[permaculture] food forest - honey locust varieties

negiliblek negiliblek at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 18 01:07:11 EDT 2009

I've sent a jpg file to you (to your liberationecology email) that shows a plate with the original pod, the cleaned but untreated beans and the fully processed ready to eat beans (let me know if you didn't get it).

> do you eat the pulp that surrounds them as well? 

In the green stage (undeveloped/not mature), the entire pod can be eaten and it is mostly sugar as you've read.

>The pulp is supposed to be up to 30% sugar in some varieties!

In the mature brown stage, the pod skin is full of tannins. Inside of the brown pod, there is a green substance (looks like green sugar that got wet then dried) that is almost pure sugar (by taste) and is edible. The effort (using the pick each little bit out of the brown pod by finger nail method) to get this sugar out isn't worth the time (if someone has a suggestion of how to separate this sugar from the pod without getting the tannins too, feel free to share). The bean is 10 to 24 percent protien, but needs the tannins to be boiled out after removing from pod.

making the bean edible:
1-get them out of the pod and wash all the gunk of in a rinse of cold water.
2-put beans in a pan of cold water and boil for 30 min
3-pour off the hot brown water
4- put the beans in a pan of cold water and boil for another 30 min
5- pour off the hot brown water.

the beans are still hard as buttons at this time (but tannin free), I'd recommend freezing them at this stage cause if you don't, inspite of being boiled twice, little hard shelled beatles will emerge from the bean and leave you with a white powerdy dust + brown shell. That or roast them lightly like some do with corn to keep the weavils out.

6- when you're ready to eat the beans, boil for 1-2 hours like you would kidney beans or black beans.
7- the beans can then be added to meat for a chili like soup 
8- or the beans can be covered with honey and milk (tastes like a grain cereal)

(7 and 8 are true because the bean has a very mild meaty taste which could be swayed in either direction by what you add to it)

www.pfaf.org said it could be used as a coffee, so I tried the following:
1-get the beans out of the pod and wash in cold water a bit more than above.
2- roasted them until evenly browned 
(they'll burst a little but don't blacken them -I used a gas oven)
3- ground them into a fine powder in a hand grinder
4- poured boiling water through the ground powder

this resulted in a dark brown liquid which tasted like a gourmet coffee
I only drank six liquid ounces ...it was like drinking a triple expresso!!! DRINK THIS MIXTURE AT YOUR OWN RISK: if you get a heart attack or burst a blood vessel -tain't my fault you got a weak pressure system.

when the drink became cold, it tasted exactly like cold coffee with the same jolt I got when it was hot.

If anyone knows a better way to prepare honey locust beans, please let me know!


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