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How to Use Home Canned Beans
You will often hear me speak about using your home canned goods in meal creations – and will often hear me speak openly about being prepared for when a disaster strikes, having a ready-made food source on hand and how home canning throughout the year benefits you in so many ways.
Well one of the very foods which exemplifies these important topics are home canning legumes. Home Canned Beans – whether pinto, navy, kidney or an heirloom passed down from generation to generation – will give you sustenance, are ready-to-eat even if a heat source is nonexistent, work well in a variety of different meal creations AND are easy to preserve.
While exhibiting at the Living Well Expo in January, I demonstrated how to use my Mixed Bean Medley to create a delicious Italian Sausage & Bean Soup (see recipe below). I also demonstrated how to create a low-calorie, low-fat Italian Sausage using ground turkey (see recipe below). Regardless of how you choose to eat your home canned beans, in chili, soups, as a side dish, refried or straight out of the jar, having these beauties on your pantry shelf is a life saver! Not to mention, you may can these healthy legumes without any preservatives, additives or salt!
Here are a few recipes you may enjoy creating in your own kitchen this very winter. The best part…the beans do not get “mushy” unless you over cook them prior to filling your jars. Only pre-boil your beans long enough to heat through – don’t over boil because your pressure canner will handle the cooking/softening for you.
Sausage & Bean Soup – makes approx. eight 8-ounce servings
This delicious soup is a one of my family’s favorites to enjoy during the cold winter months. It has an array of proteins and fresh vegetables giving your family a healthy, filling meal in minutes.
1 Quart Mixed Bean Medley
2 Quarts Chicken Stock
1 ½ pounds Italian Turkey Sausage (see recipe)
1 head cauliflower, cut individual florets
4 carrots, cut into 1” round pieces
1 large onion, diced small
2 celery stalks, cut into 1” pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ bunch kale leaves, stem and main vein removed, chopped course
2 Bay Leaves
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tsp sea salt – or to taste
¼ tsp black pepper – or to taste
In a large stock pot combine olive oil, garlic and onions. Saute on medium heat until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add Italian Turkey Sausage and cook until done, breaking sausage into smaller, bite-size pieces using a wooden spoon. Add chicken stock, cauliflower, carrots and celery and increase heat to medium-high to bring to a boil. Add Bay Leaves and boil for an additional 5 minutes.
Add Mixed Bean Medley, salt and pepper bringing the soup back to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chopped kale and continue to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Taste test your soup. If you prefer to add additional salt or pepper feel free to do so, otherwise additional seasonings may be added individually when serving.
Ladle hot soup into bowls. Serve soup alongside a hot slice of beer bread or a handful of oyster crackers.
How do I make a healthy Italian Sausage using ground turkey you ask? Easy – here’s how…
Italian Turkey Sausage – makes approx. 12 large patties or 1 ½ pounds ground sausage
A healthy alternative to traditional pork sausage…without losing an ounce of flavor. Use this ground Italian-flavored turkey meat anywhere you would use traditional sausage. Whether as breakfast patties or used within meal creation, this low-fat alternative is sure to delight!
¾ tsp dried Marjoram
1 tsp dried Basil
½ tsp dried Mustard
¼ tsp ground Thyme
½ tsp Garlic powder
¼ tsp Paprika
1 tsp rubbed Sage
¼ tsp sea salt – or to taste
¼ tsp Black Pepper – or to taste
½ tsp to 1 tsp red hot pepper flakes – depending on your heat preference
1 ½ pounds ground Turkey meat, raw
¼ cup water, warm
¼ cup Grape Seed Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Place warm water in a large bowl. Add all spices and mix well with fork. Add ground turkey meat and mix well ensuring all seasonings have been evenly dispersed.
Using hands form meat into a large ball. Using the oil, generously coat the exterior of the turkey ball and place back into bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 12 hours. When ready to cook, shape meat into patties or simply crumble and cook.
The Canning Diva