Some of our bean varieties are particularly good for storing – these include Borlotti, Yin Yang and Canellini. You can either dry them to store in an airtight container, or you can freeze them. In late September, you may have some pods that are semi-dry on the plants already and some that are still relatively immature, so you may wish to use a combination of freezing & drying.
How to Dry Beans for Storing
- Leave the pods on the plant until they start to dry out at the end of the season, usually in late September/early October.
- Harvest them during a dry spell (i.e before they get soggy in heavy autumn showers) and dry the pods by laying them in a warm, dry place. You’ll know they are ready when the pods rattle and are crisp and brittle.
- Once dried out, you can start shelling them to get the beans inside. Once shelled, the beans themselves need to be fully dried out too. Dig a thumbnail into the bean – if it scores, then the bean is not fully dry, so leave it a few more days on a tray in a warm, dry place.
- When the beans are rock solid, you can store them in airtight jars and keep them in a kitchen cupboard for many months on end.
- You’ll need to soak the beans overnight in water before cooking.
- Pick the bean pods when they have swollen, but before the pods start to dry out.
- Shell the beans, removing the beans from their pods. The beans will still be quite squishy when you squeeze them.
- Pop them in bags in the freezer (it’s a good idea to freeze in portioned bags as they’ll stick together and be difficult to separate later). You don’t need to blanche them.
- You can then cook them from frozen, just add to boiling water and boil for approx 20-30 mins until they are soft.