It’s March and you know what that means? BEANS!! Well, not for everyone, just me. I’ve made plans this year for food preservation every month, except December… I decided December is busy enough without trying to shove extra food prep in there.
Any who… This month I’m taking my dried beans and canning them. Not only for rotation, and ease of use, but also for any emergency situation that arises. Dried beans happen to use a fair amount of water to prepare. If we have ready made, canned beans, we reduce our water consumption in a shortage considerably.
This first batch was more of an experiment to see how much one pound of beans cooks up to. I like to keep my dried beans in old, cleaned out pasta or salsa jars. It keeps them sealed, and safer than the plastic bags they come in. I’d love to buy them in bulk, but my local wholesale store doesn’t sell dried bean, only canned ones. I’ve found that a jar fits about one pound of beans, give or take.
So, I took my jar of beans, and soaked them overnight in about 6 jars of water, (not an exact measurement; equals out to about 6 cups or so) in the crockpot. Quick side note: I love my crock pot. It was a lovely gift from the wonderful Mama Caveman. Most people don’t get along with their in-laws, but I adore Caveman’s family.
Back to the beans…. In the morning, I rinsed them, and refilled the crock pot with fresh water. I put it on high for about 2 hours, or until they were boiling. They boiled for about 30 mins before I took them to be canned. If you’ve never canned beans before, two things: 1) for a great resource, check out this site here, simplycanning.com, and 2) YOU MUST USE A PRESURE CANNER. Botulism is real, and dangerous. Don’t risk you or your family’s lives. It’s not worth it!
All and all, the experiment went well. I now have 3 happy little pints in my cupboard. With that, I sat down and did my calculations. I figure we need, conservatively, 66 pints of beans to last us the year…. That’s a crazy number of jars for us at the moment, so I’ve decided to only can half our yearly requirements this year. Maybe next year I’ll do all 66? If you’ll excuse me now, I’ve got more jars to go out and get. :D
Kita , Caveman, Goomba, Gummy Bear and Peanut are native New Englanders, who are working to live more self sufficient and sustainable lifestyle.