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Beans, Shelling

Shelling beans come in many different colors and sizes, but they all have some sort of bumpy seed pod that must be removed.

The work can be tedious but therapeutic, especially if done on the porch on a warm summer’s day. It’s also a great activity to do with your kids.

Besides, the taste makes it well worth the effort. Fresh shelling beans have a rich flavor and a melt-in-your-mouth texture that’s very different from the typical starchiness of dried beans.

Common varieties include: fava beans, garbanzo beans, Lima beans, cranberry beans, Italian butter beans, Cannellini beans and English shelling beans.

Shelling beans are a spectacular plant-based protein source. One cup of boiled fava beans, for instance, contains 13 grams of protein.

Shelling beans are also a good source of folate, which aids in cell division and is especially important for pregnant mothers.

Fresh shelling beans are best eaten as quickly as possible. You can store whole pods in a paper bag or loosely wrapped plastic bag in the fridge, but it’s better to cover and chill shelled beans for up to three days.

Shelled beans can be frozen for up to 6 months. If you’re going to do this, shell and freeze them as soon as you get them to help preserve their flavors.

Shelling beans can also be dried, but this is not usually an efficient or cost-effective process.

July to September or October.