Updated: Feb 16
Did you know that dried beans are a very economical way to buy and stock up on a really good nutrient dense food? Dried beans are also great to store because they will last a really long time if stored properly. If you are like me though... they are not very handy. It always seems like I am in a rush to make dinner and would like to incorporate some beans, but don't have time to cook them, much less cook them properly.
In order to cook dried beans with the most nutrition received, they take a long time to prepare. To cook properly you should always soak and rinse your beans for at least a day, then rinse again and cook until soft. This means you are looking ahead at least 2 days to have your beans ready for a meal. Though the level of effort is very minimal, the time factor is huge.
“I cook beans on the fly or in my pressure cooker it doesn't take me that long.” You are right, you can, so WHY you always soak, then rinse several times before cooking? Legumes, grains and seeds contain Phytic Acid which is an ANTI-nutrient and enzyme inhibitor. This means that instead of you getting nutrients FROM the beans, they are taking the nutrients from your BODY. The phytic acid when it gets to your digestive system binds with zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron and will not let it be absorbed. Canned beans that you buy in the store are not prepared by soaking and rinsing, therefore they still contain the Phytic Acid. It is by soaking them that this acid is released. Canning dried beans is a very easy task, and, in the end, you have a shelf stable, meal ready, already prepared to “grab and go” jar of instant food.
To pressure can beans you need to take your dried beans and soak in water over night. You will want at least 2/3 more water than beans because they will swell while they soak. Rinse and soak again for a few more hours. Drain and add more clean water for the cooking. Cover with water again and cook for about 30 minutes. They will not be completely soft, and that is ok because they will finish cooking in the pressure cooker. After they are cooked, drain and spoon them into clean jars about up to the bottom of the shoulder of the jar. For quarts, it is optional to add 1 teaspoon of salt and then fill the jar with hot water. The salt is only for seasoning purposes and will not affect the quality or length of storage. Wipe the rims well, lid and cover and put in the pressure cooker adding into the cooker the same temperature water as in your jar's contents. For my elevation it is 11 pounds pressure for 90 minutes for quarts and 75 minutes for pints. Allow the canner to cool Completely naturally, then take out your jars, wipe them for storage and check to make sure the lid is sealed.
To dehydrate I just soak and cook until tender and then dehydrate. Easy! They will be shelf stable and ready to eat without the wait!
There you go ready to use and nutrient dense jars of beans for a quick soup, chili or baked bean. So many things that you can do with them and now you can use them and not have to think 2 days ahead!