What Is A Bean Arch?
A bean arch is a structure made from beans. It’s a very simple concept but it can produce some pretty amazing results. You may have seen them in books or movies, but they are actually quite easy to build! They’re also great for kids’ crafts projects because they don’t require any tools and the whole thing takes less than half an hour to complete.
The following video shows you how to make your own bean arch.
How To Make A Bean Arch: Step By Step Instructions
First, gather up all the beans you want to use in your arch. If you’re making one out of regular white beans, then go ahead and grab a few bags of those. If you’re using black beans, then go ahead and get a couple of pounds or so. (You’ll need enough to fill the arch.)
Next, wash and drain the beans. Then put them into a large pot along with water until they’re covered. Bring it to a boil over high heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain off most of the excess water, leaving just enough to cover the beans completely. Set aside to cool down while you prepare your mold.
In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar until well combined. In a larger bowl add the milk and melted butter. Whisk together until combined. Slowly pour in the flour mixture and whisk until it’s all combined.
Grab a mold for your bean arch. You can find something at most craft stores if you don’t have anything on hand that will work. (Some people use things like wine boxes or shoe boxes.) Cover it completely with foil first, though, so that the baking powder doesn’t stain it.
Take the bean mixture out of the pot and pour it into the mold. Fill it up almost to the top. (Be sure to shake it a few times back and forth to get rid of any air bubbles trapped inside.)
Now you’re going to have to wait for the baking powder to react with the liquid in the beans and start to give off gas. This is called “baking” and it should take about 20 minutes or so. (It may take a little longer if you use a larger mold, so keep an eye on it.)
Once the gas has formed and the beans look “plumper”, take the mold out of the oven and gently tap it against the counter to get rid of any excess gas. This will prevent the arch from becoming misshapen when you take it out of the mold.
Now you’re ready to make your bean arch! Take the mold out to the backyard (or wherever you want your arch to be), and place it on the ground. Grab some duct tape and secure the mold in place by taping it around the edges. Then, gently take the beans out of the mold and position them to your liking.
Finally, take some more duct tape and secure the beans to the ground so they don’t move around while you’re working. Then, take a step back and admire your handy work!
Tips & Warnings
You can make this project even easier by using pre-cooked baked beans out of the can, though this will make the project slightly less healthy. (Most canned baked beans are loaded with sugars and other things you’re probably better off without! Just say no!)
Make sure you get the baking powder that has only baking powder in it and nothing else! Many people are used to seeing “baking powder” mixed with things like corn starch, so make sure you read the ingredients before you buy it!
You can add a little food dye to the mixture before you put it into the mold if you would like your arch to have colored beans. Be creative!
Beautiful arches are possible with just a few simple materials!
Sources & references used in this article:
Internalization of bioluminescent Escherichia coli and Salmonella Montevideo in growing bean sprouts by M Obama – 2012 – Crown Books
Using children’s literature to plant and nurture thinking skills in young minds by K Warriner, S Spaniolas, M Dickinson… – Journal of applied …, 2003 – Wiley Online Library
Determination of the protein quality of cooked Canadian pulses by D Coonrod, A Rusher, E Miller – Educational Horizons, 1991 – JSTOR
More beans for African farmers by …, G Young, L Malcolmson, JD House – Food science & …, 2017 – Wiley Online Library
Agrotechnology Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna 9208, Bangladesh by YB Seed – search.proquest.com