When faced with a harvest of over a bushel of green beans, what can you do? Green beans are the young version of the common bean and are full of nutrients, especially Vitamin C. We decided to can our beans and dehydrate some that were harvested in a more mature stage. This article will explain the methods we used.
Raw Pack Canning Green Beans
The raw pack method is a quick and simple way to can green beans. This method doesn’t require blanching or pre-cooking of the beans.
What you need:
- Sterile quart canning jars, lids, and rings
- Pickling salt
- Pressure canner
- Green beans
The first step is to sort your beans. You’ll want to choose pods that are still relatively smooth and flat. If you have pods that are bumpy, then it means they are more mature and you are better off opening the pods and removing the beans. We’ll deal with those by a different method. Wash your pods and remove the tips then cut them into bite-size pieces.
Add 1 teaspoon of pickling salt to each quart jar and fill the jars with beans, leaving about 1 inch of headroom. Then fill jars with boiling water, leaving about 1/2 an inch of space to the top.
Top the jars with their lids and screw the ring on hand tight. Do not over-tighten or you run the risk of the lids buckling. Add the jars to your pressure canner and process according to your canner’s instructions. Unless beans are pickled (have added vinegar), they should be processed in a pressure canner to avoid the risk of botulism.
Your canned beans will last for 1 to 2 years.
Dehydrating beans couldn’t be easier. Simply spread the individual beans in a single layer in your dehydrator and dehydrate at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 hours. If you do not have a dehydrator, you can dry beans in your oven.
Spread beans on a baking sheet and put them in an oven at its lowest temperature. 125 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 hours would be ideal. The beans are ready for storage when they are hard and dry and are no longer soft.
You can store your dehydrated beans in a sealed airtight container and they should last 2 to 3 years. They make a great addition to soups and stews.
Beans are a staple food for any survival garden. Varieties like Kentucky Wonder, Provider, and Contender are designed to provide high yields of nutritious beans while still being easy to grow in just about any climate. They are easy to preserve and store for the long term so you always have nutritious food for your family.