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Old 08-25-2016, 12:48 PM   #1
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Shell Beans

Hi, kids! My pole beans (Northeaster variety) are just too prolific, could not pick them all, so a lot of them are now getting lumpy with good sized seeds inside.

Do you think they'd make a good shell bean? Any cooking advice for me?

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Old 08-25-2016, 01:08 PM   #2
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Hi, I would say, if you were saving the beans for next year for seed, let them get big, then when they are drying off, dry and shell. Now at that point, you can try to rehydrate them like you would pinto beans. See if you like the taste, make a hummus, or refried beans, or use them in a soup or stew. Or in the worst case, you have bean seed for next year. I would bet they'd be absolutely fine for eating. Though, I haven't tried it myself.

I have a friend that grows a dozen kinds of shell beans, and is shelling them all into a bin in the fall, and mixes them, so he's got a big bag of multi beans for a multi bean soup.
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:08 AM   #3
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Hi, Blissful. Thanks for your response. What I was wondering about, though, was the fresh moist seed inside the pod - before they dry and are stored for soup. Any ideas?
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:11 PM   #4
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Daisy, As I said, I don't know because I haven't done this. I'm sure the beans in their freshly picked wet state are edible, as are the pods---as to HOW to cook them? Why not just add them to a stew or a bean (legume) soup. I wrote to a master gardener about using them and harvesting them as dry beans and I'm hoping he'll let me know what he thinks about it. I'll post again when I hear from him.

A simple but delicious soup, where you can substitute the beans for canned beans. Making sure to cook the wet, fresh beans for 20 minutes or so as you might green beans.
3 cans each of different colors of canned beans. (red, white, multi color, black)
2 cans of chopped or stewed tomatoes.
Chopped zucchini 2-3 cups worth.
In some oil, cook a large chopped onion, some garlic, some celery chopped, until most are soft. Add the beans and tomatoes. Cook. Add the zucchini, and season with salt and pepper and oregano. Cook until the zucchini are the doneness you desire. I like the zucchini to have some body left, so not more than 10 minutes.
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:31 PM   #5
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Here is the result of my inquiry.
Harvesting for dry beans: when most of the beans are mature and beginning to dry, pull out the whole plant and hang them. The rest of the beans will continue to mature and dry. Collect the drying pods and shell them, tossing often to allow the beans to completely dry.

Snap beans: Some varieties of these beans can be dried and cooked and used, and some after cooking will remain chewy. The chewy ones can be ground into a powder and then re-hydrated as refried beans.

Another option for chewy beans is to cook them in a pressure cooker if you have one.
I hope that helps.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:57 AM   #6
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Down here in the Ozarks, we call those shelly beans. If the beans are mature and the pods are too chewy to eat, shell the beans out, and throw them in the pot with any beans that are still tender. Add a hunk'o'pork--bacon, ham hock--chopped onions, garlic clove, maybe a chili pod, and cook for an hour or more, until the beans are tender and the snap beans are more than tender. Make a big pot--leftovers are delicious.

Serve with cornbread. Reminds me, I have some old beans out in the garden I need to get to.
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Old 09-20-2016, 12:57 PM   #7
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Thanks for your recipe, Sparrowgrass. Shelly Beans - yes, I've heard the term.

The beans I have that are too big in their pods are called Woods Mountain Crazy Beans. I believe they are from the south of the USA but are widely adapted. They must be, because I'm on the Canadian Prairies.
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