Saturday, January 22, 2011

Canning Dried Beans

When it comes to using food storage the biggest problem that we all face is that it's well... not instant.  I've come to grips with the fact that I must grind my wheat before I make bread, must cook the rice for 20-30 minutes, not just 5.  But, to soak beans overnight and then cook them for 1-2 hours just takes too much.  So, I don't do it, and the beans go unused.  I love beans, my family loves beans, and they are cheap!   My solution: can them up.  Spend a few minutes here and there throughout your day, and you have quarts of beans ready to eat!

Here are the steps:

 Open your bucket o' beans.  You will use one cup of dried beans per quart jar. 

Rinse your beans thouroughly (I do this in a strainer) then put them in a clean, sterile quart jar

 Add 1/2-1 tsp. salt (if I try to go "low sodium" and add 1/2 tsp, I add more salt when I prepare the beans, so most of the time I go with the full 1 tsp.)

 Add water up a little past the rim.  Right up to where the ring will be.

Heat your canning lids in boiling water for a minute (or just follow package directions).
Put a lid and ring on each jar.

Put into your pressure cooker and cook at 10 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes. 

DONE!

This all takes very little hands-on time, and you have beans on your shelf and ready to use.  Very simple, and tasty!  Ready for soups, tacos, refried beans, salads, anything you would use a can of beans for.  This works with all bean varieties.  I have tried navy beans, black beans, and pintos with equal success.  I plan to try kidney beans soon, and I'll have to let you know how that works out. 

I weighed it out this time, and each cup of black beans is 1/4 pound.  Average price of beans right now is around $15 a 25 pound bag.  That is $.60 a pound, $.15 per cup.  A lid costs between 10 and 15 cents.  Per quart of beans then, cost averages 25 to 30 cents.  Last time I checked, that was way cheaper than any in the store.  And coupons don't seem to cover beans very often. 

Awesome!  Just thought I'd pass this along.  It's my favorite frugal/food storage/canning project!

2 comments:

  1. Have you tried it with pints? I am not sure we could eat a whole quart for dinner. We eat a lot of freeze dried refried beans that we get from the cannery but they are a kind of expensive and I really like black beans.

    BTW thanks for the tip.

    Jeremy Haws

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  2. Jeremy-I've never done pints, but my brother did them recently, and he said they worked out just fine. Just do 1/2 cup of beans, and 1/2 tsp of salt.

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