A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook of the beans that I had canned, without a pressure canner, the previous weekend. A few different people asked for directions on how to do this. So this is for those of you who were interested in how it works.
Canning beans without a pressure canner is really a simple thing, the only thing it does require is a little bit of time. I know all you busy momma’s of littles don’t really have any of that, but before you get to worried, this can be a two-three day process, needing only thirty minutes a day, or less.
Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a bacterium which occurs in soil. It produces a toxin that affects your nerves. Foodborne botulism comes from eating foods contaminated with the toxin.
Infants: Honey, home-canned vegetables and fruits, corn syrup
Children and adults: Home-canned foods with a low acid content, improperly canned commercial foods, home-canned or fermented fish, herb-infused oils, baked potatoes in aluminum foil, cheese sauce, bottled garlic, foods held warm for extended periods of time.
Why are you supposed to use a pressure canner? Because beans are considered a low acid food, and according to what I’ve read even combining a high acid food with the low acid food doesn’t change the whole thing to a high acid food. High acid foods have no problem killing a bacteria that goes by the name of Clostridium botulium because of the acid that is in them. But as you can see in the above quote this bacteria is also found in many other foods. So maybe you aren’t comfortable with canning beans without a pressure canner, but know that the bacteria is killed by heating foods to an internal temperature of 185* F for five minutes. I always boil my beans after opening for a five minutes, we never, ever eat them right out the jar, like we might other home-canned things.
If you are still wondering how this process works, here is what you will need:
*dried beans- I have done navy beans, kidney beans, red beans and black beans
*canning jars, lids and rings
After your beans have soaked for at least twelve hours, drain and rinse them, return to the pot and cover with fresh water. Bring those freshly washed beans to a boil, then reduce the heat and let them simmer until they are done cooking. If a large amount of foam collects at the top of the pot go ahead and skim that off.
Once your beans are done cooking you get to fill your hot, clean jars with them. Fill to the top, leaving one inch of headspace, making sure that your liquid covers your beans completely. Wipe around the rim of your jars to remove any water or bean pieces that may cause problems with the jar’s seal.
Follow your lid manufactorers directions for preparing them, then place lids and rings on. Place jars in waterbath and process for 30 minutes for pints and 45 min for quarts.
I always use whatever beans I can within 6-9 months and have never had a problem with spoiling. Do the sniff test and but most importantly sure to boil your beans for at least five minutes before eating them.