Thursday, September 19, 2013

Beans beans, the musical fruit...

...the more you eat, the more you toot! The more you toot, the better you feel so eat your beans at every meal! 

Ok, enough with the potty talk.

I like dried beans. They are an economical protein source, especially when combined with whole grains to make a complete protein, and they are dirt cheap when bought in bulk. Last year I bought a 11.34 kg bag of organic black beans for $30 and we're still working on them! 

I also think they're a fun thing to grow in the garden. No, they're not going to give you the mass amounts of produce that a zucchini will give, but they are easy to grow and it's also fun to grow something that you can't buy. I have never seen this type of dry beans at any store, although I believe they are similar to the "cranberry beans" I've seen referenced in some cookbooks. 

Last year I decided to try Taylor Horticultural beans on a whim. When cooked up they were nutty and creamy and delicious. Plus, they looked neat, both on the plant and after shelling. I saved some beans from last year and planted them again, found myself impressed at their easy yield. You pop the seeds in the ground, water them occasionally, and when they are all dead, you remove the pods. They're such an easy plant, it's almost ridiculous. None of this "going out every day for a month to pick the plants clean" business. Plant and ignore. Now there's a plant after my own heart. 

Another unexpected pro of these beans this year was that my youngest REALLY enjoyed shelling them. To the point that he would get irritated when I picked one up to shell alongside him. What a great fine-motor activity to do together!

So, if you're looking for something a little different to try next year, give dry beans a try! 

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