Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Canning Dried Beans

In my efforts to be frugal I have tried switching to dried beans many times. They last longer, can be bought in bulk and stored easily, and are SOOOO much cheaper.


But I just couldn't prepare them right. Seems so simple. Soak them. Cook them. Season and Voila! You have a healthy and filling meal or side dish. But they kept turning out hard, sometimes flavorless, and every single time, caused MAJOR problems with the families digestion. It turns out there are some tips to help with these problems. When soaking your beans, add a little baking soda and DO NOT add salt until they are already softened.

But then you still have the problems of having to plan the night before for the next days dinner, to set out and soak your beans, and have them ready for HOURS of cooking the next day. In an emergency or even a camping or a REALLY HUNGRY FAMILY situation.... they are a pain.

I came across this article Cooking Beans and Canning Meat, by Marie H. on http://www.survivalblog.com. Following some of the comments that followed I did further research to verify safe procedures of canning beans. But I still GREATLY appreciated the article because it made me realize that there IS an easy way to use dried beans, AND make them easy to use, and easy to digest!

So last night I canned some dried pinto beans. I have several varieties and just grabbed the beans closest to me.

DIRECTIONS FOR CANNING DRIED BEANS

Soak Beans for one or two hours.
Prepare your jars, lids, canner.
Boil additional water (to fill your jars).

You can add salt and other seasonings to your jars, as you desire.
When your soaking time is finished or nearly so, take out your jars and put in your desired seasonings. (For this batch I just added 1 tbsp salt to each quart jar).

Drain or scoop out beans with a spoon that will drain out the water. Fill your jars half way with beans. Fill the remainder of the jar with boiling water leaving 1 inch headspace.
Wipe rims and put on your lids and rings.

Process pints for 75 mins and quarts 90 mins at 10 lbs pressure (double check your areas altitude in case higher pressure is required).

Here is a before processing and after processing photo from my batch.

They look great to me and I am excited to try them out. I will post an update when I use them!



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