Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Saving the Beans

I was in the storage room yesterday and noticed a 10 pound bag of pinto beans that I had bought well over a year ago and had not used. Dried beans, if they are left long enough, get too dry and no matter how long you cook or soak them, they never cook up nice and mushy. I think maybe the seeds actually die, but I don't know that as a fact.

I didn't want to have to throw away the beans, so I soaked them in warm water with some lemon juice for about 10 hours and then I canned them and got 18 quarts. That will be very handy when I am in a hurry and want to whip up some burritos, or need them for quick soup.

I did it like this:

Sort and rinse the dry beans.
Soak the beans at least overnight or up to 48 hours.
Drain and rinse thoroughly.
Cover with water and boil for 30 minutes.
Fill clean quart canning jars to within 1 inch of top.
Adjust caps.
Process 90 minutes in pressure canner at 11 pounds pressure. (Please consult a good canning book for more detailed instructions.)


  1. I had to laugh when I saw the title of this post. "Saving the Beans" sounds so funny! Good idea, I'm glad that you were able to "save" them.

  2. Yolanda, What is the lemon juice for? I have not heard of using it in beans.
    Last time I made beans I forgot to change out the water and cooked them in the soaking water and my husband and I about drove the kids from the house. LOL I wont ever do that again. Thankfully it was a weekend we didnt have plans for.

  3. Hi Deb. The lemon juice helps to deactivate the phytic acid in the beans which interfere with absorption of minerals into our bodies. I understand about the bean "problem". :)

  4. I need to do this. My daughter, a vegetarian, eats beans ALL the time. BUT, she won't soak them and cook them so unless I soak them, cook them and throw them in the fridge she won't use them. If she could just pop open a jar and dump them out she would actually use them. Plus I have 6 lbs. of pinto beans kicking around somewhere and I love my pressure canner and don't use it nearly enough.

  5. Even easier - rinse them and throw them in the jar dry, cover with boiling water. They cook while it processes perfectly! We eat tons of Mexican so for refried I toss in a T of my homemade taco sauce. Just mash them while reheating. Same thing with black beans. So handy and cheap. About a heaping 1/2 c in a pint, 1 c for quarts.

    1. I had heard that recently, actually! But at least for me, if I don't soak my beans very well, they make me quite sick, in a digestive sense. Also, soaking helps to eliminate the phytic acid, which gets in the way of mineral absorption. Cooking, according to what I've been taught, does not do that.


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