Why do we only have access to canned, frozen or dried beans? Why don’t the markets provide fresh beans?
Some types of beans (including kidney, black and navy) are not harvested until they have completely matured and dried out, which is why you will not find them fresh. It’s worth noting that most beans – especially kidney beans – should always be cooked before eating since they contain naturally occurring toxins that become neutral and harmless after cooking. In early summer, look for fresh fava, pinto and lima beans, as well as fresh green garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas) at farmers’ markets, specialty shops and ethnic grocery stores. Fresh beans are perishable and will keep well for a few days when stored in the refrigerator, while shelled beans can be kept frozen for up to six months before being cooked.