Mixed Bean Medley

I don’t know about you, but I love using beans in soups and stews!  I typically will purchase Randall beans packaged right here in Michigan…however, this year I wanted to save some money and ensure my family was eating non-genetically modified beans.  The solution… Can my own bean medley!

Ingredients.  Start with dried, non-GMO beans.  As you can see – I did the math for you!  Measure accordingly:

3 cups Pinto Beans

2 ½ cups Kidney Beans

2 ¼ cups Black Beans

2 ½ cups Lima Beans

2 ¼ cups Split Peas

2 ½ cups Great Northern Beans

This is approximately 6 pounds of dried beans.  Because of the amount of beans, be sure to have two large stainless steel bowls on hand for soaking as the beans will need to be divided into both bowls to soak properly.

As with any dried beans, be sure to sort out any disfigured or damaged beans as well as any rocks that may have made it into the bag.  Rinse the beans in a large colander to remove any dirt.

Soak Your Beans.  There are two ways to approach soaking; 1) the traditional overnight way (12 to 18 hours) or 2) the quick method.  I prefer a long traditional soaking however I will give you both methods in case you are pressed for time.  Quick Soaking:  Place dried beans in a large stock pot and cover beans entirely.  Bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.  Cover and let soak for 1 hour.

Regardless of which method you choose, after soaking, rinse beans in colander.  Placed soaked beans in a large stock pot and cover with fresh water.  Bring beans to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.  Boil the beans for 30 minutes.

I prefer to use quart-sized jars because I love adding these mixed beans to soups and stews and often make them a focal point.  Use the size jar that suits your lifestyle.  With that, it is up to you if you’d like to include salt.  I prefer not to add any salt in my beans, but again, do what suits your tastes.  If you would like to add salt; ¼ tsp per pint jar and 1 tsp per quart jar.  Add to each jar prior to filling with beans.

Using a slotted spoon and funnel, fill each jar with the cooked beans – being sure to leave a full 1” of headspace.  Keep the water that the beans boiled in!!!   Once each jar is filled with beans, use the boiled bean liquid to fill each jar, being sure to keep the 1” headspace.

Using a warm wash cloth, wipe down each jar rim and screw band.  Place lids and rings on each jar and hand tighten.

Processing.  Because of the low acidity and density of the beans, each jar must be processed using a pressure canner.  After allowing your pressure canner to vent steam for 10 minutes (the usual venting time) process at 10 pounds of pressure; 75 minutes for Pints and 90 minutes for quarts.  Giving this recipe makes 9 quarts, or 18 pints, the processing may need to be accomplished in batches.

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