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Canning Beans for the Time Crunched

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The green and wax beans are producing like crazy this year.  It’s a good thing don’t get me wrong.  The garden, in general, is doing very well and we’re eating like kings.  We’ve eaten some green beans fresh but the majority of the beans get canned for winter use.  We like canned beans and other things like rutabagas and cabbage are better fresh than preserved for us.  Like everyone else, I imagine, I’ve got lots going on and look for shortcuts or ways to make things easier whenever possible.  Canning beans is one of the things that can be broken up into smaller tasks over several days and still put out a mighty tasty product.  Here’s my method of canning beans for the time crunched.

Break up the canning process into smaller steps so that canning beans for the time crunched can happen over several days and still turn out a tasty product.


Day 1: Harvest Beans

I pick beans, usually every other day during the height of their production.  I then put the beans into bags or containers and leave them in the fridge for a day maybe even two. 

Canning Beans for the Time Crunched - Homespun Seasonal Living

Day 2: Trim & Snap

Generally on a quiet evening after dinner, I sit at the breakfast bar on a stool and trim all those beans into 1 inch pieces. Those pieces go back into bags and into the refrigerator for another day maybe two, but generally speaking just another 24 hours. 

Canning Beans for the Time Crunched - Homespun Seasonal Living

Day 3: Into Jars

The next day, I put all those pieces in a colander and rinse the beans well.  This is the night they get canned.  I get my jars and lids ready, boil some water, and get the pressure canner ready. I mix the green, wax, and purple beans together most of the time. Sometimes I will keep them separate but we don’t much care and in a time crunch one less step seems prudent.  I never add salt to my jars of pressure canned veggies, I prefer to season when I cook with them later on and so leave them without seasoning here (salt isn’t needed as a preservative, the canning process does the preserving).  The beans then get put into the canner and voila jars of gorgeous veggies for the pantry shelves.  Note: for detailed and accurate instructions on how to pressure can green beans, please see Simply Canning (I couldn’t see why I should try to re-do what she’s already done so very beautifully).

 Canning Beans for the Time Crunched - Homespun Seasonal Living

The breaking it up over several days and into smaller tasks just seems to help take the pressure off my shoulders in a season where there is just so very much to do.  I’ll share how I break up other canning tasks in the near future.  How do you break up your food preservation tasks when feeling time crunched?



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Linda Harber

Friday 11th of August 2017

I didn't do so well either with my beans so we bought a bunch in Raleigh at the farmer's market (we live in Baltimore). I snapped those bad boys in the car on the way home and canned them the next day when we got home.

Homespun Seasonal Living

Friday 11th of August 2017

This is awesome! Go you.


Friday 26th of December 2014

Awesome post, thank you! I want to start canning green beans next summer, if my harvest does well enough.


Wednesday 21st of August 2013

Love the idea of breaking this down into smaller tasks. That definitely makes it more doable when trying to fit something in during baby's naptime or something like that.


Tuesday 20th of August 2013

Great idea. I freeze beans as a rule rather than canning (and that's a quick process), but I'll look forward to seeing what other food preservation monsters you break down. I seem to remember one from several years ago about simplifying salsa, which would be super-handy.


Tuesday 20th of August 2013

Count your blessings that you have green beans! i plant 3 rows every year and have more than i know what to do with, but this year, we've had about 18 inches of rain from June 1 to now. Gorgeous vines, I have, but not one bean. Oh well. There's always next year.