Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
Having pre-cooked dry beans means quick meals are easy. The cost of canned beans in the stores is outrageous these days. I started a few years ago canning my own. I used to do the pre soak then cook for 30 minutes before processing thing but not anymore. In my opinion thats a waste of time.
This is my method for canning dry beans by the no-soak method. My pressure canner holds 10 pint jars. I wash the jars and set them on the counter. Do not keep the jars hot as you would for other types of food. With this method everything is cold going into a cold canner. If you are not on a salt restricted diet you can add 1/4 teaspoon salt to each pint jar.
The measure is 1/2 cup dry beans per pint jar and 1 cup per quart jar. This includes all types of beans and bean soup mix too.
Inside an empty jar it doesn’t seem adequate but I assure you that it really is enough for each jar. Please do not be tempted to add just one or two extra beans to your measure. Beans swell and could break your jars during the process if you add too much. Be sure to keep it at 1/2 cup only. Or 1 cup for quarts.
My beans are pre-sorted before storage. I do need to rinse them though. I have a pan with cool water and a small mesh strainer in the sink. I put the 1/2 cup beans in the strainer to rinse them. This saves water.
When I’m sure all the dirt has been rinsed off these go into a jar and the next half cup goes in to be rinsed. I repeat this until all the jars have dry beans in them. Next, I fill the jars with cold water up to the first ring.
I put cold water in the canner up to the proper amount. I add cold lids and rings to all the jars and put those in the canner too. I do not add vinegar to the canning water because I believe its corrosive to the metal jar rings and the canner.
I put the lid on the canner, turn the heat on, and process the proper way for the canner I own. It takes about an hour for the pressure canner I own to heat up which means the beans are soaking for an hour before the processing begins. The beans are processed at 10 pounds pressure for 90 minutes. That is the requirement for the altitude in my area.
When the processing time is completed the stove is turned off and the canner is allowed to cool down slowly for the next three or four hours. Opening the canner is always fun. I get to see the results of my work. Even after the hours of cool down time the liquid inside the jars will still be bubbling. Any that are not bubbling didn’t seal properly so I set them apart to be used right away. I leave everything to cool until the next day when I remove the jar rings to check the seals again.
The jars are washed with warm, not hot, water and dish soap to remove any food around the top that may have leaked out of the jars during processing. I add just a bit of vinegar to the dish water to help remove any calcium deposits off the jars.
A good rinse and a wipe dry will leave the jars sparkly clean.
When I do dry beans I usually have 4 of navy or northern, 4 jars of kidney, and 2 of pinto. I do other types of beans but not as often. I label the jars. Nothing sticks to the Tattler lids so I use a piece of paper and tape it to the jar for labels.
All thats left is to put them in my food storage.
And enjoy the convenience of canned beans without the cost.