how to dry beans (hint: don't rush them!)

 I GREW SOME GREAT BEANS for drying this year–varieties you could make into baked beans, for instance, or add to vegetable soup, or simply serve as a side dish, cooked up with onion and bay leaf and carrot in just enough water to cover them plus a bit, simmering till tender and delicious. But unlike beans I grow for eating green, these guys make you wait–but how long? About six weeks after the fresh-eating stage, typically, but here’s the thing: You really have to watch the weather, which can be wet in fall, the antithesis to drying anything. How to dry shelling beans, like ‘Christmas Lima,’ above (or ‘Rattlesnake’ or ‘Aunt Ada’s Italian,’ and more about using this important, nutritious food.

5 comments
October 9, 2012

comments

  1. narf7 says

    I love using dried beans a lot as a vegan and am planning on growing them on Serendipity Farm so I know where they come from. Cheers for a great post :)

  2. Catherine says

    Your baked bean recipe is outrageously good! Since I had no fresh tomatoes I used a can of diced, added a tad more mustard and 6-8 shots of tabasco sauce in the last phase. I will definitely make these on a regular basis even though at our altitude (7,000 ft.) they take about 12-13 hours to cook. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe! Ever thought about a cookbook?

  3. Norma says

    Thanks to you, I was inspired to dry the last of my black-eyed pea crop this summer (as opposed to eating them fresh – a delicacy here in the south.) I’m looking forward to cooking them in the near future!

  4. Nancy says

    I spent about 15 years in such poverty that eating beans regularly was the norm. I remember in college when a foods 101 professor asked the class how many there used dried beans and I got astounded looks when I explained that I seldom had fewer than 15 pounds on hand at any one time.

    I still eat beans – not as often – but at least once-weekly – because I like them. These days, I usually marry them with some flavorful meats and make enough to freeze for later. My favorite beans to dry are the scarlet runners. They make such great mouthfuls! A friend exclaimed “It’s like eating a potato in every spoonful!”

  5. says

    Dried beans are nutritious and low-cost, making them a wonderful vegan/vegetarian substitute for meats! But, here in southern IN, where it is seriously humid in the summer, we can’t do dry beans. I know of nobody around here who’s had success with growing beans for drying. Total bummer.

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