Harvest of the Month: Dry Beans

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During the cold winter months, with no fresh local produce available, it can be a challenge to eat healthy. Dry beans are available year-round in our grocery stores, and are a delicious source of fiber, protein, iron, and potassium. You can also plan now to grow some of your own for next year. Beans are planted in late May, and harvested, dried, and shelled in the fall. Look for local dry cranberry beans at Morning Glory Farm.

Some dry bean varieties include garbanzo, pinto, adzuki, kidney, cannellini, and lentil. Dry beans usually need to be soaked in water overnight before being boiled. You can also try sprouting them by soaking them in a jar and rinsing once a day until sprouts appear. Snack on the sprouts, or boil them as usual. For a quick meal, use canned beans — look for BPA-free cans with low sodium.

The next time you make burritos or tacos, try buying a bean variety you’ve never tasted before. Sprinkle some sprouted beans on top of a salad, or blend them in a food processor with garlic, tahini, and olive oil for some quick hummus.

Tempeh Sandwich Spread

Recipe by Robin Forte

½ lb. organic tempeh
2 stalks celery, minced
2 scallions, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 carrot, grated
½ red pepper, minced
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. chives, chopped
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted

In a large saucepan with a steamer basket, gently steam tempeh covered for 15 minutes. Let cool. Crumble the cooled tempeh into small pieces and put into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Store covered in refrigerator for up to three days.

Ava Castro is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school program.