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Thread: Honey locust beans?

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    Junior Member hard county's Avatar
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    Default Honey locust beans?

    Has anyone had any experience with this? I tried the beans days ago and really liked them, I also believe there are few if any ill effects as I have seen the deer and other game eat them readily. They taste something like a kidney bean and are around the same size.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Just make certain it IS Honey Locust and not Black Locust or the Kentucky Coffee Tree! The Kentucky Coffee Tree seeds and pulp are poisonous. I've never tried the seeds just the pulp of the Honey Locust.

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    Junior Member hard county's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Just make certain it IS Honey Locust and not Black Locust or the Kentucky Coffee Tree! The Kentucky Coffee Tree seeds and pulp are poisonous. I've never tried the seeds just the pulp of the Honey Locust.
    I tried some of that as well, It was very sweet and juicy. I know black locust pods are much smaller than the honey locust and I was not aware of a kentuck coffetree, but after researching I am fairly certain I have never seen one in my area of west tennessee.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    My dad taught me about the pulp when I was a kid. I've probably licked a couple hundred seed pods. Maybe a couple thousand. It was a long time before I even knew there were different tree pods. If it was on the ground it just got licked. Thousand wonders I didn't poison myself but that's how kids work I guess. Luck wins over skill any day.

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    I've read about the honey locust and it says all parts of the tree are poisonous. This is from a couple sources online. forget which ones though.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to know the source. Actually, they aren't poisonous. The other I mentioned above (Kentucky Coffee Tree) is, however as are parts of the Black Locust (roots, bark, leaves and seeds).

    If you catch the seed pods of the Honey Locust just before they are ripe they are sweet as honey. Hence, the name.

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    I'm certainly no expert on Honey Locust, but it would seem that some sources cite their edibility. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_locust
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    Actually, Black locust beans are not poisonous, if you collect them just as they are turning purple, but before they dry, shell them (which is th' more tedious part of th' process, but well worth the effort), them cook them in boiling water with some garlic and olive oil for about half an hour (or maybe less if you live below 5,000 ft. elevation). They're quite yummy, and very unique. Indeed, if it didn't take so long to shell them they'd be much more common fare i do believe.
    Also the flowers, which have a very short season of availability (at most 3 weeks) are probably th' best thing you'll ever put in your mouth. You'll talk about nothing else to everyone you see for that season. For a wonderful wild salad pick young lambsquarter tips and leaves and top them with black locust flowers. It's so good you don't need any dressing on it.

    I'll get some more pictures up here soon, but here's what th' pods look like when they're ripe. locust.jpg beans.jpg

    and here's that salad with lambsquarters, mustard flowers and black locust blossoms
    flowers.jpg

    I'm sorry to disagree with something on my first post, but i just wanted to share my own experience with this wonderful food. Thanks, rico
    Last edited by rico lighthouse; 11-11-2011 at 01:03 AM.

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    Senior Member erunkiswldrnssurvival's Avatar
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    the kentucky coffee tree has large dark brown to reddish brown seed pods. they grow all over Massacheucetts. honey locust and other legumes are good but have simular species like palo verde,and kentucky coffee which are toxic. another good food legume is from the scotch broom bush which resembles locust but has much smaller leaves, scotch broom is used to make a coffee sub. my grandfather used to make beer with the honey locust pods.
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    Rico, have you tried blanching the black locust pods in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then squeezing the seeds out through the side of the pod? I know it works for garden peas - I shelled what seemed like BUSHELS of peas one summer, and that was the fastest, easiest way I ever found to do it. I just repeated it with some edamame (green soybeans) which had directions on the bag that implied that you could cook and eat the pods, too - NOT!!! Tough, stringy, NASTY!!! (The beans are delicious, though!) ... I have access to some black locust trees, so I'll try to remember to gather some of their pods this year.

    I am very interested in the edibility of honeylocust pods and beans - the beans more than the pods. My dachshunds have been chewing up the dried pods all winter - they must retain some sweetness after drying - but even though the dogs swallow the seeds, the beans must be hard as rocks - they go straight through, and with only minimal swelling from the digestive juices.

    On another tack, the dry honeylocust pods make great kindling for starting fires. I put a handful in my wood stove and apply a match - they flare up and burn with great vehemence and heat, enough to start most chunks of wood. They're also good in an outdoor grill situation, generating enough heat to cook most anything. I bet they'd be great fuel for a rocket stove - I need to build me one of those this year! I don't know if their easy-starting and heat-generating capacity stem from the sugar content of the pods, or if they are also oily, but they are quite useful in that respect.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Good info...don't think rico is around as his last post was 11-10-11.....
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    Heres a post I did on another forum . Honey Locust beans had white flakes inside the day after Thanksgiving and were quite sweet . Tried some others on Jan 26 and sweetness was gone but seeds were soft enough to eat . ( kind of tasted like raw soy beans )








    Went out shopping for rabbits this afternoon and took along the camera just to see what edibles were available in the late fall . This is interesting me more then normal because of a thread going on right now . Eight items to take to survive 30 days in the wilderness .

    So late fall and early winter what is availabel . Heres some I found on a short hunt .


    .
    About a week or so late for this nice hunk of meat .

    Rose hips little but lots of them .

    Honey Locust . Pith is edible ofcourse honeylike flavor . Pods while green . Im thinking the seeds if ground up would be nutricious .

    Poor mans pepper ( one of a number of those little flat seeds ) tastes kinda like a cross between pepper and coffee .

    Greenbriar root . Brought the wrong tool for digging up the root .

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  13. #13

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    well I have done some studying and the Kentucky Coffee Tree and the seeds are not poisonous but the pulp is it is in the "wildman" steve brills book.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I'll see your Steve Brills and raise you one Illinois Veterinarian School

    http://www.library.illinois.edu/vex/...y/kentucky.htm

    One wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky_coffeetree

    And one USDA

    http://plants.usda.gov/java/charProfile?symbol=GYDI

    They must be processed to make them edible. Otherwise, the are very toxic. Good first post.

  15. #15

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    Thanks for the info.

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