Fresh Green Beans

GREEN BEAN GARDEN

Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables to grow in my garden.  They are nitrogen fixers, meaning they add to the health of your soil, as opposed to depleting it. So, if you plant them with vegetables that are heavy feeders, everyone wins. I like to plant them using the classic three sisters method: planting corn, beans, and squash together at the same time. The beans feed the corn, the squash blocks sun from the weeds, and the corn acts as a natural pole for the beans to climb.
This year, I planted Kentucky Wonder. Since I’m relatively new to Kentucky, it only seemed right. They have done well this year.  I tend to see them produce best after the corn has finished growing.  This late in the season, my freezer is pretty full of summer squash, so I have been looking for some new ways to preserve my harvest.
 
Fermented foods are quickly becoming my new obsession.  Since fermented foods are full of gut-healthy probiotics and are able to be stored in the refrigerator for months, I am willing to ferment anything I can. It sounds a little intimidating, but it’s really very easy.  It is healthy, simple, and delicious, which really is the trifecta of garden happiness if you ask me. These green beans can be eaten straight out of the jar or added to salads. I don’t recommend cooking with them, simply because you lose a lot of the probiotics in the process, but you can toss them on top of a hot dish at the end for a lovely finishing touch.
 

How to make Lacto-Fermented Green Beans:

1. Wash green beans and snap off ends and tips.
2. Place green beans in a clean glass jar until you cannot squeeze another one in there.  You need them to be tight, so they do not float to the top. The key to this is depriving the vegetable of oxygen so it doesn’t mold before it ferments. You can also use glass weights to aid in this.
3. Mix your brine. You need a ratio of 2 teaspoons of salt (non-iodized, like sea salt) to 3 cups of water. Dissolve the salt and pour into your jars making sure to cover all beans. Filtered water is recommended since chlorine can throw off the fermentation.
4. Put lids on loosely, and cover with a towel.  Let it sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours. After the first day, check to see if it is beginning to bubble and smell sweet and slightly yeasty, almost like bread.
5. Move to the inside door of your refrigerator where it will continue to ferment.  It should be ready to eat in 1-2 weeks.

About the Author:

Pammy T. is a fledgling homesteader, homeschooler, and blogger.  You can see more of her projects both the fabulous, and the failures at fruitofthyvine.com.

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