I planted 3 rows of green beans (Blue Lake and Tema varieties). I am in the midst of my final picking and will end up with about a bushel and a half. They’re over-mature because of a combination of extra hot weather and the fact that I did not keep up with regular pickings.
I am looking for ideas on what to do with the over-matured beans. Should I shell them and dry the beans for use in soups or stir fry? Should the shelled beans be frozen or canned in some fashion? Help please!
You can use them now as you would dry beans, in soups or stews or chili or cooked with a hamhock, only they take a lot less time to cook (about 20 minutes, no need to presoak). They don’t dry very well unless you use a food dehydrator - they tend to mold first. But you can shell them, freeze them on a cookie sheet and then gather them into in a freezer bag for later use.
There’s also a classic dish called “Shelly Beans” where you throw them into a pan with some edible green beans, saute with some bacon and onion and/or butter and onion, and if you need some extra moisture, add a little milk or broth and cook until everything is soft and yummy.
I usually toss defective beans on the compost heap for recycling. While some over-mature beans I’ll use in the suggest ways, or in slow-cooker stews, sometimes I just don’t bother.
I’m glad I planted extra this year, as I had all sorts of issues with them, from entire plants dying off to bean pods with paperthin walls to pods that never filled out, or collapsed, or had something else go awry. I think the compost heap has eaten more of the garden this year than I have.
Thanks for the help. My next several days are jam packed with other activities, so I am afraid that all those beans will be sitting for too long after picking. I am hoping I am able to get a bowlful or two shelled. Shelli beans sound delicious.
I also think I will try keeping some as seed for next year. The Blue Lake is an heirloom variety so they would be more likely to come back next year than the Tema hybrid variety.
However, I think most will end up in the compost pile or, since I live in a rural area, I may take them out to the edge of the timber and let the deer and wild turkeys have at them.
Thank you for all the suggestions.
Dopers are the best.