It's March a Sunday and for breakfast this morning we had the last of the dried runner beans from Allotment 72. We planted them out last May and they did exceptionally well. I had one tepee of bamboo cane and five plants.
It was an exceptionally hot summer here in bonny Scotland in 2018 and the plants needed a lot of watering. They grew just like 'jack and the beanstalk' and I chuckled at the thought of these magic beans.
They grew well past nine feet tall and were producing many pods. More than enough for curries and soups. Eating the raw young pods in salads and producing so many that I pickled ten jar of runner bean chutneys.
We went on holiday at the end of August for three weeks and by the time we came back the pods were full with beans and beginning to dry off. I left harvesting to the beginning of October and was able to harvest about 2 kilo of dried beans.
Soak the beans overnight and then cook in vegetable stock for about ten minutes. We then transfer the beans into our 'canny cooker' which is basically a bean bag that the hot pot is transferred to and the beans allowed to cook over night, using no fuel and producing tender succulent beans.
The beans are ready to use and have endless possibilities. Here they are cooked in a sun dried tomato barbecue sauce.
Served on toast with mushrooms.
As a mindmeal, runner beans would make an excellent ingredient whatever form. They are exceptionally nutritious. I am not a nutritionist but my wife Christine has a Diploma in Nutrition from the Nutrition Foundation and she knows her beans. I have always liked growing things and it amazes me sometimes that we are not growing enough food that we could be eating when we have the opportunity to grow so many and varied foods. As a family we use much more that 2 kilo of dried beans in a year and I will have to consider how to increase that harvest and also to grow more different varieties of bean for drying. The beans are a low-fat source of protein and would make a sound basis when compiling a mindmeal. They are also relatively easy to grow and made a good trade for a cow did those five magic beans. Just imagine what could be achieved as a vegan giant killer haha, fi, fo, fi, fum, haha.