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Eating bean leaves

 
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My pole beans are about done, I was looking at the plants, and had a thought, looked up, and it seems bean leaves are edible! I'm planning to dehydrate a bunch to crumble up for powdered greens for soups and protein shakes. The cabbage moths kept me from harvesting any kale, chard, beet greens etc, but the green beans survived. Didn't think to eat the leaves over the summer. I do eat sweet potato greens, and will dehydrate a bunch of them too.

Anyone ever done any variant on this? Do you eat your bean leaves? Anything I need to know, pro or con?

Thank you!
:D
 
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I've started 30 fava beans on the window sill for that purpose in the winter. hopefully I wont kill myself.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Looking up more stuff, looks like they may have oxalic acid issues, like a lot of other greens, so I think I'll cook them a bit before I dehydrate them, so the powder is lightly cooked. I usually toss chard in the oven for a very short time (until wilted, pretty much) before dehydrating them. I'll probably do the same with these.

A neat link about fava beans that talks of eating the leaves too: Do You Eat Your Broad Bean Leaves?
 
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My rabbits would cut me if I ate the leaves! They're favorites, along with the vines. I tend to have powdery mildew on them by the end of the season but the rabbits seem to not care.
 
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I love learning this sort of thing.  One more day I won't go hungry.  Thanks!
 
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Looking up more stuff, looks like they may have oxalic acid issues, like a lot of other greens

Like with many greens, they are far better tasting, more nutritious. and less toxic when they are young, or you are eating the younger parts of the plants.  Most people eat the young shoots or young fresh growth tops of peas and beans.

I think I'll cook them a bit before I dehydrate them, so the powder is lightly cooked. I usually toss chard in the oven for a very short time (until wilted, pretty much) before dehydrating them. I'll probably do the same with these.  

I found the following info from Eatthatweed.com:

Contrary to what some books say, cooking does not destroy oxalic acid. However, blanching your greens for a few minutes and disposing of the water leaches out roughly one third of the oxalic acid. That's one third of total oxalic acid but most of the soluble oxalic acid.

 
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:

Looking up more stuff, looks like they may have oxalic acid issues, like a lot of other greens

Like with many greens, they are far better tasting, more nutritious. and less toxic when they are young, or you are eating the younger parts of the plants.  Most people eat the young shoots or young fresh growth tops of peas and beans.

I think I'll cook them a bit before I dehydrate them, so the powder is lightly cooked. I usually toss chard in the oven for a very short time (until wilted, pretty much) before dehydrating them. I'll probably do the same with these.  

I found the following info from Eatthatweed.com:

Contrary to what some books say, cooking does not destroy oxalic acid. However, blanching your greens for a few minutes and disposing of the water leaches out roughly one third of the oxalic acid. That's one third of total oxalic acid but most of the soluble oxalic acid.


Cool, thank you! That's the exact kind of info I need! :D
All I have this time of year is older leaves, so I'll try them before I put too much work into them. When we put them into things it's not like I use 3 cups of powder, either. So dose isn't super high.

:D
 
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I actually plant fava beans for their greens.
 
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I haven't eaten bean leaves, but will add it to my list of new things to try. I especially like the idea of dehydrating and grinding them for a boost of protein in dishes.
Looks like it's going to be next spring before I get to try this, though; because the remaining bean & field pea vines in the garden have very few leaves left. The leaves they still have look pretty gross from the aphids, stink bugs, sharpshooters and the myriad of other pests that have plagued my garden this year.
I have eaten the new leaves/shoots of English peas a few times, and was able to get a small row of them planted for this winter's garden so will try the dehydration/grinding with them (IF they can survive the pest pressure until it's too cold for the bugs ๐Ÿ™„).
 
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Kc Simmons wrote:
Looks like it's going to be next spring before I get to try this, though; because ๐Ÿ™„).


thank you for your honesty. I'm also here thinking, i wish my fava bean leaves stayed nice enough to eat. Them and the tomatoes seem to attract every plague, pest, and disease in the region.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Kc Simmons wrote:I haven't eaten bean leaves, but will add it to my list of new things to try. I especially like the idea of dehydrating and grinding them for a boost of protein in dishes.


Not sure they'd add much protein, but I'd expect all the good things that are in greens.
Bean leaf lasagna anyone?
 
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Other greens that are edible? Obviously turnip, but I think radish, too. I'm sure there are more! (And I'm sure my grandmas knew what they were!) Now, I'll have to go hunt them down. I'll ask my mom if she has any clues, too.
 
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Carla Burke wrote:Other greens that are edible? Obviously turnip, but I think radish, too. I'm sure there are more! (And I'm sure my grandma's knew what they were!) Now, I'll have to go hunt them down. I'll ask my mom if she has any clues, too.


One of the links I found when looking this up:
Leaves of Vegetables That Are Edible | LEAFtv
:D
 
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And I don't recall that link mentioning carrot tops, I sautee them :9

Edit: looks like they did. Ah well, I still sautee them :D
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Looking up more stuff, looks like they may have oxalic acid issues, ...

A neat link about fava beans that talks of eating the leaves too: Do You Eat Your Broad Bean Leaves?



Kewl



Thankyou much guys&gals.



 
Roberto pokachinni
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Not sure they'd add much protein,  

actually, bean leaves have between 4 and 6 grams of protein for every 100 grams, which puts that at 10-12% of your daily needs. Not bad for 100 grams worth.  
 
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:

Not sure they'd add much protein,  

actually, bean leaves have between 4 and 6 grams of protein for every 100 grams, which puts that at 10-12% of your daily needs. Not bad for 100 grams worth.  


Cool!
Although, 100 grams sounds like a lot of leaves...
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

Roberto pokachinni wrote:

Not sure they'd add much protein,  

actually, bean leaves have between 4 and 6 grams of protein for every 100 grams, which puts that at 10-12% of your daily needs. Not bad for 100 grams worth.  


Cool!
Although, 100 grams sounds like a lot of leaves...



Go big or go home! ๐Ÿ˜ I tried some hyacinth bean leaves the other day (since they have been growing all year and have yet to fruitโ˜น) and I wasn't impressed. But you've got me thinking now, based on their taste maybe dehydrating them might make a good tea or spice...
 
Roberto pokachinni
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100 grams sounds like a lot of leaves...

 Maybe, relatively.  Depends on what 'a lot' is to you!  I eat that sort of stuff by the handful in the garden!
 
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I've known for a couple years that bean leaves are edible but for some reason have never gotten around to actually trying them.  Alas it's too late for my garden now.  I really must next year!  This year I am eating beet greens which some people don't realize are edible.   I also tried sweet potato leaves which can be crazy abundant and very mild in flavor.  I must work on finding more ways to utilize those.  I remember once hearing, I think it was Jack Spirko on the Survival Podcast, that one should grow sweet potatoes for the leaves and consider the tubers a bonus!
 
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Broad beans (fava) need their tops pinching out here to stop the blackfly the greens are really tasty and a real treat, cooked like spinach they have a mild bean flavour and are not sour at all (unlike spinach) I even sell them in early spring boxes to add volume.

I wonder if one could cook the top tips from climbing beans like asparagus, or hops. they are very similar to hop shoots in shape.
 
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Fava bean leaves are edible? Woohoo! A nice big batch is being planted here sometime this week. Will try some leaves.

Broccoli & other brassica leaves are edible too.
 
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Burl Smith wrote:I've started 30 fava beans on the window sill



The pots receiving sunlight didn't sprout and the ones off to the side did.
Similarly the favas planted in the cold frame have yet to sprout.



 
Roberto pokachinni
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The pots receiving sunlight didn't sprout and the ones off to the side did.
Similarly the favas planted in the cold frame have yet to sprout

. If I recall correctly, Anne Wigmore, one of the founders of the raw food movement, specified to always sprout legumes in the dark.  So they don't need light at all to sprout.  When I plant beans I always soak them for an hour (not too long like 8 hours or a day like other sprouts as they will split), and then plant them.  Apart from moisture and darkness, the majority of sprouting beans need warmth (except cold sown beans like broad beans).
 
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Burl Smith wrote:

Burl Smith wrote:I've started 30 fava beans on the window sill



The pots receiving sunlight didn't sprout and the ones off to the side did.
Similarly the favas planted in the cold frame have yet to sprout


I planted favas in my garden a few weeks ago, same day I planted garbanzos, blackeyed, and buckwheat. Everything else was 6-8 inches tall before the favas came up.
 
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I just checked in with Mom. She says she really doesn't remember if Grandma cooked bean leaves, or anything out of the grocery norm other than dandelions and poke salat. I'm kinda disappointed. I was truly hoping for one of those 'oh, COOL! How did I not know this about her?!' kind of moments. Ah, well. C'est la vie!
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:
I planted favas in my garden a few weeks ago, same day I planted garbanzos, blackeyed, and buckwheat. Everything else was 6-8 inches tall before the favas came up.



As a winter cover to turn under in the spring?
I broadcasted a packet of lentils on 100 sq ft of garlic, it survived a light frost.



 
Pearl Sutton
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Burl Smith wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:
I planted favas in my garden a few weeks ago, same day I planted garbanzos, blackeyed, and buckwheat. Everything else was 6-8 inches tall before the favas came up.



As a winter cover to turn under in the spring?
I broadcasted a packet of lentils on 100 sq ft of garlic, it survived a light frost.


Hm. kinda mostly curious how late I could put them in.
 
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I'm presently rubbing handfuls of blackeyed peapods together and dropping them in front of a desk fan in an attempt to winnow them (there's got to be a better way)



 
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I'll have you know that at this very moment I'm preparing my first Pea Leaves sautee.  

 
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Burl Smith wrote:I'm presently rubbing handfuls of blackeyed peapods together and dropping them in front of a desk fan in an attempt to winnow them (there's got to be a better way)


I have been picking blackeyes just as they yellow, and we peel them before they dry. I have cleaned a LOT of beans in front of fans though, it works well. If I missed the blackeyes, they were falling and being eaten by something.
 
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It was good! All plates were cleared with much curiosity.
 
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Rob Lineberger wrote:It was good! All plates were cleared with much curiosity.


Cool! You beat me, I have bad weather and am busy, haven't made it out to the garden yet,  not sure I'll get any before they die, I see dying plants out there.
 
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Hope it turned out well!
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:
I have been picking blackeyes just as they yellow, and we peel them before they dry.  



Burgess Seeds recommends heating them, to prevent bug growth I guess.





 
Pearl Sutton
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Burl Smith wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:
I have been picking blackeyes just as they yellow, and we peel them before they dry.  



Burgess Seeds recommends heating them, to prevent bug growth I guess.


I'm seeding them for regrowth, not for eating right now. I don't heat things I want to grow. If I was storing them for foodstock, yeah, I can see that. I'm not seeing any bug issues in them, I'll watch closer, thank you!

 
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I went out yesterday and tasted bean leaves, and picked some to dehydrate. A lot of the beans are season killed, I missed the window on those, the rest are still filling out seed pods, that I'm gathering for seed stock, so I didn't harvest them too hard, they are still working. But I picked probably a gallon of leaves to dehydrate.

My thoughts at this point:
1. Younger leaves taste better, but older ones are perfectly edible too, and definitely fine for dehydrating. If I were eating them fresh, I'd choose young ones if it was an option, but old ones can be worked with, I'd cook them a bit more, and not eat them raw. The young ones could be in a raw salad really easily.

2.  I need to harvest them all summer for this. These are going to do really well, and I need to consider bean leaves a crop in and of themselves, both fresh eating and drying or freezing for winter greens. Actually, they probably could be canned down like spinach or kale too.

3. Young fava leaves taste excellent, kind of like the pod parts of edible podded peas. They also are a crop for more than just the beans.

4.  I also picked some sweet potato leaves to dehydrate, I need to be doing this all summer too. I eat them fresh, but need to consider the greens as a storage crop for freezing, canning or dehydrating. They got planted in so late I hated to cut them much, as I'm hoping they are producing tubers. And David Huang: I too have heard Jack Spirko say that the leaves of sweet potatoes is a primary crop, tubers secondary. This year I hardly even managed much vine growth, my longest vines are maybe 6 feet at this point. It's really been a bad year here.

A deeper thought on it all: I have had a BAD garden year, lost over 95% of what I planted due to one factor or another. I have been all kinds of frustrated at it. I need to be figuring out how to most efficiently use what I CAN grow, rather than beat my head against what I cannot right now. The cabbage moths took out my greens all summer, and we basically had few garden greens all summer. If I had thought more about this. I could have eaten and stocked greens of other types all summer.
I need to optimize my use of what IS surviving bad conditions.

Incidentally, I got into sweet potatoes after touring BioSphere2 in Tuscon AZ. It was a closed environment experiment. When they came out, they were very malnourished and their skins were orange from eating so many sweet potatoes, as that was producing so heavily. I figured anything plant was that rowdy, tough and productive needed to be in my garden.

At this point in my life, I wonder how much of what they ran into food-wise was lack of knowledge of non-traditional edibles. I wonder if they missed things they could have eaten. The BioSphere when I toured it was pretty much tropical jungle environment, surely more than the bananas were edible in there. Or if there wasn't perhaps a better choice of plantings would have helped, I'd rather have moringa than banana trees, useful in more ways. Wonder what would have happened if the BioSphere planners had learned permaculture?
 
Tereza Okava
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Pearl, my season is just starting so I'm paying close attention. I just staked up my sweet potato vines, I grow some fancy ones for tubers but I can get good ones cheap and I have so little space, so I'm mostly growing for leaves. When they grow upward, I've found, the leaves are better than when I let them sprawl on the ground. If you are growing for tubers as well, the vines divide enough that you could stake up one part of the vine and let the rest stay on the ground, if you think that helps your harvest (some people seem to think more contact w ground adds more tubers?).
I would like to use beans for leaves but their growing season is so moist (tropical summer: rain every day, if the mildew doesn't get them the bugs do) and I could only get really nice, lush leaves early in the season, so I'm focusing on collards, kale, and now sweet potato leaves.
And like you say, all of this is based on observation as things adapt to weird weather.
If you haven't tried malabar spinach, you might want to. I've found it finicky to get started the first time but then it comes back forever and ever, it doesn't seem to get affected by mildew or any bugs, tolerates drought.
 
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I collect, dehydrate and powder any wild or garden greens I can. I then add some to all my soups and sauces to add nutrition to my diet. I have a wood stove andnput. ricks on top of it to set sheets of veggies and greens to dehydrate without using power when I can. I jave move dto Pacifis NW so learning what is edible in my area for foraging.
 
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