Dwarf French beans, or dumbfryers as they're sometimes called, are a smaller variety of their much more popular French bean. They are normally taller and bulkier, with larger blooms. They do not have the persistent and prolific flowering of their French cousins, but still make a delicious and colorful coffee. This variety is best suited for gardens with medium to light soil. They also need less water than French beans.
These dwarf French beans seeds can be used to replace the standard French beans in just about any recipe calling for dried beans. They work well as separate beans in chili, stews and vegetable dishes, although their smaller size means they will not cover the same ground area as their larger cousins would. The following are some interesting and different ways to use them.
Cooking - The Dwarf French bean can be used to make delicious desserts. There are many different recipes using this smaller sized bean. Quick syrup made with the seeds results in a neat and tidy way to top a fruit tartlet. Top with dried cherries for a nice winter dessert. Alternatively, roast a couple of pods and throw into a blender or smoothie for a neat and tidy snack.
Cooking - Another of the unusual ways that the dwarf French beans seeds are being used is in the garden. Seed pods can be planted in garden beds to provide seeds to plantings such as passion fruit, nasturtium, and other sour fruits. These are a bit picky eaters, so keep away from those with darker green stringless pods.
Edibles - There are some very interesting and unique edibles that can be created when cooking with the smaller dark green stringless pods. Roasted pig ears, black eyed peas, bean casseroles, and bean soup have all come out successful. You can also create a tasty dessert by grating up the seeds and adding to a fruit salad or a baked sweet potato. Another great dessert idea is using the same beans to make a delicious chocolate for dessert.
Stuffed Animals - Little animals make great gifts and these can be created with dwarf French beans. Tiny pigs, mice, and cats love to snack on these tiny beans. All you need to do is to crack open a dry pod and then add them to a stuffed animal. Another fun and exciting idea is to stuff a variety of smaller seeds into a variety of larger sized rice. Stuff the animals with the rice and then place them inside the animal.
Cooking - One of the most popular uses of dwarf French beans is in the making of a wonderful and healthy breakfast. Cooked French beans can be sprinkled onto any number of different recipes including salads, stews, soups, and even cereal. The beans add an interesting and flavorful dimension to many foods. This is especially true if the seeds are included. You can flavor your morning oatmeal, make a delicious and flavorful soup, or even heat up your lentils and rice for a tasty and healthy snack.
Growing Your Own - It's easy to grow dwarf French beans and they don't take up much room. They love a sunny location but don't do well in extremely cold weather. They are native to the southern United States and were introduced to Europe by French farmers more than a century ago. In order to eat the beans you have to consume them already cooked. If you want to harvest your own fresh seed, you can buy them at most health food stores and many stores that carry gardening supplies also sell small containers of the seeds.