Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Growing, Harvesting and Canning Black Beans

I love black beans and I always try to have cooked ones on hand.  I prefer to home can the dried ones so I can control the salt and the cost. It is also a good source of food nutrients if you have a power outage and no access to water and/or heat source to cook them in.  They also don't require a freezer and will keep for at least 12 months on the shelf.

Canning dried beans yourself is so easy.  I use organic and this year I even GREW some organic black beans. (More on that later.)

Growing, Harvesting and Canning Black Beans

Dried black beans (scan 2/3 cups per pint jar)
Salt (optional)
Pressure Canner (Beans cannot be water bath canned)

This year at the store I found black beans seeds and I though it would be fun to grow.  They plant like green beans do and they grow like green beans do but with a minor twist.
Hmmm, no twist yet.  These look just like green beans if you popped them open.  White seed on the inside.
Time lapse forward a little. But wait, what is this purple? The bean seeds slowly turn purple over time and this is where it is connected to the pod.
Allow mature beans to dry and cure on the plants until their pods or outer shells are crisp and brittle. As they dry (dehydrate) the color concentrates so they look black.
I read that if you pick them when they're leathery and finish drying in baskets, the vines will quickly set new flowers and fruit. Beans have a maximum fruit-load point, which is why they stop producing once you let them dry. But if you pick some, you make room for more to grow. If I decide to grow beans again I will do this.

Shelling is easy but takes time.  Find a good movie to watch.
 I found a pod that didn't want to cooperate and dehydrate so I threw the beans out.
At this point you can store them dry, cook, drain and freeze in baggies or you can pressure can them so they are ready to go at a moment's notice.

Clean your jars and get your lids and rings ready.  Rinse your beans. Use 1/2 to 2/3 cup dried beans per PINT jar. I used a scant 2/3 cup for mine. (The first time I did them they were too thick for me.)

Add to jars.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired. Top with boiling water to 3/4 inch head space. 
Process for 75 mins in Pressure Canner.  I process at 11 lbs.  I am under 1000 feet altitude. Refer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation for canning instructions for your altitude.  
When you are ready to eat, open and enjoy!  We use the black beans for our refried beans.  So good!


  1. Never knew how to do this and huge thank you Jenny for sharing the process here :)

  2. I never would have even thought to do this! I might have to try it...we go through a ton of black beans...canned and dry. Thanks for sharing the process with us at Foodie Fridays...I am in awe right now. Pinning and sharing!

  3. Great post, Jenny. Thank you for sharing on the #TGP! Hope to see you back soon. :-)