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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beautiful Beans

Although it is starting to warm up and dry up, we have had a bit of cool, wet weather here lately. Since we had ran out of chili beans, I decided that it was a good time to get out the canners, can some beans, and warm up the house a bit.

I ended up canning black beans, navy beans, and pinto beans. Some I left plain for soups and some I added seasonings for chili beans. I ended up with 6 quarts and 9 pints of beans.

This is the first time I have tried something besides pinto beans. It really wasn't any different to can the black and navy beans, although they might not need to soak quite as long as the pinto. I think they look neat together though, and next time I might try canning them as a mix.

Right now I just use my beans for soups and burritos. Since they are such a good source of fiber (good for Ethan's cholesterol) and a great source of protein, I would like to try a few more recipes. I'm looking for a good baked bean recipe, but other than that I really don't know what else is a possibility. The only beans I ate growing up were baked beans or in chili. Any suggestions?

Click here for my post on how to can beans.

Tools of My Trade

Beans MUST be pressure canned due to their low acidity in order to kill all bacteria that would cause dangerous food born illnesses. They can be safely canned by using the recommended times and pressures given for your altitude. I have a couple older Mirro pressure canners given to me that work wonderfully, and my mom has a newer one that she loves as well. If you do some asking around, you might find someone who has given up canning and has one available, or you can look for one like the one pictured below. It should hold around 9 pint jars or 7 quart jars.

I also have some canning tools that are invaluable. The wide funnel helps keep messes to a minimum when filling jars. When I heat my lids, I just drop them into the hot water of my canner and then lift them out with the magnetic wand. The jar lifters are great for getting those hot jars out of the canner as well. You can buy these tools separately at many stores, or you can purchase them in a kit which contains other useful canning tools, such as the one pictured below.


Anonymous said...

White beans are great mixed with tomatoes, basil and garlic or mashed for a bean dip. Black beans and red beans are good with rice. Black beans and pintos are always good mixed with Mexican spices for burritoes. We also do a mix of beans with frozen peas, onions and garlic for a side dish/salad. Do you use dry beans from your garden to can?

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

here is a bean salsa/dip recipe. it tastes better than what you would think!
1 can black beans (rinse)
1 can of black eyed peas (rinse)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn (drain)
1 large green pepper (dice)
1 small red onion (dice)
1 8oz Zesty Italian dressing

Mix and put in refrigerator to blend flavors.
Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
something a little different to try. let me know what you think.

when you canned your beans...what was the process. you said you had soaked them. did you cook them or just put them after they had soaked. also what #'s of pressure did you can them on? i have done tomatoes, greenbeans, pickles and salsa and thought about doing beans but just wasn't sure on the process. any help you could give would be great.

Celestial said...

I don't know if your family likes Mexican food but I have been making refried beans from dried pinto beans and freezing them for easy dinners. I soak a lb of Pintos overnight
Put them in a pan, cover with water
Add 1 tea oregano
1 tea cumin
1 smoked Ham Hock
1/2 onion (leave it big so you can remove it later)
4 cloves garlic (whole)
Cook 1 1/2 hours until tender
Drain and Reserve some of the cooking liquid, also remove ham hock, onion and garlic.
Mash using potato masher adding reserved liquid until they are the right consistency.
Add 1 Tablespoon Salt
2 tea paprika
1/4 tea pepper
You can double or triple and freeze the left overs, you can also add a halved jalapeno with the onion and garlic.
These are much better than canned refried beans and more economical as well, they have been a hit with my family.

Nance said...

Here is my latest, favorite recipe and you could certainly substitute any beans for the kidney beans. I used just plain Red Beans.

Weight Watchers Taco Soup

1/2 lb 93% lean gr beef (use 1 lb gr. beef and would still be pretty low calorie)
2 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped
Two 14-1/2 ounce chopped, diced, or stewed tomatoes -- whatever you prefer. Home-canned would be better!
1 can corn, undrained
1 can pinto beans, undrained
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 pkg (dry) Taco seasoning
1 pkg Ranch Salad dressing mix
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 or 1-1/2 cup water
1/4 t pepper

And feel free to jazz it up with cayenne or hot peppers. Make it yours!

Brown the ground beef.
Cook the garlic and onions.
Stir in the Hidden Valley Original salad dressing & Seasoning Mix -- (or the kind you mix w/mayo, anyway)
Stir in the Taco seasoning.
Dump in all the beans and corn. Simmer for 30 minutes or so.
This freezes well and is better left over.
I freeze it up in glass pint jars as I eat it for my lunch and I don't like to use plastic.

PS: I wondered about salt but didn't add and didn't need it.

Nance said...

PS: liked your photo of the three beans! and looks like I'll be trying all these recipes. I'm bean crazy.

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Blessed Beyond Measure- I've added a link to this post that will take you to my post on the process.

Anonymous- I just use store bought, but some year I would like to grow my own.

Thanks everyone for the great bean recipes! I can't wait to try them!

Anonymous said...

actually I don't have any idea how prepare a recipe but your all kinds of beans i really wanna taste.


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Us said...

Did you know you can replace mashed beans cup for cup for butter or shortening in recipes? check out: ... ... the first is for brownies and the second is for cookies.

Eric & Trela Rottinghaus said...

Hi Becca! I know you posted this a while ago -- love catching up on your blog when I have a chance (and Ethan's, too, great pic of the new man on campus!). If you go to the America's Test Kitchen website, look for a corn and bean quesadilla -- our kids really like it. Also on the website there's a really, really good BBQ chicken salad recipe that uses black beans. Not near me right now, so if you can't find 'em drop me a line and I'll email the full recipe when I have them on hand. We make the salad at least once a month... the quesedilla less often, but we love it when we do!
: )

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Thanks Trela! I'll check those out. I don't like trying new recipes unless they've been recommended - I've pulled out a lot of duds on my own. Thanks also for the updates on everything there. You continue to be in my prayers.

Tom Stewart said...

Here is another one you might want to try. "White Chicken Chili". I make this chili up in a slow cooker and serve it in bread bowls.
1-2 quarts chicken stock
1-1 1/2 cups of diced chicken (I use left over beer butt chicken, adds alot of flavor)
1 jalapeno pepper- seeded and devained. Diced small
1- 1 1/2 quart jar of canned Great Northern White Beans
Add all ingrediants into a slow cooker and set it to low for 6-8 hrs or high for 2- 4 hrs
This is great on realy cold days and the kids will like the idea of eatting the bowl.
Salt and papper to taste.

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