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There was a time when I could not fathom the reasons for canning beans at home. In their dry state beans are already shelf stable, after all. And they keep longer than their canned counterparts to boot. But then I had kids. Kids who grew to have friends and interests and extracurriculars and the propensity for making great messes. Kids who started to take upentirely too much of my time and mental capacity.
Suddenly I found myself not remembering until six o'clock on a Thursday night that the black beans I needed for dinner should have been soaked beginning on Wednesday. And since then, I've come to rather appreciate a good can of ready-to-heat-and-serve beans on the pantry shelves.
Here's how you can make your own:
- Dried Beans, Any Variety - 3/4 lb per Quart Jar Desired
- Salt, Optional
Soak beans overnight, 12-18 hours.
Drain, rinse, and add soaked beans to a large stockpot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare your canner, jars, and lids. You'll need a pressure canner for beans, since they are a dense and low acid food.
Ladle beans evenly into either pint or quart jars, according to your preference, reserving cooking liquid. Once evenly divided amongst your jars, cover beans with retained cooking liquid, leaving a generous 1-inch of headspace.
If salt is desired add 1 tsp to quarts or 1/2 tsp to pints.
Apply lids to fingertip tight. Place jars in canner and bring to 11 pounds pressure. Process 75 minutes for pints, 90 for quarts. Allow canner to de-pressurize before opening.
*Remember: Pressure should be adjusted for those living at elevations more than 1,000 feet above sea level.
Diana Prichard authors Righteous Bacon and is the owner of the small farm Olive Hill.