Sunday, November 9, 2014

Home-Canning Beans

I was working on my Zaycon Foods chicken order, and I wanted to can some of the chicken.  I wanted to can them in pint jars, because that size works well for our family.  However, I don't like to run the canner unless it's full.  So, whenever I have extra space in the canner when I am canning meat, I add a few jars of beans.

I like to have home-canned jars of beans on my shelf.  First of all, they're less expensive than store-bought canned beans.  I can usually get three or four jars of home-canned beans for the same price as one store-bought can.  Secondly, they taste better.  I don't like the metallic taste of store-bought beans.  Mine taste SOOO much better.  Thirdly, I don't know what they put in canned beans from the store, but I know that mine contain beans, water, and salt.  That's it.  I feel much better about giving that to my family than something that is hiding inside a metal can.

My recipe for home-canned beans is really very easy.  I hesitate to even call it a recipe since it is so simple.  Let's just list the steps instead, since it's really not a recipe.  (Disclaimer:  Please educate yourself on proper canning techniques before you go forward with this project.  I'm not a canning expert, so I will not go into the safety steps that you need to take.)
  1. Pick through and sort your beans.  Remove any broken beans or foreign material.
  2. Rinse the beans very well in hot water.  I usually put the beans in a colander and rinse them under running water.
  3. Put 1/2 cup of beans into a clean pint jar.  
  4. Add 1/2 tsp canning salt and top with boiling water to the 1-inch mark.  Seal according to proper canning procedures.
Beans must process in a pressure canner for the same amount of time as meat.  That's why they're the perfect filler when I need to put a few extra jars in the canner.  

I let them sit on the counter for a day or two and then put them on my shelves with the rest of my home-canned foods until I am ready to use them.  They are great along side any meat in tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.  I like to mash them for refried beans or bean dips.  I use them for chili and other soups and stews.  They're great as a side dish...or with a big hunk of cornbread!  I like to put black beans in salads too.

In other words, use them exactly the way you would store-bought beans.  I'll bet you like them better, though!

Thanks, and welcome to my world!

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