The Q&A Archives: Eating Dried Lima Beans

Question: I have an abundence of dried lima bean pods with beans in them. Can I shell them, let them dry more, and eat them in soups and stews at a later date?

Answer: Sure. Allow them to fully mature and ripen on the vine so the beans are hard -- hard enough that you can barely dent one with your teeth. This can take as long as 100 days. The leaves should be yellowing by then and it may even be so late that there is a chance of frost. (Light frost will not hurt them, but a hard freeze will ruin them.) The idea is to get the beans as dry as possible so they won't mold later in storage. Harvest the beans and let them dry for a few more days protected from dew. Then clean and store them in a dry place. If you use jars and any condensation should appear, they are not dry enough. Enjoy!

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