One of the things I want to do is grow and raise enough food that we can eat out of the pantry and spend as little as possible at the store. It will be a lot easier when we aren’t in the zoned town limits. Until then we’ll do what we can do.
I would love to grow and can all sorts of beans, but our space is limited at the moment (I would love to just till the whole yard up!) so we just grow green and wax beans. Since I can’t grow others, the next best frugal thing is to buy dried beans. They aren’t hard to make at all if you have the time. And most of the time is the beans soaking or cooking.
I recently read somewhere (I don’t remember where though) that fall/winter is the perfect time to can dried beans and I couldn’t agree more. Who wants to heat up the kitchen in the summer cooking and canning dried beans if you don’t have to? And we’re all usually busy canning from the garden. Having them ready to eat out of the jar is such a time saver as well. So I am on a mission to pull dried beans out of the pantry and get them canned.
I am canning the beans plain with the recipe below, but you can season them up. Ham and beans, baked beans, chili beans etc. The Ball Blue Book is a great place to start.
My next batch of beans will be black beans, those are hubbys favorite. At some point I want to do pinto beans. In the mean time this past weekend I picked up a 50-pound bag of white potatoes and I’m going to be canning them as well. Once those are done I hope to get a 50-pound bag of red potatoes and can those too. But for now, beans.
Beans or Peas – Dried (Kidney, Navy, Pinto, etc.)
from the Ball Blue Book
2 1/4 pounds dried beans or peas per quart
Cover beans or peas with cold water. Let stand 12-18 hours in a cool place. Drain. Cover beans or peas with cold water by 2 inches in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil; boil 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Pack hot beans or peas into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint jar, 1 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, if desired. Ladle hot cooking liquid or boiling water over beans or peas, leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 1 hour and 15 minutes, quarts 1 hour and 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure in a steam-pressure canner.