Normally every year I show pictures of trays of red beans frozen and ready to be put in vacuum bags for the freezer.
This has been my preferred way of preserving this bean. But freezer space has been at a premium lately so I decided to try canning them instead. Last week I canned the last of the red beans for this season.
I am so glad I did try this new way because we love the outcome. Since they were not really fresh but rather dry from the pods I canned them like dry beans.
I poured boiling water over them and soaked them out then filled my jars. Then I added a small amount of canning salt and boiling water and then removed the air bubbles and capped them off.
I processed them for 1 hour and 30 minutes each batch in my pressure canner. They cooked down to a beautiful deep red color with a thick bean gravy.
This has turned into almost a convenience food for us. We simply open a jar and throw them in the crock pot on low to warm with some frozen ham chunks or sausage and some onions and garlic. They are ready in just a couple hours being precooked like that. I put up 35 jars and wished I had planted and put up more. I don't think I will ever freeze them again now that we have tasted them canned.
The story behind these beans was that when I first moved here almost 2 decades ago from the south I could not find the traditional Red Camellia dried red beans that are available around New Orleans where I grew up. These are not the pinto beans that most are familiar with. Unable to find seeds I simply ordered a couple pounds of these Louisiana Red beans from an online grocer and planted them the next year in my garden. And I have been growing them ever since and saving the seeds. So yes my start of these beans came from a grocery store. They cook down slow and rich into a thick bean and gravy that I serve over rice with warm cornbread on the side. Beans are a great source of protein if you are trying to cut back on meat consumption for health reasons. We tend to eat lots of beans because they are easy to grow and preserve. They can be canned in jars, frozen or simply dried on the bush and then stored dried. It is a great way to stretch your meat by just adding a small amount of meat to the pot for flavoring. I always save my ham bones for the bean pot.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter