A year ago we purchased multiple cases of green beans from our local produce stand and pressure canned them for the first time. We loved these green beans so much that we forced ourselves to ration the jars so we could stretch our supply until the next year. We were determined to grow our own beans this year, and we envisioned bushels and bushels of lovely green beans coming in from our backyard. Alas, our thumbs aren’t that green. We planted about 15 pole bean plants but only harvested a few handfuls of beans. So, this weekend we returned to the produce stand and spent half of Thursday and all of Friday and Saturday canning 244 pints of green beans. We purchased 6 cases, and each bushel case yielded about 42 pint jars on average. A third of those jars went home with my mom, who joined us for the hours of washing, snapping and filling.
Canning green beans is really simple, and great for first-time canners. Here is the process we followed from the Ball Blue Book:
1. Wash and rinse beans.
2. Trim ends and break or cut into pieces. Pack beans very tightly into hot jars, leaving 1″ headspace.
3. If desired, add 1/2 tsp salt to each pint jar or 1 tsp. salt to each quart jar. (Salt is just for seasoning and is not necessary to preserve.)
4. Pour boiling water over beans, leaving 1″ headspace.
5. Attach lids and rings. Process pints for 20 minutes, quarts 25 minutes at 10 pounds pressure in a steam-pressure canner (it was 15 pounds for us, because of our elevation).