Have you heard of the black valentine bush bean? This versatile bean is an heirloom variety with many tasty uses. It’s nutrient dense and easy to grow which makes it an excellent addition to any kitchen or home garden.
Keep reading to learn more about this interesting and tasty bean!
Characteristics of Black Valentine Bush Beans
Black valentine bush beans are long, straight, and thin. The bright green pods are about six inches long with small and shiny black seeds inside.
They’re a bush variety meaning the plant grows low to the ground in a mounded shape.
Black valentine beans are an ideal dual-purpose bean. When harvested young, they make delicious fresh snap beans. When allowed to grow a little longer, the seeds can be dried for soup beans.
What do they Taste Like?
When eaten fresh as snap beans, they have a rich green bean flavor.
When used as dry beans, the flavor is nutty with a somewhat meaty texture.
Eating Black Valentine Bush Beans
Black Valentine Bush Beans are good for many purposes. You can eat them fresh, like green beans, or dry them for soups and other dishes.
When cooked, the black seeds turn slightly purple giving them a unique and attractive appearance.
How to Use Them
When dried, black valentine bush beans can be used anywhere you would regularly use black beans like soups, tacos, quesadillas, or even in brownies. Try topping a salad or nachos with black valentine beans or give one of these recipes a try.
Crispy Black Bean and Rice Burritos
When using the young tender beans and eating them whole, you can eat black valentine beans just like other green beans. Add them to soup, put them on top of salads, or cook some up as a quick and easy side dish.
They’re delicious when steamed and then topped with a bit of butter and salt. It takes just a few minutes to prepare and you have a healthy and tasty side dish.
For more ideas on how to use them, check out these recipes.
Black valentine bush beans are high in several important vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, calcium, fiber, and folate. They’re low in sugar, calories, and fat.
Both fresh and dried beans are full of health benefits. When added to a balanced diet they can help lower LDL cholesterol, inflammation, and high blood pressure.
Beans are good for helping maintain a healthy weight and healthy blood sugar levels. The high protein and fiber content helps keep you full and satisfied. Beans have a low glycemic index that helps control blood sugar.
Kids like black valentine beans too! Since they have a mild flavor, green beans are easy to like. You can serve fresh black valentine beans plain with just a bit of butter and salt, or serve them with a yummy sauce.
Dried beans are easy to add to kid-friendly foods like quesadillas and dips. You can even put them in smoothies to add a boost of nutrition. Kids won’t even notice the bean flavor!
Where to Get Them
Black valentine bush beans aren’t widely grown commercially so it may be hard to find them in stores. Your best bet is to check with local farms and farmer’s markets to see if anyone is growing them in your area.
If you can’t find them locally, you can always try growing your own!
Growing Black Valentine Bush Beans at Home
Black valentine bush beans are a reliable and prolific grower. They’re easy to grow, even for beginner gardeners.
Soil and Growing Conditions
Black valentine beans like full sun and soil that is slightly acidic, around 6.5 pH. Soil should be kept moist.
They can tolerate cold temperatures so this variety can be planted earlier than many other bean varieties.
Starting seeds indoors gives you an even faster harvest, but green beans grow quickly already so it’s not necessary to start seeds indoors unless you just want to.
When starting outdoors, plant the first seeds after the last danger of frost has passed.
Since they’re a bush variety, the plants don’t need any support.
Beans make excellent companion plants for tomatoes. They add nitrogen back to the soil which tomatoes love.
You can plant beans right next to your tomatoes to give the plants a boost of nitrogen, or plant beans in a space where you previously had tomatoes to replenish nitrogen in the soil.
When to Harvest
For eating fresh snap beans, harvest when the pods are young and tender, around six inches long. It takes about 50-55 days from planting to reach this stage.
If you want to harvest the black seeds for dried beans, wait to harvest until the pods are completely dry. They’ll be firm and slightly yellow. This usually takes around 70 days.
How to Get a Continuous Harvest
For a continuous harvest throughout the summer, use succession planting.
Instead of filling up the entire garden bed at once, plant a section of seeds then wait one or two weeks to plant more. With this method plants mature a few weeks apart, prolonging your harvest period.
You can repeat this process several times if you like, planting new seeds every one-two weeks all spring and summer. Plant the last seeds no later than 70 days before the first expected frost.
Where to Get Seeds
Since the black valentine bush bean isn’t a very common variety, it may be hard to find seeds in stores. Not to worry though, you can order seeds online any time from one of our favorite retailers, True Leaf Market, and have them shipped right to your door.
Wrapping up Black Valentine Bush Beans
Fresh green beans and dried black beans are both delicious so there’s no wrong way to enjoy the tasty black valentine bush bean! To learn more about beans and their close relatives, visit our beans page page on our website. There you’ll learn about so many different varieties of beans. You may even discover a new favorite!