Kyle and I went out and picked green beans one day and we have a little over a half a row. This is a good year for green beans, as our first picking we yielded 2 Wal-mart bags full=one 8 quart kettle overflowing of snapped green beans! To can green beans, I would suggest getting a pressure cooker canner and using 10 pounds of pressure for the canner (follow directions in the caning book). For the canner, once the canner starts to steam/bobble starts to jiggle vigorously, then you start timing for 20 minutes. After a good 20 minutes of jiggle, turn off the burner and let set for 45 minutes or until pressure is released from canner. If you are using a water-bath canner, this will take you 3 hours! (So invest in a canner--I think this will be on my Christmas list this year!! or borrow from a family member--thanks Jamie! or friend).
To prep, clean your jars and rings in hot soapy water, rinse clean. If these are new cans, you are set, but each time you re-use a can you will have to purchase new lids, as they will not seal again once they have been used. The lids are generally between $1.00-$2.00 for a set of 12 depending on if you need small or wide-mouth lids.
Out of my overflowing 8 quart kettle of snapped green beans, it yielded 25 pints and 1 quart of green beans. I decided to go with pints, because I have a ton of pint jars and need to save my quarts for tomato soup, grape juice, etc.
For the green beans, you will need salt, green beans and water to can.
1. Cut off ends of green beans and snap into 1 inch pieces. These do not have to be precise, as we worked together as a family. My 3-year-old helped too!! (This is a great way to get your kids in the kitchen to help you prep for the canning!! They enjoy being apart of the project as well!! And the more you do together, the more fun you have and great memories are made!!). I generally stop up my sink on both sides, pour my snapped beans into one side and rinse them and pour them into the other side, repeat twice and you'll have clean beans!
2. Pack green beans into a clean jar.
3. Pour salt over the beans (1/4 tsp. per jar of salt for pints, 1/2 tsp. per jar of salt for quarts)
4. Boil water on the stove, once boiling, pour water over beans, leaving one inch of head room at the top (meaning I usually stop at the bottom of the neck of the jar, if my beans are a little taller I just make sure they are covered, but do leave some space at the top). Be sure to use a canning funnel (it fits into your cans and will prevent spills and burns). Use your sink to pour the boiling water into the cans.
5. Put lids on top and put rings on tight.
6. Fill canner with amount of cans canner can hold according to directions. (If you are using a pressure cooker canner, be sure to put in 1 Tablespoon of vinegar to keep calcium levels down.)
7. Follow directions above depending on which canner you are using!
8. When cans are done, use pot holders and jar lifter (below) to pull cans out of canner.
9. Let cool and let the cans set on your counter before storing for 24 hours. You should instantly start to hear seals pop. You will be able to tell if your cans have sealed, by feeling if there is a bubble in the top of your can lids. If there is a bubble, you will have to recan them. If it is flat, they have sealed. I had two that did not seal, so I just set them in my refrigerator to use soon.
How fun is it to do something as a family!! What a blessing it is to can the veggies that God has given us! I am so grateful for the learning from my grandparents and Kyle's family on how to do this and the blessings it brings to my family! As I am doing each vegetable, I am amazed at how amazing God's creation is. How different each individual vegetable is by color, by taste, by appearance!! How could anyone not believe in God?? That is beyond me!! What an amazing God we serve!!