Michigan is the second largest dry bean producer in the United States and the top producer of black beans, cranberry beans and small red beans. Michigan dry beans are planted in May and June and harvested in the fall. Bean plants are left in the field until the shelled beans fully mature and dry out completely, which is typically between late August and October. Growers harvest the beans and send them to a processor before being either packaged in their dry form or rehydrated and canned in a commercial canning facility. Both of these packaging techniques produce a shelf-stable product allowing Michigan dry beans to be available for institutions to purchase all year.Dry beans are a versatile ingredient for main dishes, sides, starters and snacks throughout the year. Consider using Michigan dry beans as a salad bar topping, in soups or chili, pureed into a hummus or bean dip, as a side vegetable, or as a meat alternative.
Facts and Tips
- More than 40% of Michigan dry beans are grown in Huron County, making it one of the top dry bean-producing counties in the country.
- Dry beans are a low-fat protein source full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Rehydrating dry beans helps to control the level of added salt.
- Dry beans packaged in polyethylene food-grade bags have a one year shelf life.
Use the resource list below to locate and purchase Michigan dry beans to serve in your institution.