When I was at my first year at the community garden one of the good pieces of advice I got was to plant what your family likes to eat. Too bad you can’t grow pizza! Any hoo, I thought; beans. I used beans, pinto mostly, every week and knew my kids liked them. I also learned that growing beans put nitrogen into the soil, enriching the soil so to speak. Since this was a grassy field just the month before, I thought enrichment certainly couldn’t hurt. So I planted my beans, which took up more than half of my 20′ x 5′ garden bed, and waited. They bloomed, they produced pods. Eventually the pods dried and I harvested, so excited to break the pods open and cook beans for my family! My kids helped me shell the pinto beans and we ended up with a SMALL bowl of beans. By small I mean one of my teenage sons could eat the amount harvested in one sitting and still be hungry! It was then that I remembered the wise words of one of my fellow gardeners. When he saw what I was planting he remarked “Pinto Beans, good choice, but I have found that you have to have a lot of acreage to really get a good yield.’ In gardener speak that is translated as; “Unless you are going to plant the north-forty with this crop, don’t bother.” Now I hear advice, I do, but I am the kind of person that often has to experience it for myself. My parents probably looked at each other when I was growing up and said one to the other. “Did you warn her that it might not work out so well?” Oh, I forgot she is going to have to experience it for herself, isn’t she?” In response the other sighed and said, “I am afraid so.” I feel your pain Mom because I have one of those kids myself now!
Now you and I both know that dried beans are pretty inexpensive at the grocery store, especially when bought in bulk. So there I was staring at my wee bowl of beans thinking I will not EVER waste garden space on these again. To be clear I am talking about dried pinto beans, green beans I will do. I will even plant a specialty bean that I can’t get anywhere else like cream peas, which are a small white bean unrivaled in creamy goodness. But pintos, no.
So I buy my beans in bulk at the store and I make them fart-less by doing this;
- 1-2 lbs of pinto or navy beans
- A few pieces of bacon,
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- Soak beans over night in a big bowl filled with water.
- Rinse beans, put in large pot just covered with water.
- Bring to a roiling boil and boil for 10 minutes without lid on pot.
- You will see lots of foam on top. This is the gas that would have been in your gut.
- Rinse beans in colander, put back in pot covering with fresh water.
- Add onion, garlic, bacon and bay leaf. Cook on low all day, 6-8 hours.
- Add salt to taste.(adding salt earlier makes the shell of the bean hard)
- Now you are ready to smash some beans for tostadas or add to any dish you want with no fear of stomach pains or smelly gases.
- The broth/liquid I cooked the beans in makes a great base for vegetable soup! After it is cooled I put it in quart jars in fridge until I am ready to cook soup.(store for a week at most)
This post was shared at Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop