NDSU Extension - Mercer County

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Freeze in the Heat of Summer

types of beans, snap beans, edible dry beans, Pickled Dilled Beans recipe

Submitted by Dena Kemmet, Extension Agent/Family and Consumer Sciences

I have been admiring all the produce, especially the beans, growing in the community garden.

Many types of beans, including snap beans and dry edible beans, grow very well in the upper Midwest.

Snap beans, also commonly referred to as green beans or string beans, are close relatives to dry edible beans. They both belong to the same genus/species and together are referred to as "common beans."

Because snap beans are picked at this young stage, the beans can be snapped in half with a simple twist of the fingers, hence the name "snap" beans. Snap bean varieties include purple, wax (yellow) and the very common green bean.

Snap beans are harvested and consumed while immature, before the inner bean in the pod has begun to develop. On the other hand, dry edible beans actually are the inner seeds of the pod and are not harvested until mature (when the pod is too firm and fibrous to be consumed fresh).

Although snap beans are botanically similar to dry edible beans, they differ greatly in nutritional value. They are an excellent, low-calorie food that contains a variety of nutrients, such as vitamins A, C and K, folate and potassium.

While snap beans are a very nutritious food, they are not quite as nutrient-dense as dry edible beans, so they are not classified as beans or protein foods in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Instead, snap beans are classified as vegetables.

When selecting fresh green beans, look for beans that are deep green and straight, and snap easily. Snap beans are a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be prepared in a number of ways, including steamed, stir-fried or as part of a salad.

Canning "plain" green beans requires the use of a pressure canner because green beans are a "low-acid food." Pickled green beans can be processed in a water- bath canner because they are canned in a vinegar brine.

See http://tinyurl.com/lowacidveggies for guidelines about canning vegetables.

See http://tinyurl.com/picklinginfo for pickling information.

Here is a recipe for pickled green beans from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Note that this recipe uses weights for the green beans. Investing in a scale and weighing the vegetables is the best way to ensure safe food preservation.

Pickled Dilled Beans

4 pounds fresh tender green or yellow beans (5 to 6 inches long)

8 to 16 heads fresh dill

8 cloves garlic (optional)

1/2 c. canning or pickling salt

4 c. white vinegar (5 percent)

4 c. water

1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes (optional)

Wash and trim ends from beans and cut to 4-inch lengths. In each sterile pint jar, place one to two dill heads and, if desired, one clove of garlic. Place whole beans upright in jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Trim beans to ensure proper fit if necessary. Combine salt, vinegar water and pepper flakes (if desired). Bring to a boil. Add hot solution to beans, leaving 1/2-inch head space.

Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., North Dakota State University Extension Service food and nutrition specialist

 

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