I’m so excited to bring you something a little different today! Nicole from Little Blog on the Homestead has come over to teach us how to can green beans. This year, I’m really getting into learning about canning beyond basic jam, and I’m so glad Nicole is here today to share what she knows! Enjoy…
There are about a million reasons why I think people should can their own food. But the biggest one is that it just tastes so much better. Whether it’s from the farmers market or your own garden you’re getting the fruits and veggies at the peak of freshness. And the most local of local! That makes everything taste better.
You also get to control what goes into your cans! No crazy, unpronounceable ingredients listed here! This is especially great if you’re trying to limit sodium or sugar, because those are two things that are in all processed foods. Once you’ve got on board with the fact that home canning is better tasting and better for you it’s a short hop to becoming a canning
That means having the necessary resources on hand, vegetables need to be canned in a pressure canner to ensure they are canned safely. This seriously freaks people out, myself included, if you’ve never had any experience with it. I know the first time I canned green beans I was so scared I was going to blow the place up!
But I promise, it’s really not that scary! In fact, I now prefer it over water bath canning. I was lucky in the fact that I had grandparents who were willing to teach me their tricks…and let me borrow their canner until I got my own. If you don’t know anyone with a canner you can use check with your local extension office. They often teach classes on canning and you might be able to borrow/use one there!
For green beans I like to use wide mouth pint jars so the next step is to wash out the jars in warm soapy water and make sure they’re rinsed well. If you have a dishwasher you can put them through a rinse/sterilize cycle and it will be perfect.
You’ve also got to prep your beans. This is super easy! You’ll have one bowl full of beans, one empty bowl for the scraps, and a colander for the snapped beans. Beans that are ready for canning will snap easily, if they are bendy or soft they’re over ripe and not good for canning. You only want the best of best in your can. I snap mine into 1 inch sections, but you can do bigger if you want.
Once they’re snapped they get a quick rinse in the colander and then I transfer them into the jars. Fill the jar to the bottom of the lid threads. And then you add your seasoning. You can be as simple as salt and pepper, or go a little more fancy. I usually do a mix of each so that I can send some of the salt and pepper ones up to my grandpa.
For my fiancé Dustin though I do some with more oomph. 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1 tsp of whatever seasoning mix. Time time I did a garlic and herb mix. Last year I did a bunch with Dustin’s favorite spicy BBQ spices. If you need to watch your salt you can use sea salt, or no salt at all. It isn’t required.
While you’re adding your beans and seasonings to the canning jars you’ll want to have a pot of hot water on the stove, once it gets to boiling you ladle it over the beans, bringing the water up to cover the beans and give about 1/2 inch of headspace (the space between the top of the water/beans and the lid). Make sure you wipe the rim of the canning jar off and then put your lid and ring on the can.
Don’t over tighten the ring as you put them on. I will then use whatever water I have left in my pot to go into my pressure canner so that it’s already warm. If you need more water than what you have left add that too. You’ll want at least 2-3 inches of water in your canner.
Place the jars in the canner, make sure that they aren’t touching each other or the walls of the canner. You’ll can them at 10 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes. That means 20 minutes from when the canner gets up to pressure. On older models there the weight will jiggle steady when it gets up to pressure. On newer models there will be a dial gauge you just keep an eye on.
After the 20 minutes is up just turn off the heat, if there is a pressure release valve use it. And voila, you’ve successfully canned green beans! Enjoy! I promise you, there is nothing better than popping open a can in the middle of winter and enjoying your summer bounty.
Thanks so much to Mary for letting me stop by and share this with you guys. If you’d like to learn more about suburban homesteading please stop by my blog Little Blog on the Homestead and join the fun. We talk a lot about farmer’s market fresh recipes, canning, gardening, and more!