Can Your Own Beans? Sure!
We try to do our produce shopping at a local produce market owned by a very nice Pakistani man who gets most of his merchandise from local farmers and even the occasional homeowner who happens to have a bumper crop of say.. lemons.
While we were there recently, I noticed that he was carrying several types of dried beans. This is very exciting because, if you did not already know this, DRIED BEANS ROCK! For several reasons:
1.) They’re cheap. One pound of bulk dried chickpeas was $1.19.
2.) They’re versatile. You can use them however you want once they are boiled soft and you get to control what goes in them. (ex. salt levels)
3.) They last forever. Okay, maybe not forever, but pretty close. Archaeologists have found beans in the tombs of ancient Egypt that are still good, so I think that qualifies them to “nearly forever”.
The biggest downside to dried beans is having to get them from “rock-like” to “palatable” before you can eat them. The easiest way I have found to do this is with a slow cooker.
For the chickpeas pictured, it was 2.5 cups of dried beans to 6 cups of water that cooked in the slow cooker for about 3.5 hours on high.
This made about 6 cups of chickpeas.
That’s right, that $1.19 per pound of dried beans equates to about 5-6 cans (maybe more) of chickpeas from the grocery store. And if you consider that a can of chickpeas can be anywhere from $1.50 to $3.99 a can, that’s quite a bit of savings!
But what do you do with all those beans once they’re cooked? You can ‘em of course!
Keep in mind that I did this at home without any of my grandmother’s fancy canning equipment and it was still easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Just heat the jars, sealers, and lids (which you can buy all together at your local Walmart or general goods store) in a boiling water bath for at least 3 minutes. Carefully remove the jar with tongs and allow to drain upside down on a towel for about a minute. Ladle in the hot beans and seal with the sealer, screw on the lid, and allow to sit until you hear the “Pop!” from the sealer indicating it’s airtight and cooled. This may take anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on how warm your kitchen is.
That’s it! You now have your very own healthy, canned beans for pennies instead of dollars! This is all about saving money, peeps! And the jars can be reused over and over, though you will need to buy new sealers as they are really only good for one, maybe two, uses.