Red water after blanching beans......??

catherinet(5 IN)September 7, 2012

Today I blanched some Roma pole beans and Blue Lake pole beans before freezing them. Later, after the water had cooled, I went to dump it down the sink and here's what I found. Very strange! I've blanched Blue Lakes before, but not Roma poles. I don't think they have brown seeds, do they?

This was very strange to find!

And it wasn't red when I was taking them out of the boiling water to cool them off......

Any ideas??

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sweetquietplace(6 WNC Mtn.)

What the heck is going on? This morning I blanched a mixed batch of end-of-season beans...Dragon Tongue, Jumbo, Half-Runners, Blue Lakes, etc. When I poured out the cooled water, it was red! I've been blanching beans for years and I've never seen anything like this. I'm on spring water that flows out of my mountain.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 6:09PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

A lot of beans have red streaks and reddish seed when dried. Nothing to worry about.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 3:00PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Well its good to know I'm not the only one!
Sweetquietplace.........did you have a drought this summer? We had a severe one, and I'm wondering if it has something to do with the beans put out "stress hormones" that might cause the red?. haha
wertach.........I know I'm picking these Romano pole beans fairly immature......but their seeds are white. Do they turn dark when dried?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:42AM
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sweetquietplace(6 WNC Mtn.)

Up until the last month I had a wet, wet, wet season. The last month has been bone dry and it's the beans I picked during this time and blanched that the water turned red. You really may be onto something with your "stress hormone" theory. That's certainly as good as my blaming every gardening weirdness on chemtrails.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 8:26AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Yes Romano are dark when dried.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 1:34PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I really know very little about all the intricacies of beans.......but I wonder also if the seeds don't turn brown until later, maybe if you pick them before they're dry, that "dye" (even though not present visually before that) shows up in the water with heating. ?? Just guessing though. Its a mystery! haha

wertach.....when exactly do the seeds turn brown?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 10:40AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I just blanched more Romanos (and Blue Lake), but the Romanos were larger than I used the first time, and the water still had a slight tinge of red, but much less than with the younger beans.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 7:36AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

"wertach.....when exactly do the seeds turn brown?"

I don't know exactly, when they turn brown. I haven't grown Romanos in years. I let them dry on the vine way back then and they were brown when I shelled them.

Are you blanching them together? The Blue Lake shouldn't turn the water red. They are white when dried.

I blanched and cooked some blue lake last night and the water was clear at blanching stage. After cooking the ones that I served for supper the water had a darker tint but not red.

Just a thought, not sure if it would cause the redness, what kind of pot are you using? I know a cast iron pot will make the water darker, but an aluminum pot may also make it change colors.

I have always use stainless steel pots.

Are you adding anything to the pot like salt or spices?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:24PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

When I cook green beans I steam them most of the time, the water when I pour it out is never clear. I just did Blue Greasy Grits for dinner the other night, the water was pink. I think the water is always a pinkish color, maybe different shades of pink/red but it's never clear. I've never given it much thought :).

There are lots of bean seed that change color as they dry, some quite dramatically in a very short time, some change color over a longer period. I had one variety that changed from white to brown in a matter of a few hours.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:41PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

If you used iodized salt, you may be seeing a reaction between iodine and starch in the beans. This reaction would cause a blueish brown discoloration of the water that may be combining with the bean pigment to turn a final red color.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:23PM
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