Garden fresh green beans are a staple for any pantry. They are easy to grow, and pretty simple to preserve using a pressure canner. When the snow is flying in the winter, there is nothing better than the taste of veggies fresh from the garden.
When you can green, string, Italian, or wax beans, select beans that are tender and small. Remove the ends and strings from the beans. Can them whole or cut them into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Canning and preserving low-acid foods — such as green beans — requires pressure canning to kill microorganisms that are harmful if not destroyed before ingesting the food. Pressure canning at 240 degrees kills the botulism bacteria. If this temperature is not achieved and the bacteria is not killed, one taste of this spoiled food can kill you. Simply boiling food on the stove top will not kill any botulism and should not be considered a safety step.
Canned Fresh Green Beans
This is a great first recipe for the beginning pressure canner. Although this recipe specifically uses green beans, all colors of beans — green, yellow or purple — work equally well.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Processing time: Pints, 20 minutes; quarts, 25 minutes
Pressure level: 10 pounds
Yield: 16 pints or 8 quarts per approx. 4 lbs of beans
Prepare your canning jars and two-piece caps (lids and screw bands) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Clean and cut the beans. Remove any dirt and shake off the excess water. Trim off the ends of the beans and cut them into 2-inch pieces.
Tightly pack the cut beans into the prepared jars. Pour water over the beans, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint jar or 1 teaspoon salt to each quart jar (optional).
Release any air bubbles with a nonreactive utensil, adding more water as necessary to maintain the proper headspace. Wipe the jar rims; seal the jars with the two-piece caps, hand-tightening the bands.
Process the filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 20 minutes (pints) or 25 minutes (quarts).
Allow the pressure to return to 0, wait an additional 10 minutes, and then carefully open the canner lid.
Remove the jars from the canner with a jar lifter. Place them on a clean kitchen towel away from drafts.
After the jars cool completely, test the seals. If you find jars that haven’t sealed, refrigerate them and use them within two weeks.
Prior to eating or tasting, boil the food for 15 minutes.