Beans – Easy to grow, nitrogen fixing, nutritious and ideal for pickling.

You don't have to look like a fool to harvest your beans.
You don’t have to look like a fool when harvesting your beams, it might help, but I don’t know.

Beans are great. They are a (protein-rich) superfood, easy to grow, require minimal care, produce an abundance of pods and convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that can be stored in soil. I grow bean plants that require support from a stake or string and grow like a vine, they seem to yield significantly more than dwarf beans. I think you call them climbing beans…

That being said, this is only true if you harvest early and often instead of waiting for them to mature entirely. In doing so, you increase the harvest by about an order of magnitude.

Beans are quite nutritious as well, being rich in protein, carbohydrate, dietary fibre, calcium, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and iron.

Like other members of the legume family, beans are nitrogen fixing which means that they improve the nitrogen content in the soil. In a nutshell, they take atmospheric nitrogen and convert it into a form that can be stored in soil. Therefore, they improve the soil quality (in terms of nitrogen content), and most other plants in your garden cannot fixate nitrogen and are thus dependent on it being stored in the soil.

I eat them raw, in salads, stir fried, grilled, steamed and in pickled form. So, lets talk about pickled beans. For many years, pickled beans have been Hollywood’s best kept secret. The original recipe was handed down from generation to generation, and some say that it was a man, only known as Mumu J., who was the first to recognize the benefits of pickled beans. However, none of this will ever be trivially proven, so let’s get back to the facts.

If you had beans for a few months and the pods still go hard and you’re looking for a way to preserve them, why not pickle them? Ideal as salty, sour food additive, look great on the window sill and hey, why not give a bottle or two to your friends for Christmas; after all they are Hollywood’s best kept secret…

BENIsLAND Pickled Beans Recipe:

  1. Jar and lid, dry and cleaned.
  2. Beans, any types.
  3. Salt, pepper, mustard or coriander seeds, chili.
  4. Herbs, garlic.
  5. Malt vinegar.

benisland_beans2

Preparation:

  1. Put beans into the jar
  2. Add salt, pepper, mustard or coriander seeds
  3. Add herbs and garlic
  4. Boil the vinegar and pour it on top of the mix.
  5. Close the lid tightly

They will be ready in two weeks, but I’ll recommend to keep the jar in direct sunlight and leave it for a month. Not that I have ever done this before, but hey, that’s still my recommendation.

First batch opened after two weeks. Top, but I like to see them become softer.
First batch opened after two weeks. Top, but I like to see them become softer.

 pickled_beans2

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