Fresh Dried Beans
Our beans are ‘fresh’ dried beans, which means they are not several years old. Rather, they were grown last summer, and because they are fresh, these beans cook faster, are more digestible, and have more flavour. One of the unique aspects of our bean production is its size. Most dried beans are grown on an industrial scale and shipped all around the world. Our small scale allows us to do every aspect from planting the seeds, to harvesting, to cleaning the beans, to bagging up for sale for lovely eaters like yourselves.
2016 Growing Season and Bean Quality. Last summer was very dry, causing the bean plants to be stressed and produce beans that are generally smaller and look blemished. However, once you cook them up, they have great flavours and texture. The late summer ended up quite wet, causing the bean plants to start flowering again, so come harvest time the bean plants had both dried pods and green pods. This presents a real problem at harvest time, because the green pods are wet and can cause the dried beans to get wet and pick up dirt while traveling through the combine. This wet material can also cause the combine to jam up and get damaged. Some of the varieties, mainly the Beka Brown, have some dirt on them. This dirt will rinse off with the usual rinsing prior to soaking.
Black beans are versatile in the kitchen. Boil for 20-30 minutes to keep their shape for adding to casseroles and soups or cook for 40 minutes and they will mash easily for refried beans or creamy Mexican soup. Or for dessert make some black bean brownies.
Navy beans are very popular for baked beans, or for use in salads and white bean soups where a small bean is desired. They will boil up to a tender consistency in 20-30 minutes.
Aztec Kidney is a heritage variety, a large dark bean with fantastic sweet and nutty flavours. Enjoy lightly seasoned in salads or beside rice. Once soaked they swell to become very large, meaty beans, most often used in chilli and other stews. They will easily cook in 30 minutes and start losing their form with longer cook times, so be sure to keep an eye on them. When soaking them a lot of the colour will drain out, but they darken up again slightly when cooked.
Kenearly Yellow Eye is a heritage variety, medium size white bean with a yellow hilum, which cooks up to be a large meaty bean, great for baked bean suppers or hearty winter soups where the beans are cooked down into a rich, creamy broth.
Beka Brown is a heritage variety, medium size golden bean with great flavour. These beans take longer to cook, making them a great choice for any dish that takes several hours to bake, allowing the flavours to mingle and infuse the beans. They hold their shape and will not go mushy. They have some dirt on them this year so please give them an extra rinse.
Silver Cloud Cannellini (white kidney) is a heritage variety, large white bean, with excellent nutty and creamy flavours. Fantastic as a whole bean in Tuscan White Bean Soup or cooked down into a rich creamy broth, this bean holds its shape very well when cooked, so it can handle extended cooking or baking time.