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Mature Beans

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Mature Beans

Post  Chopper on Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:02 pm

I have green, yellow and black beans growing and a vacation around the corner. The seeds of the black beans are meant to mature on the vine, but were I unable to pick the yellow or green beans at the right time and the seeds matured in the pod, is there any reason I could not dry them and use them the same as any other dried bean?

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Re: Mature Beans

Post  kimbertangleknot on Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:07 pm

I don't see why not. I'm sure they might not taste as yummy as the lesser mature pod, but that's nothing that a little bacon grease, fat back, salt, or anything else can't fix. Smile
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Megan on Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:22 pm

I'm very glad this subject came up. If you want dry beans, how long do you leave them on the plant? I have black and lima beans growing, the packet says black ones can be used as snap or dry. I am clueless.... Very Happy
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Chopper on Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:19 pm

Found re: black beans:

"Harvest your beans after the pods have dried completely and the beans
have turned black. (If you pick a few and find the beans are still
white and the pods are moist, allow them to dry further before
harvesting the rest.) When they’re ready for picking, crack open the
pods to remove the beans, and spread them on a flat surface to dry for
another day or two. After that, place the beans in a container in a
cool, dry place and use as needed."

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Dried beans?

Post  ander217 on Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:17 am

Yes, you can use your beans in both the shelly or dried stages.

I was just discussing this with Megan in a private mail - why does no one mention using beans in the shelly stage anymore? When bean seeds fully develop in the pods, but haven't yet dried, they are in the shelly stage. At that point if they are cooked they have a wonderful flavor. They can also be blanched and frozen.(Remember to boil bean seeds for a minimum of ten minutes to destroy the lectin - especially red kidney beans which contain it in toxic amounts.)

For me, eating fresh shelly beans versus dried beans is akin to eating fresh sweet corn in the milk stage versus allowing it to dry on the cob before cooking. There is just no comparison in flavor.

We have traditionally picked our beans when most of the pods are in the shelly stage. The few that have gone on to the dried stage are threshed and stored for dried beans, but the majority of the harvest is used in the fresh stage.

I urge all of you to try some shelly beans this year, whether it be fresh limas, dragon's tongue, black beans, wren's egg, improved horticulture, great northern, or just about any other variety you can name, even snap beans that get away from you and produce large seeds. Field peas are best when shelled fresh,too, IMO - we had our first mess of shelly Purple Hull Peas last night - they were SO good.
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Megan on Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:18 am

@ander217 wrote:Yes, you can use your beans in both the shelly or dried stages.

I was just discussing this with Megan in a private mail - why does no one mention using beans in the shelly stage anymore? When bean seeds fully develop in the pods, but haven't yet dried, they are in the shelly stage. At that point if they are cooked they have a wonderful flavor. They can also be blanched and frozen.(Remember to boil bean seeds for a minimum of ten minutes to destroy the lectin - especially red kidney beans which contain it in toxic amounts.)

Ander,

I never knew you could eat beans that way. Smile Growing up, we had string beans, fresh or froze those we couldn't eat right away.

Going to have to try some shellys!
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Shelly beans

Post  ander217 on Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:25 pm

Maybe it's a Southern thing. In the grocery stores here you can buy cans of beans that are labeled "Shelly Beans with Snaps" and consist of green bean seeds that grew to the shelly stage and are canned with a few snap beans added for extra color and flavor.

The old-fashioned way to cook shelly beans is to add a little salt and bacon grease, or cut up some bacon, ham, or other smoked meat in them, bring to a ten-minute boil, and then reduce to a simmer until the beans are tender. It doesn't take them long to cook in the shelly stage. You can always season them with olive oil instead, or cook them in broth, etc. if you don't want to use bacon grease or meat.
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Megan on Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:37 pm

@ander217 wrote:Maybe it's a Southern thing.

Maybe so? I grew up in New Hampshire and Maine, and I never heard of shelly beans until this forum! Thanks for the recipe... how long until tender after the 10 minutes, usually?
thanks
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Chopper on Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:59 pm

@ander217 wrote:Maybe it's a Southern thing...
The old-fashioned way to cook shelly beans is to add a little salt and bacon grease, or cut up some bacon, ham, or other smoked meat in them, bring to a ten-minute boil, and then reduce to a simmer until the beans are tender. It doesn't take them long to cook in the shelly stage. You can always season them with olive oil instead, or cook them in broth, etc. if you don't want to use bacon grease or meat.

Oh yeah, olive oil is equivalent to bacon grease! LOL. I am going to try the southern version first before going to the more healthful version. I just bought bacon for BLTs (leaving out the L) and will save some for that. Sounds like a meal.

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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Megan on Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:09 pm

@Chopper wrote:Oh yeah, olive oil is equivalent to bacon grease! LOL. I am going to try the southern version first before going to the more healthful version. I just bought bacon for BLTs (leaving out the L) and will save some for that. Sounds like a meal.

I am going to have to make some bread for our first BLTs!
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  ander217 on Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:12 am

@Chopper wrote:Oh yeah, olive oil is equivalent to bacon grease! LOL. I am going to try the southern version first before going to the more healthful version. I just bought bacon for BLTs (leaving out the L) and will save some for that. Sounds like a meal.

It's not a meal until you add some cornbread. Make sure you add enough cooking water to the beans to have plenty of soup left to soak into the cornbread. I usually barely cover mine with water, but you can add more if it looks like too much is cooking away.

Okra's always good with fresh shellies, too. I lay a few small, whole pods of okra on top of my cooking beans the last few minutes to boil/steam them tender. (Remember to leave a little bit of stem on the pods and do not cut into the seed cavity or they'll go all slimy on you.)

Are you growing shellies, Chopper?

Megan, I've never really timed them, but I'm guessing about 20-30 minutes total will cook most of them tender. I'd start checking them after 15 (10 min. at a boil, 5 at a simmer). It depends on the size of the beans you are cooking and whether you like yours barely tender or more on the mushy side.

Wow, y'all are makin' me shelly bean hungry and it's only 7:00 a.m.!
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Megan on Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:33 am

@ander217 wrote:
Megan, I've never really timed them, but I'm guessing about 20-30 minutes total will cook most of them tender. I'd start checking them after 15 (10 min. at a boil, 5 at a simmer). It depends on the size of the beans you are cooking and whether you like yours barely tender or more on the mushy side.

Wow, y'all are makin' me shelly bean hungry and it's only 7:00 a.m.!

Mmmm, cornbread!

Have to say, Ander... I will keep the limas, and you can keep your okra. (*shudders*) Wink Thanks very much for the cooking info. I am sure I will be pestering you for more advice! Very Happy
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Chopper on Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:03 pm

@ander217 wrote: (Remember to leave a little bit of stem on the pods and do not cut into the seed cavity or they'll go all slimy on you.)

Are you growing shellies, Chopper?

Well, I am learning more and more. I thought you shelled the beans first, so good to know. I am going to have to look into this some more now.

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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Megan on Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:14 pm

@Chopper wrote:
@ander217 wrote: (Remember to leave a little bit of stem on the pods and do not cut into the seed cavity or they'll go all slimy on you.)

Are you growing shellies, Chopper?

Well, I am learning more and more. I thought you shelled the beans first, so good to know. I am going to have to look into this some more now.

I think she was talking about the okra there, Chopper. Smile
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Chopper on Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:35 pm

@Megan wrote:
@Chopper wrote:
@ander217 wrote: (Remember to leave a little bit of stem on the pods and do not cut into the seed cavity or they'll go all slimy on you.)

Are you growing shellies, Chopper?

Well, I am learning more and more. I thought you shelled the beans first, so good to know. I am going to have to look into this some more now.

I think she was talking about the okra there, Chopper. Smile

OMG! LOL! I will let you know if I so totally screw up this recipe that it turns me off of veggies forever!

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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Megan on Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:40 pm

rofl

I just got my mom's bread'n'butter pickles recipe from my sister. Except neither of us have any idea how much it makes. Go figure!
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Cooking shelly beans

Post  ander217 on Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:01 pm

Poor Chopper. I'm sorry I confused you. Let me back up and start again with the beans so there is no doubt.

Choose beans or field peas in which the seeds have fully matured in the pods, but haven't yet dried. (Think English peas.) Shell them just as you would English peas. Wash and pick out any bad beans.

Place the shelled beans in a saucepan and cover with water. Salt to taste. Add diced ham, bacon, or smoked ham hocks, or just use a little bacon grease or whatever seasoning you prefer.

Cover and bring to a gentle rolling boil for at least ten minutes, then turn to simmer. Simmer until beans are cooked through to desired tenderness. If too much water boils away, add a little more hot water. You want to have some soup left with the beans.

I sometimes boil whole pods of okra, peeled pearl onions, or small new potatoes (or all three) with my field peas or wren's egg beans.

The beans will be like cooked dried beans, only they have a much fresher flavor. Our favorite varieties are wren's egg, Improved Horticulture, and baby limas (my husband's, not mine.) I'm trying Dragon's Tongue this year for the first time.
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Chopper on Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:30 pm

OK, then let me ask all my questions while we are on the subject. The recipe you gave is what I was thinking.

However, what about the beans? I was talking about green beans, yellow beans that had gotten away from me and possibly black beans to use. Would they work? I will probably try anyway, but wondering if there is a reason not to.

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Which beans?

Post  ander217 on Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:45 am

Yes, as far as I know you can use any beans as fresh shelly beans. If any of my green snap beans get too large before picking I always shell them and cook them along with the other snaps. Every variety will have a little different flavor, just as pintos are a little different from red beans, which are different from black turtle beans, etc. For me, beans normally used as snap beans don't have quite as good a flavor when used as shelly beans as those varieties which are sold primarily as shelly beans, but they're still good.

Some beans sold primarily as shelly beans can also be eaten in the snap stage while with others the pods are too tough or stringy. For example, I've never heard of anyone eating snap lima beans.

So I guess the rule is, all snap beans can be eaten as shelly beans, but not all shelly beans can be eaten as snap beans.

Let me know how you like them.
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Megan on Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:34 pm

Since we are talking about beans....

I found this link earlier today. I learned a lot of new terms such as "short cut" beans, and really enjoyed reading about the various varieties:
Heirloom Beans One thing that caught my attention was marking the earliest pods to form to save as seed. I've got my eyes peeled now! What a Face


Also, Ander, when you talk about purple hulls, you do mean beans, right? I see there is a purple hull cowpea too. (Now there is a whole 'nother topic I need some education on!)
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  1chichi on Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:59 pm

Recently, I cooked my 1st "mess of peas"! They were Pink Eye Purple, and down here they call them field peas.
I purchased the fresh Pink Eyes picked for $10/half bushel.
It took me a couple of hours to shell them, which I spaced out over 3 days.
I didn't know they had to be shelled right away, so I have a bunch that are dry and some are moldy.


I fried Honey Bake Ham pieces. Then, sauteed the peas for 10min in the ham, Added little grated onion, & a little bit of thyme.
Then low boiled for 30 min. Checking and stirring a few times. AWESOME w/ cornbread!
Also, recently tasted fresh black eye peas for the 1st time (my fav).

I've just learned fresh peas can hardly be compared to dry or frozen, they are so superior.
Can I save the dried ones and plant them next spring?
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  ander217 on Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:12 pm

@Megan wrote:
Also, Ander, when you talk about purple hulls, you do mean beans, right? I see there is a purple hull cowpea too. (Now there is a whole 'nother topic I need some education on!)

No, I mean Purple Hull Peas (field peas or cow peas). They look like blackeyed peas only larger, and are less starchy IMO. As 1chichi said, there are different varieties, including pinkeye purple hulls.

If you like field peas, try my favorite sometime, - cream peas.

Some of the shelly beans have purple pods, too, or cream colored with pink or purple streaks, but I've never heard of a variety of bean called Purple Hull.

1chichi, yes, you can save seed from your purple hulls as long as it is open-pollinated seed. Hybrids don't usually come up true the second year. Here's a link to a good article on saving seed which tells how to know if you have open-pollinated or hybrid seeds:

http://www.northerngardening.com/LSseedsavg.htm
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Megan on Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:37 pm

Ander, here's the one I was thinking of: Link Purple Pod, not Purple Hull, oh well. I almost bought these instead of the Cherokees this year. May have to try some next year.
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Megan on Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:57 pm

Hey Chopper,

Couldn't find the original thread, but the pods of my black beans (Cherokees) get patches of red when they finally start turning black, rather than turning tan. flower
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Re: Mature Beans

Post  Chopper on Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:24 pm

Aha! I actually have had a whole bush start looking old and dried. When I tested a few pods they look done. I am away for two weeks so I hope when I get home to just pull the whole plant. Now I know to check online if I have a different variety next time to see what the signs are!

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