Canned Black Beans
- Black Beans
- Soak the dried black beans overnight covered with water. (12-24 hrs)
- Drain and discard soaking water.
- Put in a pot, cover with fresh water, boil 30 minutes. (I added salt for taste, but that is optional).
- Pack in jars: quarter-litre (½ US pint) or half-litre (1 US pint) or 1 litre (US quart).
- Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace. (from top of beans/water to top of rim).
- Top up each jar with boiling water from a kettle or with the water you just boiled them in, maintaining headspace.
- With a butter knife, move around the inside edge of the beans in the jar, to remove any air bubbles.
- Wipe clean the rims of the jars and lids, make sure they are dried and free of debris for proper sealing.
- Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)
- Processing time: quarter-litre (½ US pint) 75 minutes; half-litre (1 US pint) 75 minutes; 1 litre (US quart) 90 minutes.
- See notes for additional resource below.
I am the type of person who learns best by fumbling through a process after hearing about it, or watching “the process” briefly or haphazardly. When it comes to using the pressure canner, I read the instructions a few times each time I use it, just for good measure.
You see, I did not grow up around the process of canning. I didn’t spend summers at Grandma’s house, watching her can peaches or “put up” that summer’s bounty. I’ve only ever heard about how pressure canners are dangerous and will blow you and your kitchen up or you will die from botulism (a bacteria that can grow in improperly canned goods – pretty rare, btw).
As our health journey and homesteading journey became more synchronized and comfortable, it was time for me to tackle the pressure canner. I wanted to put up shelf-stable food without relying on the freezer or fridge, or commercial canned goods, especially after learning what all goes into that process and seeing the fragility of our food system like we did in 2020.
BEANS are the seed of legumes. They are preserved by drying out and shelling from hulls or pods. Historically, beans were dried in the sun or hung to dry and then shelled, or shelled and cooked. Dried beans were stored in sacks or canister, soaked and cooked, or canned and put away for future use. Some beans, like green beans, would be blanched and frozen as another way of preservation. (source)
Nowadays, conventionally grown beans that are available at the store (Excluding usda ORGANIC beans), are sprayed with a drying agent, also called a desiccant. You may have heard of Round up. That is only one of many commercial desiccants used to dry crops. (source)
Desiccants make it easier for commercial agricultural operations to harvest beans from the vine/plant. Desiccants are sprayed days before planned harvest, the plant dies but leaves behind dry, perfectly preserved beans. A harvester then comes through and harvests the beans. Since the plants are dried, it makes it easier for the harvester to cut through and grab onto the goods or if it’s hand picked, easier for those harvesting by hand. (source)
The unnerving use of desiccants for pre-harvest use has unfortunately, increased consumer consumption of desiccants in food. (source) You may think, “If it’s a widely-accepted agricultural practice, why worry about eating it?”
Here are several sources for you to check out about glyphosate and how its interferes with our health and wellbeing.
MAKING BEANS DIGESTIBLE
Have you ever wondered why so many people have trouble with beans and digesting them? I remember growing up and watching tv and the beano commercial would pop on the screen. I assumed that I too would one day just need to take beano to keep my rear end from making embarrassing noises after a bean-filled meal. What I have come to learn is that many of us are preparing beans in a way that doesn’t agree with our digestion and doesn’t allow us to fully absorb the beans wonderful nutrients.
Soaking beans is the practice of placing hard/dried beans in water for a period of time. This allows the bean to begin the growth process which allows the bean to shed it’s protective chemicals that has kept it in safe storage and in a dormant state. Water activates this growing phenomenon and thus makes the bean more digestible. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
ANTINUTRIENTS and DIGESTIBILITY
Anti-nutrients are essentially chemical compounds that keep the bean in a dormant state (no active growth). This allows it to be protected as it travels in the digestive tract of animals. Once it’s excreted, it remains intact thanks to its protective chemicals. Once it makes contact with soil and moisture, it begins to shed its protective chemicals as it transforms from a dormant state to an active growing state. A large chemical component that keeps beans, seeds, grains and legumes safe is referred to as Phytic Acid. This acid in particular is what contributes to poor digestion and absorption of nutrients within the digestive tract. In short, It makes you toot!
When beans are not soaked or prepared properly, phytic acid not only protects the bean from being digested, it blocks the absorption of helpful and needed nutrients like calcium, zinc, magnesium, copper and iron. This is problematic when a portion of our diet consist of legumes (beans) or seeds and grains, as you can imagine. This is not only an issue for beans, but also for highly-processed or even home made nut or seed “milks”. (Source).
SOAKING BEANS TO REDUCE ANTI NUTRIENTS
Place beans in a bowl or pot and pour about 8 cups simmering water over the beans. Add lemon juice, vinegar or whey and soak 18-24 hours. For best results, drain a couple of times during the soaking process, rinse the beans and add more simmering water plus lemon juice, vinegar or whey. (source)
CANNING IS NOT SCARY
Contrary to what we’ve all heard or been told (usually from people who have never used a pressure canner or cooker before), canning is not sketchy, so long as you read the instructions that come in your pressure canner.
I have the Presto 23 quart Pressure canner (not affiliated) and have enjoyed the ease of use. It has several “fail” safes in it.
Without bogging you down in the details, there are 3 ways that steam can escape or build. One of the three values gets a weighted cap on it when it’s time to build pressure to can. The other pressure value pops like a meat thermometer to help seal in pressure. The third pressure indicator is emergency only. It’s a tiny little button that will pop out and release pressure if needed. If pressure builds too quickly and the canner is under a lot of excess pressure, the button valve will pop under the pressure, thus, releasing extra pressure.
All pressure canners (unless used) come with a set of instructions. In those instructions, they also have a few basics on canning different types of foods, as well as recipes you can make and can prepared meals. To be safe and sure you are going to get optimal results and everything cans properly, follow the directions. If you want more recipes – go to someone who has practices canning or look for tried and true books like the Ball Blue book of canning. Something that I personally enjoy is finding old, antique cookbooks that have the wisdom of home canners. Many recipes are forgotten and unique, so if you are seeking something different – deficiently raid the kitchen at Estate sales, or check out eBay. I also enjoy searching for a bargain at Abe’s Books. Many books are new or gently used and they have a Canadian website.
IS CANNING COST EFFECTIVE? IS CANNING DIFFICULT?
Check out this week’s video below to answer those questions.