Beans are a low acid food. Therefore, they require pressure canning and not water bath canning. Low acid foods like beans must be heated to an extremely high temperature that is not possible to reach in a water bath method. This high temperature is what makes the beans shelf stable.
Homegrown (or store bought) black beans are easy to make, and very high in nutrients. For reference I can 32 pint jars from 5 pounds of dry black beans.
Soak black beans in a large pot or bowl of water so that they are submerged by at least 1 inch. Soak for 12 to 24 hours before you intend to can.
I use the cold pack method, which means after the beans have finished soaking, I drain them, rinse them and then spoon them directly into clean and sterilized mason jars. I leave 1/2 inch headspace and then pour non-chlorinated water over the beans so that they are submerged within the mason jars. Leave 1/4 inch head space. Carefully wipe clean the rims of the jars and add a new lid and affix with a ring. Screw to finger tight. I do not add salt to the beans.
Load the pressure canner with the jarred beans according to your pressure canner guidelines. In addition to the water at the bottom of the pressure canner pot, I add 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to keep the outsides of the jars from calcifying. Close the pressure canner, turn on the burner, and bring to a boil so that the pressure begins to rise. Close the steam valve according to your pressure canner guidelines and process the jars at 10 pounds of pressure for 75 minutes. After 75 minutes turn off the burner. Once the steam is no longer rising from the steam valve remove the 10 pounds of pressure setting to allow steam valve to fully open and for remaining steam to fully escape. Once there is no more steam escaping from the fully opened steam valve, remove the lid while standing back and using oven mits. Caution—steam is extremely hot. Allow jars to cool within the pot.
Carefully remove the jars once cooled, one at a time, and place on top of a dish towel on the counter. Check that all of the lids are properly sealed by placing one finger in the center of the lid of each jar and then pressing down. If it fluctuates, then the jar was not properly sealed and can be re-processed. If the jar lid does not fluctuate, a proper seal has been made, and they may be stored out of sunlight, in a dark and cool location, such as a pantry or a cupboard.
Angela is the farmer and content creator behind Axe & Root Homestead® LLC. This historic six-acre permaculture farm is home to two Clydesdale horses, ten honeybee hives, five sheep, two guardian dogs, barn cats and a flock of 40 geese and ducks. The farm produces maple syrup, fruit from a small orchard and loads of garden produce for consumption, preservation and donation to the local food pantry.
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