Velvet Bean White
It took us years to eventually get good velvet bean seeds to grow but we are really glad that we can now offer these to South African Gardeners. Velvet beans are known by a number of names such as Buffalo Bean and most notably Mucuna Pruriens. Velvet beans has a very long list of health benefits and is used very prominently in Ayurveda medicine.
Plants of Mucuna Pruriens gets really big. You require a very strong trellis and space seeds at least a meter and a half apart. Massive seed pod clusters form the most beautiful flowers. The fine hairs on the pods must be avoided at all cost. If it touch you it will cause an itch all over your body and the hairs must under no circumstances be consumed. Wait until seed pods is completely dry and all hairs fell off before harvesting.
Approximately 10 seeds
How do you process Mucuna Pruriens / Velvet Beans?
It is relatively easy to process Velvet Beans. First shell your dry Mucuna Pruriens pods. Make sure they are really dry and the velvety hairs on the outside of the pods has fallen off. Roast beans slowly over moderate heat in a frying pan until the outer skins starts to crack. This should take approximately 15 mins, turn over regularly to minimize burning of the beans. We suspect a coffee roaster, if you have one will work fine for this part of processing velvet beans.
Cool down and blitz the beans in a food processor. We find a food processor with a blunt blade works well for this step. The outer skins should come off easily in this way, remove the loose skins and peel by hand any skins that is still on the beans. Discard the skins or husks.
Now its time to grind your velvet beans down to a fine powder. You need a strong food processor for this, at Glen Seeds we find a coffee grinder works quite good. You want a very fine powder so best is to through your processed Mucuna pruriens through a fine sieve and re-process the pieces that stay behind. Store the fine velvet bean powder in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
Click here to read more on growing beans