of that plant or the fruit. This broadens the family of the legume creating an even greater amount of variety and forms amongst the already existing types. 

While each type will have their own benefits, legumes are all generally known for being high in fibre, protein, and can be dried and stored with ease.

Here is our list of the main types of legumes and their relatives. 



Peas are the edible pod seeds of a blooming plant that have been eaten since the beginning of civilisation. These incredible legumes were eaten in Egypt as far back as 4500 BC and were popular in medieval cuisine as a cold dish. 

To this day, peas have become a popular culinary staple in cuisines the world over, most popular being the winter-warmer pea soup.



Another legume that’s taken the world by storm and often used in Latin cultures as a staple for their dishes, beans also come from a pod (much like their cousin, the pea.) Beans have been sourced and eaten in Eurasia since the dawn of civilisation, cooking with continental European varieties such as fava beans or broad beans. European explorers to the Americas were also surprised to find even more variations of beans such as pinto beans, kidney beans and black beans.


A highly popular legume used for making iconic dishes like dal as well as hearty lentil salads. Lentils have been cultivated and eaten since ancient times in the Mediterranean and thrive in temperate conditions.

Not only are there numerous types of lentils but particular regions around the world grow a local lentil native to their community.



The peanut is the first of our legumes that actually grow underground rather than in a pod or blossom. Peanuts are consumed worldwide and are incorporated into a variety of snacks and meals from nation to nation. Not only are they popular in North America, but locations including China, West Africa, East Africa and India grow their own genus of peanuts with their own unique flavours and characteristics. 

We love them so much you can find deliciously crunchy kri kri coated peanuts in our carefully curated mixes, Backyard BBQ Mix and Quality Outback Mix. 



Harvested since Ancient Egypt, lupins are another popular legume which were introduced to the Mediterranean by Romans and are now a staple ingredient within the Mediterranean basin. One popular dish includes Italian lupini beans that come served alone or within a fresh parsley and lemon salad.

However you like them, there’s a legume dish for everyone’s tastes. Your diet – whether meat-free or not – can benefit from getting more legumes in it. Be sure to enjoy JC’s beans and lentils to get your started and feel the difference for yourself.

Shop with us for Healthy Ingredients

To bring all of  these amazing recipe ideas to life, shop online with J.C.’s Quality Foods. We pride ourselves on supporting Aussie households and will always be there to meet your need for delicious and healthy products. Contact our friendly team to find out more.

Don’t forget to tag us on social media if you create any of our nutty recipes. We’d love to see them!