This is my fourth post on dried beans. The 2nd and 3rd posts were on various kinds of dried beans while this one will consist of some thoughts on growing your own beans for drying.
- Depending of what you want to use the beans for and your tastes, you could plant and dry white beans (Baby Limas, Butter Beans, Great Northern Beans, Marrow Beans, Navy Beans, Pea Beans, Small White Beans), Red and pink beans (Red Kidney Beans, Light Red Kidney Beans, Cranberry Beans, Pinto Beans, Pink Beans, Small Red Beans), Peas (Black-Eyed Peas, Yellow-Eyed Peas, Chick Peas, Garbanzos, Ceci Peas, Spanish Peas, Split Peas, Whole Dried Peas), or flavored beans (Lentils, Black Beans, Turtle Beans, Soybeans). These were talked about in two previous posts.
- You could let your green or yellow snap beans grow to maturity and dry them, if you don’t mind a variety of shapes and colors.
- The beans from the scarlet runner, planted for its flowers, could be harvested and dried for a large, delicious bean that has red splash of color in it.
- The easiest way to dry beans is to leave some of the beans on the vine until the pods begin to open and a few beans shell out. Insects may be a problem with this method along with an excessive amount of shell outs.
- Another way of drying is to pull the plants and hang them to dry in an airy place. When the pods are brittle, place them in a burlap bag or leg of a panty hose and gently beat them with a blunt stick. Empty the container and separate the shelled beans from the chaff. Place the air-dried, threshed beans in the oven on warm for about an hour to kill all insects /larvae.
- As your home dried beans are stored for a shorter time period than purchased beans have been, they will generally cook faster and will be less firm.
- Store your beans in a an air tight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Be sure to use the older beans first when adding additional beans to the larder.
- A lot of cook books will tell you that dried beans can be kept in storage for up to a year. Realistically, if your beans have been properly dried and stored, they should keep indefinitely without significant loss of quality.
Keep your fork